Aligning with District Priorities and Existing Programs

Overview: Why is alignment with district priorities important?

Tutoring is most effective when it is integrated into a broader strategy addressing district priorities, positioned as core to each school’s instructional model rather than as a disconnected and optional add-on.

Fully embedding tutoring also helps you build stakeholder engagement:

  • For teachers, you can position tutoring as a resource when they plan their curriculum and lessons, allowing them to leverage tutoring to better meet each student’s individual needs.
  • For students and their caregivers, you can position tutoring as an integral part of the schooling experience, reducing any stigma associated with receiving academic support services.

What district priorities align best with tutoring?

Tier I Core Instruction

Tutoring should enhance, not replace, High-Quality Tier I Instruction: Tutoring complements grade-level classroom instruction with an extra layer of structured individual support; it cannot replace core instruction. The degree to which your district has adopted and implemented High-Quality Instructional Materials in your identified Focus Area will help you determine the best Tutoring Approach> for your district.

Assess: What is the current quality of core instruction in your identified Focus Area?

  • Has your district adopted High-Quality Tier I Instructional Materials in your Focus Area?
  • How effectively has your district implemented these materials in its classrooms in your Focus Area?

Tiers 2 and 3: Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and Response to Intervention (RTI)

Tutoring may be able to enhance your MTSS or RTI Frameworks: While tutoring cannot replace Tier I Instruction, in some situations it may be possible to use tutoring programs to offer Tier 2 or Tier 3 supports. Many districts find that tutoring resources can help them improve their approach to MTSS/RTI. The requirements vary by state, so if you would like tutoring to be part of your MTSS/RTI framework, consult state requirements at the outset to make sure that your program’s tutoring model will meet them.

Assess: How could tutoring enhance the system's MTSS and/or RTI Programs in your Focus Area?

  • Do you want to leverage tutoring as part of your MTSS and RTI frameworks?
  • What requirements would your tutoring program need to meet to be part of those frameworks?

Mandated Services for ELLs and Students with IEPs

Tutoring should not replace, but may enhance mandated services for ELLs and/or students with IEPs: Tutoring typically cannot take the place of mandated services, but in some cases tutoring can support these services.

Assess: Does the tutoring initiative and current mandated services have areas of overlap?

  • What mandated services are already being provided?
    • Consult with Special Education and ELL personnel for guidance.
  • Does your tutoring program meet the requirements for mandated services?
    • Consult with your district’s Special Education administrator and/or ELL coordinator to ensure compliance with these requirements.

How should your new tutoring program align with existing programs?

Districts should align new tutoring programs with existing programs and decide whether to continue, replace, or integrate existing programs addressing the Focus Area. Adding a new program (tutoring) without replacing an existing one or thoughtfully integrating them together can result in ineffective practice and fatigue among both teachers and students, so consider replacing programs or using tutoring to enhance them.

Assess: What other programs or initiatives already exist in your Focus Area? How effective are they?

  • Are these programs accelerating student learning? What data demonstrate this benefit?
  • Do stakeholders highly value these programs? Which stakeholders, and what do they value about them?
  • Will you continue these programs, replace them, or enhance them with tutoring?
    • See example assessments below for how you might evaluate existing additional programs.

Examples: Aligning with Existing Programs

Type Existing Program Example Program Assessment and Decision
Existing enrichment or intervention blocks Intervention program using online software (Khan Academy, etc.)

Intervention program using scripted curricula (Wilson Reading, etc.)

SEL block

Integrate: A district is using a software-based program for students to get extra practice in math.

While academic data show a modest impact, feedback from students shows that they feel frustrated with the monotony of the software and have confusion on certain modules.

To bolster engagement, provide targeted support, and add a human element to the service, the district pairs tutoring with the software so that students rotate between using the software and receiving individualized tutoring.

Additional Existing In-School Programs Existing tutoring initiative such as homework clubs, peer tutoring, or an external tutoring program Replace: A school identifies a period in the school day in which students can reach out to teachers for extra help, however this period is not well-attended and often does not include the students who need the support (based on data).

The school chooses to replace this period with High-Impact Tutoring in order to target the students who most need the extra support.

21st Century or other extracurricular programs Summer School, After School or Saturday School Program

Enrichment program

Integrate: A district’s summer school is well-attended due to a specific arts enrichment program, and most students in the program are behind grade level.

The district chooses to integrate tutoring into summer school so that students receive tutoring alongside the arts enrichment.