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About The Toolkit

In partnership with the Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE), CityTutor DC has developed this toolkit to share resources and supports to help school leaders brainstorm and implement high-impact tutoring (HIT) in their schools, aligned to the following standards drawn from national research on HIT.

High-impact tutoring (sometimes referred to as “high-dosage tutoring”) is a research-backed practice to substantially improve academic outcomes. High-impact tutoring is meant to supplement classroom learning and complement teacher curriculum. In a small group or one-on-one setting, a trained tutor and student meet frequently and consistently, typically with a focus on math or literacy. While these tools can be useful to many stakeholders, the intended audience of this guide is school leaders in Washington, DC.

Many of these tools are discussed in and derived from the CityTutor DC Design Sprints, a multi-week learning series to support schools and community-based organizations in designing and implementing high-impact tutoring in their daily work. Learn more here.

CityTutor DC High-Impact Tutoring Standards

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Why are you considering high-impact tutoring as an acceleration strategy for your students?


Will you use school staff or a third party provider that is interviewed against the standards for HIT and what is important to your LEA? How will you identify the individual students or grade levels who will benefit most from HIT?


  • To interview prospective HIT Providers, you can assess their capacity to provide HIT or consider several tutoring providers CityTutor DC has interviewed against HIT standards. Take me to Provider Vetting Questions and Tutoring Provider Profiles.
  • Another aspect of HIT implementation guided through the Design Sprint is the approach to selecting students to receive HIT. Take me to the 15 minute video on Selecting Students (Min 1:40).
  • CityTutor DC has developed its own training for any tutor serving Washington, DC students, including school staff acting as tutors, and has also partnered with Relay GSE to develop training materials on building relationships and supporting multilingual learners. Take me to the CityTutor DC Training subpage and Resources page.

  • Before beginning tutoring, the NSSA recommends that diagnostic assessments are given to students to determine the level of support necessary and track students’ starting point for progress. Take me to Example Diagnostic Tools.

What curricular materials and training will the tutors use?


  • One of the steps during a Design Sprint is naming the problem, which we will guide you through in a brainstorming tool. Take me to the Jamboard tool for Naming the Problem.
  • Through our partnership with different providers and schools, CityTutor DC has compiled commonly implemented curricular materials that align well with HIT standards. Take me to Commonly Used Curricular Resources.
  • CityTutor DC has implemented a tutor training to support integration of tutors into high-impact tutoring programming, including school staff acting as tutors. Take me to the Training Deck for Tutors.

Can you modify your schedule since school day tutoring is most effective? Can you find 90 minutes per week for each student and maximize the number of students getting high-impact support?


Will students be pulled from class to a designated space for tutoring and are teachers supportive? Will tutors push into a small group time with the teacher? If after school, will students be guided to a space and set up for tutoring success?


  • Talk to stakeholders, especially those at the margins and outside of typical power structures, about where HIT will fit in, how they are impacted, and what insights they have. Take me to Empathy Interview Tools.
  • Space may be at a premium in your school and the environment for tutoring can make or break a session. Here are some ideas to get creative when maximizing space to provide tutoring. Take me to Photos of Creative Spaces in Use.

How can you design collaboratively for the students at the margins with empathy, considering your own identity? How can you navigate logistics such as procurement and any central LEA office requirements?


  • Launch plans from real District schools representing different grade spans can provide guidance as you develop your own. Take me to an Exemplar Launch Plan.
  • For District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) seeking tutoring partners, there is guidance from the DCPS central office on how individual schools can build strong and successful partnerships. Take me to the DCPS Partnerships Toolkit.
  • As you are navigating tutoring, it is important to continually assess the quality of tutoring and adherence to HIT standards. OSSE and CityTutor DC have collaboratively developed an evaluation tool that includes an observation rubric, HIT interview tool, and HIT scoring rubric to utilize when assessing the HIT at your school. Take me to the OSSE Evaluation Toolkit.

How can you make an informed decision for budgeting? How could you approach requests for proposals?


  • When preparing to implement high-impact tutoring, proper, timely budgeting is both challenging and important. Take me to Cost Estimates for Some Washington, DC Providers.*Note that each provider will work up a proposal and customized price quote. This cost sheet shows rough estimates for calibration and planning purposes only, and does not represent a price quote from any provider, which is subject to change with their overall funding.
  • To assess HIT Providers during a procurement process, your request can include specific best practices to be included in the proposal. Take me to a Sample Request For Proposals.

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*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.
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