6 Ways Volunteers Support Effective High-Dosage Tutoring
By Eric Steckel | June 23, 2022
Children Rising Programs Contribute to Recovery From Unfinished Learning
Tutoring, and in particular, high-dosage tutoring, has emerged as one of the leading solutions to overcoming unprecedented levels of unfinished learning brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteer tutoring programs like Succeeding by Reading and Path2Math provide opportunities for community members to step in, be part of this leading-edge solution, and support student recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted learning for all students. According to an April 2021 report by McKinsey, “on average, students are five months behind in mathematics and four months behind in reading by the end of the (2020-2021) school year.” Unfinished learning is even greater for children and youth in under-resourced schools, especially Black, Latino, and English learners.
The Department of Education is urging schools to provide up to 90-minutes of tutoring per week. High-dosage tutoring is generally defined as one-on-one or small group tutoring at least three times per week, totaling about 100 hours of tutoring during the school year. Unfortunately, students most in need of high-dosage tutoring are least likely to have access to a tutor.
Evidence-based High-dosage Tutoring Is Key to Success
Not all tutoring strategies stack up equally. A recent study by the Education Trust highlights effective strategies for implementing high-dosage tutoring. While they stress that state involvement in implementing programming leads to better outcomes, Children Rising programs are uniquely designed to contribute to high-dosage learning strategies and support children in their recovery from unfinished learning.
Six Features of Evidence-based High-dosage Tutoring Programs
The following six features are components Succeeding by Reading and Path2Math share with effective, evidence-based tutoring programs.
- 1:1 Student:Tutor Ratio – High-dosage tutoring works best with a ratio of one tutor for one or two children. Children Rising has long advocated one-on-one tutoring, where caring adults develop trusting relationships with students. The result leads to accelerated learning. Indeed, 70% of our students who receive 20 or more sessions of one-on-one reading tutoring advance two or more grade levels by the end of the year.
- Skill-building curriculum – Succeeding by Reading and Path2Math are skill-based programs where tutors focus on incrementally building literacy and numeracy skills such as phonics and vocabulary for reading and grade-leveled algebra and geometry skills for numeracy. This approach is evidence-based and has been found to be most effective.
- Training and Supervision – Effective programs provide pre-service training, ongoing training, and on-site supervision for tutors. Children Rising provides structured training and support so tutors can be effective from day one. It also leads to a high retention rate of 75%, leading to a more experienced pool of tutors.
- In-School – In-school, teacher-coordinated pull-out sessions have proven most effective with students and have been a hallmark of Children Rising programs.
- All year – Children Rising tutors stay with a child throughout the academic school year, providing consistent, caring instruction.
- Younger students – Succeeding by Reading and Path2Math focus on second- and third-grade students, an age most educators feel is crucial to future academic learning.
Community Opportunities to Overcome Unfinished Learning.
As we continue to work with Oakland Unified School District and our school partners, we see an opportunity for the community to contribute to providing high-dosage tutoring and supporting child learning. To be successful, it will require many more caring community members to come alongside these eager children.
Our goal this year is to double the weekly tutoring sessions each child receives and grow the number of families that can confidently provide their children with in-home literacy support. Combined, both provide the high-dosage tutoring support so critically necessary to help our kids quickly become engaged, confident students—so crucial for their future growth and success in school.