CityTutor DC connects schools, community-based organizations, and other committed stakeholders to expand access to high-impact tutoring (HIT) and accelerate learning for DC students through tutoring. CityTutor DC believes that parents and caregivers are important partners as we work to expand access to HIT.
High-impact tutoring (HIT) is an evidence-based approach to accelerate learning. HIT takes place in a one-on-one or small group setting where trained tutors and students meet frequently and consistently, usually with a focus on math or literacy.
High-impact tutoring is one of the most studied academic interventions and there is evidence that it accelerates student learning and can increase social-emotional well-being. Students lost valuable learning time and socialization opportunities during the pandemic. By design, HIT focuses on individual or small-group academic support led by a tutor who is invested in your student’s success. All HIT programming should be aligned with evidence-based standards found here.
DC students’ math and reading test scores have fallen significantly over the past five years. Before the pandemic, 37% of students read at or above grade level. School year 2021-2022 assessments revealed that only 31% scored proficient or above. Math scores also dropped significantly across all grades. HIT’s evidence-based standards, which focus on tutor training, relationship-building, and tutoring for at least 90 minutes per week, address the pandemic’s impact. Learn more about HIT here.
Yes, HIT is accessible to all DC students; however, each school or site selects students for tutoring using its own model, which may be based on student test scores, attendance, or class schedule.
HIT programs are expanding rapidly! HIT may be offered at schools, at after-school programs, or through virtual platforms. Though HIT may take a variety of forms, HIT standards help ensure tutoring across sites remains as aligned as possible. Learn more about where we know HIT is happening here.
To learn about tutoring that may be available for your student, you should consult with their school. Click “More Info” below for specific questions to ask your school.
As a caregiver, the best thing you can do is to ask the school for information about its plans to provide high-impact tutoring to students. Specific questions to ask might be:
Just as general education students can receive tutoring as a supplement to their core instruction, students with IEPs can receive it in addition to their core and specialized instruction. Tutoring doesn’t replace IEP services, but can be an additional service. This decision and implementation should be done in coordination with your student’s school and IEP team.
For starters, DC does not yet have enough high-impact tutoring opportunities to meet the needs of the District, particularly in math. The funding we’re providing helps build capacity of our tutoring providers to partner with schools in a way that is aligned to the research on effective and impactful tutoring. CityTutor DC will also be recruiting national providers to collaboratively partner with in expanding access to high-impact tutoring. Tutoring is most effective when it’s integrated in schools, but in some cases offering tutoring means schools must make adjustments to their schedules and operations. We support school leaders in this redesign and change management process and have some resources available to consider in our toolkit.
CityTutor DC is also partnering with community-based organizations to offer tutoring, as we know some students will gain the most from tutoring outside of school. We are also building networks and communities of practice so that schools, tutoring organizations, and community-based organizations can learn from one another.
Great tutors can come from a wide variety of backgrounds and spaces! All tutors undergo comprehensive background checks and receive ongoing training in relationship-building and instruction.
Many tutors are undergraduate and graduate students who are at local colleges or universities who want to be teachers. These programs allow students to receive mentoring and training from their professors.
Other tutors may be teachers, former educators, or volunteers from within the communities they serve. In some schools, teachers and paraeducators on the staff provide tutoring and small-group instruction during the school day.
Though training protocols may slightly vary between tutoring organizations, all tutoring organizations we partner with ensure to include training prior to beginning as a tutor, regardless of tutor background or experience level.
Tutoring organizations provide pre-service training for tutors that can include math or ELA skills, social emotional learning, and trauma-informed teaching. Student well-being is also discussed during bullying prevention training. CTDC offers free, monthly tutor training which provides a broad overview of DC’s educational landscape, key strategies to engage students, and tips on building strong relationships.
While all tutoring sessions look a little different—whether they’re in person or online, during the school day or after school, the basics stay the same. Students work in a small group of four or fewer students with a trained tutor multiple times a week for a total of 90+ minutes per week for 10+ weeks. You can expect each meeting to include:
*CityTutor DC (CTDC) is a coalition of over 50 members connecting schools, community-based organizations, civic partners, and other committed stakeholders to accelerate learning for Washington, DC students through high-impact tutoring according to research based standards. CTDC has partnered with OSSE to support our State Education Agency in achieving their goal: a majority of at-risk students across DC are on track to recover from interrupted instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic via access to high-impact tutoring programs at their schools.