The global pandemic and shift to remote learning has been challenging for teachers and students alike. Not only did both have to make quick, unexpected adjustments during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, but they then had to maintain a continuity of teaching and learning as the “new abnormal” continues to impact the educational environment.
After seeing a degree of “unfinished learning,” lower high-school graduation rates and gaps in access to personalized academic supports, our district partnered with FEV Tutor in hopes of reversing some of these trends and accelerating learning outcomes.
We felt that working with an online tutoring provider would also help us reach priority student cohorts and provide equitable, remote learning districtwide. Our leadership team had prior experience using online tutoring for math intervention and SAT/ACT preparation and decided to leverage live, 1-to-1 instructional support during the 2020-21 academic year.
4 online tutoring wins
About 2,000 students across nine school sites participated in more than 23,000 hours of live, 1-to-1, remote instruction. Students rated their tutors an average of 4.72 out of 5 possible points on daily feedback forms and scored an average of 78% on daily feedback forms.
Here are four ways online tutoring allows us to provide personalized, engaging instruction anytime, anywhere.
- Personalized tutoring plans. Our provider’s academic success team worked collaboratively with several leaders at the district and school levels to customize a model that synced with the district’s curriculum, STAR-360 benchmark data and Clever’s single sign-on/rostering portal. We identified priority student cohorts at each campus, gave each a personalized tutoring plan and evaluated their growth in multiple measures, including GPA, benchmark assessments and teacher inputs.
- Fewer communication challenges. To overcome student engagement challenges tied to remote learning, our provider worked with the district communications department to build awareness and empower parents, students, teachers and school sites to opt in and take advantage of district-sponsored tutoring support. Engagement increased through several avenues, such as webinars, social media posts and email campaigns.
- Tangible outcomes. We used benchmark data from students’ fall, winter and spring math and reading assessments to evaluate the success of the targeted plans for priority student cohorts and stakeholders. Our online tutoring students’ benchmark scores were an average 14.7 points higher in math and 21.2 points in reading than scores for students who weren’t in the program.
- Data on student progress. The success coach provided timely feedback and also met often with us to gauge how the program was progressing. Students who regularly used the tutoring support increased their GPAs by more than one full point. This resulted in more passed classes and credits earned toward graduation requirements, decreased credit recovery needs, and lowered our district’s number of nongraduates.
For the 2021-22 school year, we’ll blend tutoring instruction into school-day programming while continuing to provide 24/7 homework support districtwide.
Ratmony Yee, Ed.D., is the assistant superintendent of educational services for the Victor Valley Union High School District in Victorville, Calif. Christine Foote is the director of the local control and accountability plan, Common Core State Standards and special projects for VVUHSD. FEV Tutor, STAR-360 and Clever are part of their tutoring master plan.
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