A new commercial educational facility has opened its doors on Gloucester's Eastern Avenue with an eye toward providing the area with comprehensive tutorial facilities, with a particular focus on middle and high school students on Cape Ann.
Notus Learning Center, at 85 Eastern Ave. in the Para Research building, has been founded by longtime educators who say they saw the need on Cape Ann for tutoring services with the goal of preparing students for middle school and high school subjects.
Now it is expanding into test prep and "summer fun" courses geared to developing student dexterity and artistic ability, said Ilter Bakkal of Rockport, one of the founders.
"The center's foremost philosophy is to work in partnership with schools to help students achieve their own potential through their own efforts," said Bakkal. "The emphasis is on developing lifelong learning habits while helping students to meet and exceed an acceptable level of academic performance."
The center — whose name stems from a form of the word "knowledge" in Greek and Latin — also offers educational counseling and homework completion.
The staff includes Bakkal, an administrative staff member and up to 10 tutors and counselors.
Bakkal explained how the process would work for a student looking for some help: The evaluation starts with the parents meeting with an administrator at the center to understand how the center can best help the student.
Then the tutor and, or counselor meets with the parents and the student individually to determine the needs of the student and to prepare a tailored plan of study.
As a result, the student is assigned to the most appropriate tutor, program rigor and optimum level of class, said Bakkal. The size of the sessions varies from one to five students. The projected average is three students.
Middle and high school students are the target clients at this point because the founders of the center believe that this age group represented the segment of most need, in part, because of increasing competition for admission to higher education institutions and continuing budget cuts that have occurred at the public school level in recent years.
"Tutoring could complement the public school and nonprofit education institutions," said Bakkal, who added that there will likely be further expansion into other demographics as the need arises.
Bakkal said the Notus Learning Center mission is to offer individualized instruction, and a safe and conducive study environment to enable students to achieve their highest potential.
The center is rigorously looking for grants to assist low-income individuals. As the center achieves financial independence, it will make scholarships available. For more information, visit notuslearning.net.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or firstname.lastname@example.org.