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Back to School: How to get help for students struggling to make the grade

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Kyle Martin, Staff Writer

Before you dip into your wallet for a private tutor, call your school office

With a new school year comes new challenges. If your student needs extra help academically, there are likely ways to get help and mentoring through your school district. So before you look for a private tutor, look to your school district for support.

Here are a few ways to find the help you need.

Denton ISD

Students have access through their teachers to before- and after-school tutoring, depending on which grade levels and subjects are areas of concern.

High schools in Denton ISD have "go centers" where students can meet with currently enrolled college students and get help with filling out college applications, writing scholarship letters and finding the right higher-education option for them.

If your student needs a mentor, Mentor Denton provides mentorship opportunities through several affiliates who lend help the estimated 10,000 at-risk students in Denton County. Affiliates include the United Way of Denton County, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the city of Denton, Texas Woman's University, the University of North Texas, Denton ISD, Communities in Schools North Texas and We Denton Do It.

Mentor Denton is looking for volunteers who can commit to one hour a week throughout the school year -- check out www.mentordenton.org, or learn more at the annual launch party from 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 10 at Stoke Denton, 608 E Hickory St., Ste. #128.

Also, several local community volunteers give their to mentor students every week for students struggling with academics or non-school-related issues. For more information on any of these services, contact your school's principals or Denton ISD Community Relations Specialist Courtney Martin at cmartin@dentonisd.org or 940-369-0146.

Krum ISD

"Krum ISD's mission is to create a collaborative atmosphere with parents, students and members of the community in order to ensure students will reach their full potential by providing every child with an exceptional education," district spokeswoman Jennifer Wiley said.

At Krum ISD, Wiley said, students who are struggling with any subject can get before- and after-school tutoring. Students can also schedule help during the school day.

For more information, Wiley can be reached at jennifer.wiley@krumisd.net or 940-482-2706.

Argyle ISD

Some school systems have a more holistic support system for students.

In Argyle, public school students have Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students). Watch D.O.G.S. is a nonprofit organization by way of the National Center for Fathering.

Students can meet with a volunteer who gives his time as a male role model to young students in need. Volunteers commit to at least one full school day of service per year with their students. The volunteers participate in activities with their students. They drop off their students in the mornings, help with homework, do after-school drop-offs, spend time with students at recess and more.

Additionally, a high school tutoring schedule is available on the district's website, under District Resources and Parent Info.

For more information on these programs, visit www.argyleisd.com or email the director of community and public relations, Pam Arrington, at parrington@argyleisd.com.

Northwest ISD

Northwest ISD Mentors Matter is a mentoring program where community volunteers can sign up to give their time to students in need.

Northwest students can also get plugged in to Partners in Education. The program's mission is to enhance student learning, and then create and sustain mutually beneficial relationships between Northwest ISD and the community.

Additionally, Northwest ISD is partnering with United Way for the fifth annual Northwest Back to School Fair from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 19 at Pike Middle School, 2200 Texan Drive in Justin. Free school supplies will be available for students in need.

For more information on helpful programs, contact Northwest ISD communications specialist Anthony Tosie at anthony.tosie@nisdtx.org or 817-215-0181.

KYLE MARTIN can be reached at 940-566-6897.