Using the Toolkit


For those starting a new program, try the following process:

Program Design

  • Begin by reviewing Model Dimensions to understand the types of decisions needed when designing a new high-impact tutoring program. 
  • With the model dimensions and considerations in mind, you are ready to define your Program Focus (the grade levels/content areas) through conducting a landscape analysis to better understand the strengths, resources and needs of the community you intend to serve. The tools will guide you through developing a value proposition and logic model designed to address the program focus you identify. 
  • Your program focus, value proposition and logic model will provide the foundation and context needed to estimate costs and choose model dimensions that will result in a cohesive and effective high-impact tutoring program.

Program Implementation

  • With a clear program focus, value proposition, logic model, initial model dimension decisions, and cost estimate, you can begin implementation. Each of the seven elements of High-Impact tutoring has specific implementation guidance and tools. The Tool Appendix gives the full range of tools.  
  • Because the order in which a particular program will need implementation guidance and tools will vary based on its program focus, local community, and the resources already in place, you can scan each section to understand the guidance available and refer back as that particular guidance is relevant for your program’s implementation.

For those seeking to improve an existing program, review the top level guidance in each section in the order suggested above and dig deeper into areas of interest.


The Tutoring Toolkit was developed through extensive research into the existing tutoring landscape, including both a review of the academic literature on tutoring programs and interviews with experts in the tutoring field, including practitioners, researchers, and funders.


The Tutoring Toolkit aims to identify the choices and practices that define high-quality tutoring programs, while also providing resources and tools to help with common challenges that programs face in implementing these choices and practices. The toolkit is designed to support both launching a new tutoring program and improving an established one. Although fairly comprehensive, this initial toolkit will evolve regularly to include more tools and reflect new learning.


This toolkit has two sections:

  1. Program Design: This section contains guidance for making decisions about your program’s model and determining its focus.
  2. Program Implementation: This section contains guidance for putting your program’s model into practice effectively. It is subdivided into four of the seven elements of High-Impact Tutoring: Tutors, Instruction, Learning Integration, and Data Use. Within each element’s section, you will find:
    • Critical Questions: The most important questions to consider when thinking about this element.
    • Model Dimension Review: The range of decisions you need to examine when making design choices related to this element.
    • Implementation Checklist: The actions to keep in mind when planning implementation of this element.
    • Implementation Tools: A suite of practical resources to support your day-to-day implementation of this element.
    • Key Insights: Critical information distilled from our research that should inform your understanding of this element.
  3. Tool Appendix: This section contains a comprehensive list of all the tools available, organized by the elements of high-impact tutoring. 

When discussing tutoring program models, we make a distinction between a program’s Model Dimensions and its Actions & Practices.

MODEL DIMENSIONS: The fundamental design choices a new tutoring program makes at the outset, including “tutor type” or “program setting” (i.e., what the program is).

ACTIONS & PRACTICES: The routine implementation processes that programs can improve regardless of their Model Dimensions, including “tutor recruitment and selection” or “session facilitation” (i.e., what the program does).

The table below outlines what Model Dimensions matter most within each element, along with the associated Actions and Practices that comprise it. See Model Dimensions for more detailed information.

Program Design
Program Focus Related Model Dimensions Actions and Practices
  • Subject Area 
  • Grade Level
  • Target Students (i.e. Which students receive tutoring. Targeting may be problem-driven, curriculum-driven, or universal).


Program Implementation
Element Related Model Dimensions Actions and Practices
  • Tutor Type (i.e. teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, volunteers, etc.)
  • Recruitment & Selection
  • Screening & Expectations 
  • Training & Support
  • Delivery Mode
  • Dosage
  • Student-Tutor Ratio
  • Tutor Consistency
  • Session Content 
  • Session Structure
  • Session Facilitation
  • Relationship Building 
Learning Integration
  • Setting
  • Take-Up
  • Stakeholder Engagement
    • Family & Student
    • School & Teacher
Data Use N/A
  • Measures & Data Collection 
  • Evaluation & Improvement 

To browse all tools related to a particular element, select it below. To search for a specific tool, see the Tool Appendix.

Integration of Safety, Equity and Cohesion

The Tutoring Toolkit was developed through extensive research into the existing tutoring landscape, including both a review of the academic literature on tutoring programs and interviews with experts in the tutoring field, including practitioners, researchers, and funders.

The overarching principles of high-impact tutoring are safety, equity, and cohesion. These themes have been woven in throughout all components of the toolkit.


Maintaining student safety should be a top priority for any tutoring program. Programs must ensure they are following local, state, and federal laws to ensure student safety, as well as developing the capacity in staff and tutors to create a safe environment for students. Throughout this toolkit, you will find tools designed to support tutoring programs with ensuring student safety, from guidance for conducting background checks on prospective tutors to best practices for online tutoring and ensuring student data privacy. See the Tool Appendix to find particular tools that highlight specific aspects of student safety.


Tutoring programs should work toward equitable outcomes for students. Therefore, decisions regarding access and participation should be rooted in equity. Throughout this toolkit, you will find tools designed to help programs put equity at the center of their practices. Equity requires individuals at all levels of the tutoring organization to critically examine their own biases and work together to create actively inclusive environments.

All sections of the toolkit are designed to prioritize equity, whether in the foundational choices of program design, by selecting qualified tutors who reflect diverse communities, through providing training and support related to cultural competency, when determining data measures and collecting feedback from students and their families, or through providing rigorous and accessible instruction to all students. The work of striving for equity is never done, so we seek to keep updating our tools and resources to help programs embody equity in their decisions.


Cohesion refers to both the innovative leadership and high quality execution required to have a well-run organization as well as the alignment of a tutoring program design with its vision and mission. In the Program Focus section of the toolkit, you will find resources to conduct a community landscape analysis, develop a value proposition grounded in equity, and ensure that the program’s practices are aligned with its vision. Throughout the toolkit, tools consistently refer back to programs’ Model Dimensions, providing insight into how their guidance might apply to different programs differently depending on their design decisions. Some tools have been specifically crafted to support programs with specific Model Dimensions. Tools are also interlinked across sections, making it easier to identify ahead of time when a program team’s actions and practices in one aspect of their work will shape (and be shaped by) their decisions and choices in another. Specific organizational leadership and execution tools will be available in tool updates.