“The type of tutoring with evidence is intensive tutoring with a consistent tutor who comes with an understanding of the students needs — based on data from direct assessments or from the school or teacher — and with curricular materials for addressing these needs,” Susanna Loeb, the director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, said in an email.

Nearly $2 billion in federal pandemic aid is landing in the bank accounts of Dallas-area schools to help students recover from the pandemic.

The money — which state leaders announced this spring would flow to Texas schools — has a few strings attached. Districts must spend it on addressing student needs.


The National Student Support Accelerator is releasing the High-Impact Tutoring: District Playbook (the Playbook), a downloadable online manual with detailed instructions about how to implement a high-impact tutoring program. The Playbook offers practical advice about everything from assessing what content tutoring should cover to estimating budgets to embedding tutoring in a school schedule. With checklists, suggested timelines and structured ways to tackle complex decisions such as whether districts should partner with existing tutoring organizations or build their own in-house programs, the Playbook aims to make the project of implementing high-impact tutoring less daunting and easier.

DISD is part of a national collaborative working with researchers at Brown University to study how to maximize the impact of tutoring. Brown’s National Student Support Accelerator points to research showing that tutoring interventions can translate to between three and 15 additional months of learning.

As states, districts, and schools start to plan interventions and support for students for the ‘21-’22 school year, we are offering a 4-hour workshop to support state and district leadership teams in launching tutoring programs. We will work to provide support for leaders to develop the parameters around program design, human capital and communication, and share our resources and recommendations developed over 17 years in regards to professional development, curriculum and measurements of success. Saga Education stands out as a proven leader of the field in high-dosage, high-impact tutoring programs.

The American Rescue Plan requires states to spend at least 5 percent of the money allotted for K-12 schools— about $6 billion nationwide—on helping students make up for lost instructional time. Similarly, local school districts must spend at least 20 percent of their allocation on this objective. High-impact tutoring is an evidence based strategy proven to boost academic achievement, social-emotional development, and other outcomes. While tutoring can take many forms and often includes a mentoring component, Brown University’s National Student Support Accelerator defines high-impact tutoring as “a form of teaching, one-on-one or in a small group, toward a specific goal” that supplements, but does not replace, classroom instruction.

With the return to in-person learning in sight, K-12 leaders are urgently setting priorities for the coming school year. Each spring, educators are eager to find that “just right” approach to their biggest challenges. As a former middle and high school principal, I know that’s especially true after a tough year—and no year has been tougher than this one.

For many leaders, accelerating student learning is top-of-mind, and one method that has garnered a lot of recent attention is high-impact tutoring. The National Student Support Accelerator, founded this year at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University to promote and support high-impact tutoring, defines it as one-to-one or small-group support that supplements classroom learning and complements existing curriculum by focusing on specific goals in response to individual students’ needs. This kind of tutoring is also known as “high-intensity tutoring” or “high-dosage tutoring.”

The Annenberg Institute received a $999,260 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation last month to fund the National Student Support Accelerator. The NSSA research aims to strengthen and grow high-impact tutoring programs and opportunities for K-12 students nationwide. This funding will support the project for two years.

The new National Student Support Accelerator, housed at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, launched to accelerate the growth of high-impact tutoring opportunities for K–12 students in need. The accelerator coordinates and synthesizes tutoring research and uses that research to develop publicly available tools and technical assistance to support districts and schools to develop high-impact tutoring programs for students.

“This is a big infrastructure commitment,” Little said. “Dallas ISD — and no district really — has tried to have that many tutors come in a short amount of time. We’re going to have to be really creative and exhaustive in exploring every avenue to source tutors.”

DISD will partner with Brown University’s National Student Support Accelerator, Little said, as it moves forward. The initiative works to create effective, research-based tutoring programs across the country.