Instructional Coach

NSSA 2023 Conference

Join this invitation-only gathering of researchers, district, state, and higher education leaders, tutoring providers, and funders to:

  • Learn about implications of recent research findings and innovative and sustainable practices in tutoring;
  • Explore successful state and district strategies for scaling and sustainability; and
  • Make connections with education leaders in the field.

Two years have passed since the educational landscape embraced high-dosage tutoring as a pivotal strategy for enhancing K-12 student learning and achievement. This panel revisits the concept with fresh insights, assessing its long-term effects and the evolution of best practices in the wake of continued research and on-the-ground experiences. We'll delve into how high-dosage tutoring has been adapted and scaled across diverse educational settings, the challenges faced, and the successes achieved. Experts will share innovative approaches for integrating tutoring into the curriculum, leveraging technology to enhance accessibility, and evaluating the impact on both academic and socio-emotional student outcomes. Whether you're looking to refine your existing tutoring program or are curious about the latest developments in this dynamic field, this discussion will offer valuable perspectives on supporting student success through targeted instruction. Join us to explore the next chapter of high-dosage tutoring and its role in shaping future educational practices.

Speakers:


INCREASING ACCESS TO HIGH-IMPACT TUTORING 

Over the past few years, finding consensus around the most effective strategies and interventions to address post-COVID learning recovery has largely been elusive. But there is widespread agreement that high-impact, or high-dosage, tutoring holds tremendous promise.  

Ideally, programs include small groups of no more than three to four students. They meet at least three times a week with a professionally trained tutor, during school hours. In addition to the high-quality materials used in the sessions, students benefit from meeting with the same tutor every week. 


Cignition, Inc. is proud to partner with educational leaders across the country to offer insight into effective high-impact tutoring implementation. In this edLeader Panel, attendees will hear from decision makers at the district and state levels on why they believe high-impact tutoring is so invaluable for academic intervention. They’ll also:

  • Learn how to integrate tutoring sessions into existing school schedules
  • Understand strategies for selecting students to participate in tutoring
  • Hear how differentiated instruction is the key to results that teachers and parents hope for
  • Review funding sources for high-impact tutoring

Once CEO Matt Pasternack, a former teacher who moved into education technology, acknowledges that’s expensive and labor-intensive. He estimates CMS would have spent $200,000 for this year’s pilot, which involves 400 children. But Stanford’s National Student Support Accelerator, which specializes in research into tutoring, has a grant from Accelerate to cover this year’s costs for participating schools in CMS, Nashville and South Bend, Indiana.


Transformative change in education often begins with a powerful story. Increasingly, high-impact tutoring is that story, where students find both significant academic success and personal confidence in their abilities. Rhyne Richards—a 6th-grade student in Washington, DC.—met several times each week with a tutor, Ms. Burns, to overcome math challenges. Rhyne’s journey speaks volumes. “I get distracted a lot [in class],” Rhyne admitted. “But when I’m with Ms. Burns, I learn a lot; a lot more than I knew last year.” It’s a testament to the remarkable impact of intensive, one-on-one tutoring. “I’m proud of myself,” Rhyne continued. “Before, I didn’t really know math like I do now. But now I can do it myself. I want to be the smartest person in the world.” Rhyne’s regained confidence in math and optimism for the future epitomize the profound evidence for and influence of intensive, relationship-based, individualized instruction—it is a narrative we must tirelessly work to replicate and scale.


This research report presents the results from the second year of a randomized controlled trial of an early elementary reading tutoring program that has been designed to be affordable at scale. During the 2021-22 school year, over eight hundred kindergarten students in a large Southeastern school district were randomly assigned to receive supplementary tutoring with the Chapter One program. The program continued during the 2022-23 school year, while the children attended first grade. The program embeds part-time tutors into the classroom to provide short bursts of instruction to individual students each week over the course of the school year. The consistent presence of the tutors allows them to build strong relationships with students and meet students’ individual needs at the moment they might most benefit from personalized instruction. The program focuses more time on students with the lowest literacy skills.

“A lot of districts really want to provide additional support for their students. They want to do it in an equitable way and they want to do it in a sustainable way. One of the things that we’ve seen is that starting big and not being able to do [tutoring implementation] smoothly sometimes backfires,” said Nancy Waymack, director of research partnerships and policy for the National Student Support Accelerator at Stanford University, which studies K-12 tutoring trends. “Starting by focusing on a smaller group of students, and really making sure that they have the full support of a consistent tutor, on a very frequent basis, in a data-driven way that’s really aligned with the curriculum is a way that’s going to work really well.”


Intensive, high-dose tutoring can boost early reading skills, even in a virtual format, according to a new experimental study.

Researchers from the National Student Support Accelerator at Stanford University tracked the reading progress of about 2,000 K-2 students in a dozen Texas charter schools. Half of the students were randomly assigned to attend class normally, while half received intensive remote tutoring for part of the school day, in small groups, through the nonprofit group OnYourMark, which serves K-2 students in seven states.


According to the U.S. Department of Education’s research arm, high-dose tutoring is the most effective—though often the most expensive.
The National Student Support Accelerator, a Stanford University center that studies effective tutoring, finds that effective high-dose tutoring programs require:

  • Tutoring integrated into the school day to increase tutor-teacher coordination and avoid transportation or time problems for students.
  • Targeting students based on academic need rather than requiring parents to opt into services.
  • Budgeting services for at least three to five days a week for extended periods of time.
  • Differentiated tutoring based on particular student needs and skills.
  • Data-gathering and progress-monitoring, particularly when schools work with outside tutoring providers.

With research showing that far fewer students took advantage of online tutoring than districts expected, the outcomes-based model is one way to ensure districts use public funds wisely. “In education, we can pay for things a long time before we realize no children are participating in it,” Miller said.


Many districts sought to provide students with high-impact tutoring in response to pandemic-induced learning needs. Some started earlier than others, and we aimed to learn from the experiences of the early adopters to help inform a smoother implementation among those beginning the process later. During the 2021-22 school year, we partnered with school districts, tutoring providers, and quarterback organizations that support implementation across districts to learn from their efforts in implementing tutoring.


Pencil is an all-in-one platform for tutoring service provision. Pencil makes scheduling, reporting and delivering tutoring sessions simple by combining every aspect of the process into a single, unified platform. The Pencil platform comes fully loaded with everything organizations need to provide high-quality tutoring, including the award-winning Pencil Spaces virtual classroom.


We need your help to provide an open-access Tutor Training Resource Library and develop new tutor training materials!

Would you be interested in making your tutor training publicly accessible through NSSA’s website?
If so, please complete this Tutor Training Resource Library Interest Form. Sharing your training materials is a great way to build awareness of your tutoring program and contribute to the field. You can also indicate interest in setting up a call to discuss this project further through this form.


Developing and staffing the kind of tutoring that research has shown is most effective—often referred to as high quality, or high-impact tutoring—is complex, time-consuming, and expensive. Tutors meet with students at least three times a week, in small groups or one-on-one. Work should be targeted to a specific subject and aligned to high-quality curriculum, and should develop strong tutor-tutee relationships.

“High-impact tutoring is not homework help. They’re not sporadically dropping in,” said Carly Robinson, a senior researcher at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education who works with the National Student Support Accelerator, a group promoting research-based tutoring programs.