CityTutor DC catalyzes high-impact tutoring and strategic staffing models to serve thousands of students. Our work improves student well-being, accelerates academic performance, and enhances flexible staffing systems in schools. We are DC’s trusted partner in citywide initiatives related to tutoring, talent, and truancy reduction.

Founded in early 2021, CityTutor DC supports 100+ schools, tutoring providers, local universities, community-based organizations, and government stakeholders to improve outcomes for DC’s most vulnerable students and communities. CityTutor DC recruits, trains, and coaches partners citywide to launch and expand HIT programs and implement strategic staffing models.

High-impact tutoring (HIT), sometimes referred to as “high-dosage tutoring,” is a research-based intervention proven to substantially accelerate academic progress and improve student well-being. In a small group or one-on-one setting, a trained tutor and student meet frequently and consistently to develop their skills and deepen their understanding in either math or ELA. CityTutor DC’s tutoring work is driven by national standards and aligned to the growing body of research supporting HIT as a proven and effective academic intervention. With DC’s significant investment in HIT as a pandemic recovery strategy, the quality and availability of tutoring services have expanded significantly since 2021. Robust research suggests that tutored students are more likely to achieve growth goals on nationally normed assessments and attend school at higher rates. We envision a future where every student in every school has access to HIT as a resource to build stronger, brighter futures.

Strategic Staffing is the work of redesigning current systems—school budgets, schedules, curriculum, space, and other resources–to reimagine the teaching role. CityTutor DC’s talent work aligns with a growing body of national research suggesting that critical shifts must be made to implement flexible schedules, build more robust instructional teams, and solidify stronger pathways into the teacher profession. With these talent shifts, the role of a teacher is both more sustainable and more attractive. Strategic Staffing initiatives shift the traditional paradigm of teaching from the “one-classroom, one-teacher” model to a team-based approach.

Under Strategic Staffing initiatives, teachers share instructional responsibility across a team of educators and adults; have increased autonomy and decision-making power; can concentrate on the aspects of instruction and social-emotional development where they are strongest; and experience workday flexibility. With these shifts, DC’s most critical resource–our educators–have the time, expertise, and support to make transformative and lasting change in the lives of their students.

As CityTutor DC weaves together strategy, activities, and outcomes across DC’s HIT and Strategic Staffing initiatives, progress in one focus area enables progress in the other. For example, as tutoring providers and partnerships grow stronger across the District, this enables schools to better leverage tutors and external partnerships to support flexible scheduling and instructional teaming efforts. Similarly, as instructional teams and flexible scheduling initiatives grow across DC, the demand for high-quality, small-group interventions expands as well.

CityTutor DC views tutors as a critical component of strategic staffing models as they have the potential to bolster academic and social-emotional supports and lessen the burden on the teacher of record. Furthermore, emerging data suggests that tutoring builds a diverse talent pipeline for schools, with local tutors entering into full-time teaching roles at impressive rates.

To date, our coalition of stakeholders has served more than 15,000 students in DC public and public charter schools with higher-impact tutoring and talent interventions.

Our Work

Our work is rooted in design thinking, research and evaluation, and community building. We build and lead coalitions that boldly transform systems, tackling problems that require coordinated citywide approaches. Our current work falls into four main strategies:

We design and provide professional development, coaching, and technical assistance for schools in support of the implementation of HIT, strategic staffing, and teaming initiatives.

We create, collect, curate, and disseminate resources and training for instructional staff involved in HIT, strategic staffing, and teaming initiatives.

We maximize student reach across a diverse set of different schools and sites, infusing the ecosystem with timely resources to strengthen cross-sector, coalition-based support for citywide initiatives.

We build intentional, cross-sector connections by brokering relationships, organizing citywide convenings, contributing to national research, and publishing white papers.

Equity-Centered Design Programming

Rooted in the “equityXdesign” framework of design thinking to serve marginalized groups, Design Sprints are multi-week intensive supports for school teams to shift mindsets and build technical skills to launch and support higher-quality, higher-impact tutoring and talent interventions. To date, CityTutor DC has supported 80+ DC public and charter schools, supporting teams with reimagining school schedules, budgets, and staffing structures along with bringing an human-centered, equity-first approach to implementing tutoring and strategic staffing initiatives.

Interested in participating in CityTutor’s Design Sprint Programming?

I used to think high-impact tutoring was just a buzzword, but now I know it is a strategy that can be used to close pervasive opportunity gaps in our schools.”

-School Leader Participant, Design Sprint Programming

Communities of Practice

Rooted in data and continuous improvement, our Communities of Practice gather role-alike practitioners in the tutoring and strategic staffing spaces to facilitate cross-sector conversations on the impact and ongoing challenges of our tutoring and talent redesign implementations. Participants reflect on best practices, conquer common challenges, and leverage data to improve outcomes for students through tutoring and strategic staffing.

Interested in learning more about CityTutor’s Communities of Practice?

It was very useful to hear about the ways that different organizations organize and facilitate their partnerships [with schools]. It provides an interesting blueprint for ways to evolve and improve our programs.”

-Participant, HIT Provider Community of Practice