Intensive tutoring is great for academics. Now there’s evidence it can boost attendance


Twelve-year-old Ethen likes spending time with his math tutors — and not always for reasons related to math.

They crack jokes and play chess with him when he finishes his work early. He likes meeting with them in the library, where it’s easier to ask questions without being talked over. And when he’s had a rough day, he can count on his tutors to cheer him up.

“That’s something good for me because I get to finally see someone that’s happy to see me,” said Ethen, a sixth grader at Cardozo Education Campus in Washington, D.C. “Their smile makes me smile.”

Lots of research has shown that intensive tutoring is one of the best ways to help students improve academically. And it’s become a go-to strategy to help kids who missed a lot of instruction during the pandemic. But a new study suggests high-dosage tutoring can boost something else, too: attendance.

Preliminary research recently released by Stanford University’s National Student Support Accelerator, which is conducting various tutoring studies, found that D.C. students who participated in an intensive tutoring program were more likely to show up to school on days they had a scheduled session. Overall, the likelihood they’d miss school on tutoring days fell by 7%, researchers found.


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