Virtual Tutoring Program Proves Successful In Boosting Reading And Math

A virtual tutoring program has proven successful in boosting math and reading levels for students in Indianapolis.

By Erika Hanson | Published

School On Wheels Provides Hope For Homeless California Students

virtual tutoring program

Since the onset of the pandemic, news outlets have focused their attention on the failing education system and learning loss exacerbated by school closures and remote learning. While there is no denying now that learning loss was greatly intensified – especially for disadvantaged demographics – because of online learning, there are instances when it proved successful. For Indianapolis public schools, virtual tutoring programs are depicting promising trends in both literacy and math subjects. 

According to a new report from Chalkbeat, students enrolled in a new pilot virtual tutoring program this past spring depicted gains in both reading and math skills. The tutoring program was held completely online and was available through Tutored by Teachers, an online program run by educators. Because of the success in boosting performance, Indianapolis is hopeful to expand the endeavor to all public schools in the city. 

This past spring, the virtual tutoring program was made available to 12 different schools. Overall, students involved, who ranged anywhere from Kindergarten up to eleventh grade, improved math scores by 12% to 26%, and English/language arts scores up by 4% to 9%. Considering that even this year, with most schools being reopened permanently and back on track for academics, most public schools still reported learning loss, this finding is imperative to Indianapolis schools. 

Starting this fall, the school district plans to offer the virtual tutoring program to all students. The tutoring is offered both during in school hours, along with after school. Boasting even more success, Chalkbeat states that the program holds the highest rates of student attendance, according to obtained district data. Like many other states, much of this was made possible through state funding initiatives looking to boost academic achievement through tutoring with COVID relief funds.

The virtual tutoring program was made possible through scholarships. Next year, that money will fund additional dollar amounts for students totaling up to $500 in state scholarships that districts can match to provide up to $1,000 in tutoring for families to use for the virtual tutoring program. In other Indiana school districts, tutoring is being funded by their own educator staff, or by partnering with local colleges and universities. 

So why exactly are these types of virtual tutoring programs proving to be so successful not just in Indianapolis, but across the nation? For one thing, it might be because of the teacher shortage. Districts are already struggling just to fill school teacher slots. This means that it’s even harder to get educators to sign up for extra tutoring hours. Likewise, more teachers are turning to online educational programs like Tutored by Teachers, as their appeal rises. 

virtual tutoring program

Tutoring alone usually is not enough to raise academic achievement, but when combined with classroom efforts, this more personalized time has long proven successful in raising children’s performance. Because of this, schools across the nation are hopeful that various forms of it will aid in the efforts to lessen the gap in academic failure, and turn the state of public education around after its long-coming downward spiral. Given Indianapolis’ success with the virtual tutoring programs, districts across the US would be smart to follow suit with this program or something similar.