Across the country, research shows the COVID-19 pandemic has affected student learning, especially in school districts already struggling. In math, students in majority Black schools ended the year with six months of unfinished learning, and students in low-income schools with seven, according to a recent McKinsey report. At ASSISTments, one of our primary goals is to research and develop innovative technologies and practices that can help improve student learning while also leaving a lasting impact on student success. To support our goals, we are currently researching the effects of high-dosage tutoring that is directly aligned to classroom instruction through multiple school-based pilots.
Teachers and Tutors Work as a Team with ASSISTments Tutor
ASSISTments’ learning science-based tutoring program is rooted in ASSISTments’ flagship product, ASSISTments Teacher, a free math practice and assessment tool that provides students with immediate feedback and gives teachers data to effectively implement their curricula. Our current pilot programs consist of both district-based and tutoring provider organization models. In Baltimore City (aka “City Schools”), we are currently implementing a district “homegrown” paraeducator tutoring program in which the district hires novice, community-based paraeducator tutors, to work alongside teachers during the school day. ASSISTments provides comprehensive training and support with ASSISTments Tutor, our virtual tutoring platform. The tutoring platform provides tutors with diagnostic data and exit tickets to target their tutoring sessions.Tutors are also provided with structured tutoring session resources directly aligned to classroom instruction, eliminating confusion and focusing on data driven alignment. Additionally, ASSISTments is training paraeducators to understand and use real-time learning data to differentiate instruction for their small group tutoring sessions. The proactive approach inherently builds student competence and confidence by strengthening fundamental math skills essential for success with grade level standards.
Concurrently we are also implementing the ASSISTments Tutor Math Pilot Program in two charter middle schools located in the Los Angeles Alliance Charter School Network through EnCorps, our STEM-based Tutoring provider organization, which consists of a network of STEM professionals serving as volunteer tutors and mentors in underserved schools. In this model, the ASSISTments Tutor technology (also known as our “secret sauce”) is the component that links grade-level classroom instruction with tutoring sessions that help students master both prerequisite and grade-level skills. The EnCorps tutors include an emphasis on creating STEM awareness for future careers with students, through conversations and experiential learning activities.
ASSISTments Tutor centers around building student confidence, and we do this in following ways:
- Building Positive Relationships - focus on developing strong relationships between students, tutors and teachers
- Customized Learning Targets Gaps - (based on student needs) to address critical gaps in skills and knowledge from pandemic-induced school disruptions.
- Proactive & Responsive Tutoring - utilizes “just in time” data-driven instruction based on formative assessments.
Our current pilot in Baltimore City Schools (ie. City Schools) is already showing promise in that both tutors and students have expressed optimism about the potential of the pilot.
Malik Jones, participating in the program as a paraeducator tutor, has expressed excitement about being part of such an innovative program as the one ASSISTments is piloting in Baltimore City Schools. Mr. Jones commented, “I’m so excited and ready to help close the learning gaps that Covid widened.”
Ways to Engage with Us
ASSISTments is always seeking opportunities to partner with school districts and tutoring programs/organizations to find ways to close the math achievement gap and increase student math confidence and competence levels. For more information about participating in pilot opportunities, please contact, Dr. Denise Barrett, Tutoring Program & Partnerships Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.