Learn what it takes to move the needle for our most vulnerable students using high-impact tutoring as a wraparound service.
Want the bad news first? Our youth still aren’t out of the post-pandemic weeds. As time continues to separate us all from the turmoil of the COVID-19 school shutdowns, researchers have had more time to study and better understand the scope of damage it created for our students.
New NWEA research shows the achievement gap continues to widen in some areas by 5% to 10%, with the losses disproportionately affecting low-performing students.
Other studies show youths assessed post-pandemic had more severe internalizing mental health problems, larger hippocampal and amygdala volume, and more advanced brain age.
For our future students, researchers have discovered that babies born after July 2020 produced fewer vocalizations and demonstrated slower verbal growth than comparable children born before 2019.
But, along with this troubling news, the good news is we’re also beginning to uncover more solutions to help students catch up academically and rebuild their social and/or emotional health. On the shortlist is one-to-one or small-group tutoring–when it’s done right.
And by ‘right,’ I mean when it follows what we already know to be true about how students learn and develop best. It’s also more important than ever to meet the needs of students on an emotional level. Learning services have to do more and do better to provide a consistent and cooperative approach–both academically and emotionally. To increase efficacy, high-impact tutoring services move the needle for students when they mimic a wraparound support service.
What is a wraparound support service?
The idea of wraparound service has been used in the field of Child Welfare for decades. According to the University of California, Davis Complex, a wraparound service is “a comprehensive, strengths-based, planning process put in place to respond to a serious mental health or behavioral challenge involving children or youth.” Its principles build a plan of action that is both individualized and scalable and builds both independence and community.
The ten principles of a wraparound service include:
Principle 1: Family Voice and Choice
Principle 2: Team-based
Principle 3: Natural, Informal, and Formal Supports
High-Impact Tutoring as a Wraparound Support Service
So, what do we even mean when we say “high-impact tutoring” as a wraparound service? It means building a tutoring program that gives students more than just homework help or test prep. It means going beyond focusing on remedial skills or what most people conceptualize ‘tutoring’ to be.
When we combine our efforts to increase academic growth, such as a tutoring service, with other interventions to provide a holistic, comprehensive approach to student support, that’s when we know we’re on the right track.
How Will I Know If It’s the Right Service for My Students?
With so many tutoring services popping up virtually, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with which one is best for students. As you shop around, look for these qualities:
1. The approach to tutoring is needs-driven
Similar to the individualized plan a wraparound service provides, a quality tutoring plan includes the ability to provide individualized attention and support. Rather than following a lock-step sequence of lessons for every student, the program needs the flexibility to meet students’ needs where they are.
2. It’s Team Driven
Just like a wraparound service, a comprehensive tutoring plan should work in tandem with schools and families. Strong team communication offers students a seamless journey toward growth and academic success.
3. The approach to tutoring is both consistent and persistent
Parallel to the team approach, a quality tutoring service should create safety through consistency and frequency. Search for a program where the same highly qualified tutor is paired with students throughout the duration of the program and meets for regular tutoring sessions. This builds a feeling of community and stability.
4. It is standards and outcomes-based
Look for a program where the support team has the ability to tie specific state-identified learning goals to measurable success criteria, monitor progress, and revise the plan of action accordingly.
Are you eager to start a high-impact tutoring program across your district or school? It is important to ask the right questions to determine if solutions truly are high-impact and consider the best way to implement them.