by Guest Author
Charter schools in Georgia and beyond are presented with unique challenges to best meet the needs of their students, staff, and community. Learning loss from the pandemic only exacerbated these challenges, widening the opportunity gap. Fortunately, many charter schools are getting their students back on track with support from tailored tutoring programs to suit the needs of their students (and schedule) — and with demonstrative outcomes.
Here’s how three charter schools around the country have reinvented their approach to intervention blocks with help from Tutored by Teachers, a company focused on bringing high-dosage tutoring from credentialed U.S. teachers to schools and districts across the country.
1. United Schools of Indianapolis (USI)
Enrollment: 50+ students
Subjects: ELA and Math
Like many, USI experienced unfinished learning due to school closure caused by COVID-19, particularly in middle school students. USI partnered with TbT in the summer of 2022 to implement its Virtual Summer Academy in school and at home in an effort to improve students’ academic gains in Math and ELA through two-hour sessions over the course of four weeks. The program resonated with students, as USI saw average weekly attendance rates of 93%.
From that engagement stemmed confidence in students, with 100% self-reporting that they felt like their Math skills had grown; and 98% that their ELA skills had grown. As one district administrator at USI noted, “Students who attended summer school did not hit the ‘summer slide,’ and instead we actually saw gains in their percentile.” End of engagement data confirms this, with students seeing an average of 12% growth in Math, and those who participated in Summer Academy showed academic gains in their fall NWEA scores over the spring, while their peers who didn’t attend experienced the typical summer slide.
2. KIPP NJ
Enrollment: 205 students
Grades served: 5-8
Subjects: ELA and Math
In Spring 2023, schools at KIPP NJ implemented a virtual intervention model to not only improve academic outcomes, but also improve student behavior. To that end, their team chose to partner with Tutored by Teachers because they could program a teacher-led, Whole Child approach to instruction into their intervention blocks. That flexibility was paramount: “[TbT] is definitely customizable to meet the needs of our campus,” says Meghan St. Cyr-Bradley, Assistant Principal at KIPP TEAM Academy. “The ability to sit down and talk about what we need and then see that reflected in the sessions is great.”
From the onset, administrators saw a change. “Students are more invested with this program than with their class,” says Ms. St. Cyr-Bradley. “And the program runs itself.” This sentiment was corroborated in the numbers, as attendance rates for 6th graders topped 88%, and 100% of students surveyed self-reported that they felt like an important part of their tutoring group.
With high attendance rates came high engagement rates – in turn spurring notable academic gains. At KIPP TEAM, 7th graders grew from 30% to 57% mastery of Math target standards.
3. KIPP Metro Atlanta
Cohorts: 6, with up to a 3:1 student-teacher ratio
Subjects: ELA and Math, targeted to IEP goals
At the end of the 2021-22 school year, KIPP Metro Atlanta had students who qualified for extended school year (ESY) services, as well as compensatory services. To best support these students and their families, KIPP Metro Atlanta wanted to provide at-home learning opportunities, so they partnered with TbT to administer live, synchronous instruction aligned to the IEP goals of students as part of an ESY program during Summer 2022. Over the course of the program, students made progress toward their IEP goals, and many students self-reported that they felt their Math and ELA skills were improving after working with their Teacher-Tutors.
Those relationships helped unlock academic lean-in and outcome. As Ms. Carey, a 7th Grade Teacher Tutor at TbT, shared, “The students were very engaged — they are grasping the concept of the key math terms when completing math word problems, and are getting more confident when completing multi-step word problems.” At the end of the engagement, over 70% of students surveyed self-reported that they felt like an important member of their tutoring group and that they felt connected to their tutor.
As we head into a new school year, we hope these stories spark interest and excitement at the prospect of further serving your students and their families. Folding in additional learning opportunities to accelerate academic achievement – on a schedule that works for your school – is both attainable and impactful with partners like Tutored by Teachers. Wishing you a great start to the new year, and we’ll be back soon with more tips, tricks, and stories from the GCSA community!