High Impact Tutoring Toolkit

Contributed by:
Jonathan James
The High Impact Tutoring Toolkit is designed to help districts think through key pieces of program design and make connections to other helpful resources. While this toolkit is not exhaustive, it outlines the foundational principles and key considerations that all LEAs should consider when implementing a high-impact tutoring program.
1. High Impact
Tutoring Toolkit
Updated: August 2021
2. High Impact Tutoring Toolkit
Table of Contents
High Impact Tutoring Toolkit.............................................................. 3
Purpose of Toolkit.........................................................................................3
Background and Research...........................................................................3
Key Principles of High-Impact Tutoring......................................................4
Program Design.............................................................................................5
Assembling The Team.......................................................................................................5
Selecting A Program Focus..............................................................................................7
Student Prioritization.........................................................................................................8
Creating the Structure..................................................................................9
Dosage......................................................................................................................... 10
Delivery Mode.................................................................................................................. 10
Selecting a Tutoring Provider....................................................................11
Identifying High-Quality Instructional Materials....................................................... 12
Program Implementation..........................................................................14
Training Tutors and Providing Ongoing Support..................................................... 14
Aligning Curriculum to Classroom Instruction......................................................... 15
Engaging Stakeholders...............................................................................18
Evaluating the Program.............................................................................18
Ensuring Equity...........................................................................................20
Accessibility Data............................................................................................................. 20
3. High Impact Tutoring Toolkit
High Impact Tutoring Toolkit
Purpose of Toolkit
Early data indicates that school closures and disruptions in SY19-20 and SY20-21 are likely to result in unfin-
ished learning for many students statewide, making multi-year recovery and acceleration supports even more
crucial. As LEAs consider how to best facilitate learning acceleration, many are considering high impact tutor-
ing, as there is strong evidence that high impact tutoring is one of the most effective ways to increase learning
gains for students.
The High Impact Tutoring Toolkit is designed to help districts think through key pieces of program design and
make connections to other helpful resources. While this toolkit is not exhaustive, it outlines the foundational
principles and key considerations that all LEAs should consider when implementing a high impact tutoring
Background and Research
Rigorous research provides strong evidence that high impact tutoring (often referred to as high-dosage tutor-
ing) consistently leads to large improvements in learning outcomes for a wide range of students.
A recent meta-analysis of randomized evaluations of tutoring programs found that, on
average, tutoring increased achievement by an additional three to 15 months of learning
across grade levels.
Another review of almost 200 rigorous studies found that high-dosage tutoring is one of the
few school-based interventions with demonstrated large positive effects on both math
and reading achievement.
A 2017 study examined interventions that aimed to improve educational achievement for
elementary and middle school students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Of all the
interventions examined, including feedback and progress monitoring, cooperative learning,
computer-assisted instruction, and mentoring of students, tutoring was most effective.
4. High Impact Tutoring Toolkit
Key Principles of High-Impact Tutoring
While the research evidence shows that tutoring interventions can have positive impacts on student learning,
past efforts to scale tutoring programs have not always been successful. For instance, tutoring incentivized
through No Child Left Behind supplementary education services had mixed results. Based on the current
research and best practices1, high-impact tutoring programs tend to include the following characteristics:
• Well-trained, consistent tutor who builds a strong relationship with students
¡ Effective tutors can be from a variety of backgrounds. Research indicates that teachers, paraprofes-
sionals, college students, and other types of tutors can all be effective when tutoring one-to-one or
small groups2
¡ Successful tutors are skilled at relationship-building and are responsive to local context
¡ All tutors need initial training, oversight, ongoing coaching and accountability
• High-quality instructional material aligned to standards and core classwork
¡ The materials that tutors use should be aligned with both TEKS and research on teaching and
¡ Tutors should focus on addressing missed concepts and skills that are most critical to accessing the
upcoming content
¡ Tutors should include certified special education teachers to assist with students receiving special
education services in order to collaborate with other tutors and ensure the implementation of the
students’ IEP
• One-to-one or small group for individualized support
¡ Tutors can effectively instruct up to three or four students at a time
¡ Grouping students by skill level may make for a more effective tutoring session
• Embedded in the school day or immediately before or after, to maximize student access
¡ Embedding tutoring into the school program reduces barriers to attendance and reaches the
students who need it most
¡ Coordinating with teachers creates more consistency for students
• At least three sessions per week for sustained support, 30 minutes minimum
¡ Tutoring is most likely to be effective when delivered in high doses
Robinson, C., Kraft, M., Loeb, S., Schueler, B. (2021). Accelerating Student Learning with High-Dosage Tutoring. EdResearch for
Baye, A., Inns, A., Lake, C., & Slavin, R. E. (2018). A Synthesis of Quantitative Research on Reading Programs for Secondary Students.
Reading Research Quarterly, 54( 2), 133– 166. doi:10.1002/rrq.229
5. High Impact Tutoring Toolkit
¡ Optimal duration of sessions depend on the content area and student age (e.g. 30 minutes for
younger grades and 60 minutes for older grades)
• Data-driven with tutors building and delivering sessions around student strengths and needs
Program Design
Assembling The Team
To ensure that the tutoring program is implemented with fidelity and equitably across student populations,
LEAs should create a team of key district and campus leaders to oversee the initiative. While LEAs may part-
ner with tutoring providers to manage the tutors and tutorials, the LEA team will be responsible for setting
the vision and strategy of the program, monitoring progress, communicating with key stakeholders, and
ensuring that the program is meeting district needs. We recommend including the following roles as a part of
that team:
• Ensures tutoring initiative is sufficiently re- Heavily involved in
Senior Project planning stages, then
sourced and prioritized across the LEA
Sponsor 2-3 hours a month
• Assists in setting vision and strategy for tutor-
(Superintendent or for check-ins
ing initiative
Chief Academic Offi-
cer recommended)
• Steers team toward project outcomes, works
to remove barriers to team progress
• Serves as primary point of contact for tutoring Daily project
provider management
• Sets the vision and strategy for the tutoring
initiative that considers each student type
Hours vary
Tutoring Program
• Project manages the program internally that depending on size of
considers each student type program (could be
• Coordinates across LEA teams to ensure site half time or full time
(Instructional exper- role)
managers have a plan for scheduling, food,
tise recommended)
transportation, etc.
• Manages student and parent communication
in the languages typically provided by the LEA
• Regularly convenes district leadership to share
updates on progress
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• Actively partners with tutoring team to set ~5 hours a week
School Site vision and strategy for all involved student to ensure strong
Managers populations implementation
(Member of school • Ensures strong implementation of tutoring
leadership team) program at the campus
• Provides feedback on strategies to facilitate
adjustments when needed
• Actively partners with tutoring team to recruit Hours vary
and on-board tutors qualified to meet the depending on size of
needs of all involved student populations program (could be
Tutor Coaches
added responsibility
(can be at the district • Oversees tutor training and answers ongoing
to the School Site
or campus level) questions from tutors
Manager or other
• Provides feedback from tutors to central team role)
• Facilitates tutor communication
• Ensures all tutors have access to high quality
instructional materials in the appropriate lan-
guage of instruction for bilingual programs Heavily involved in
Curriculum & planning stages, then
• Coordinates with school site managers to align
Instruction Lead 2-3 hours a month
materials to classroom instruction
for check-ins
• Assists with tutor training around instructional
• Ensures all students are equipped with neces-
sary devices, programs, accessibility options, Heavily involved in
Technology Lead and connectivity to engage in tutoring sessions planning stages, then
2-3 hours a month
• Coordinates with site managers to trouble- for check-ins
shoot any arising technology access issues
• Develops a performance measurement plan Heavily involved in
for the program planning stages, then
2-3 hours a month
• Creates measures to appropriately measure
for check-ins
Data Lead progress for students with IEPs, 504 plans,
and/or linguistic development goals
• Ensures progress monitoring systems are in
• Supports tutoring provider and Program Lead
in data reporting
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Diverse Learner • Consistently brings diverse learner lens to Heavily involved in
Lead(s) proposed plans, tools, and training to advance planning stages, then
(Special education or access for all students 2-3 hours a month
for check-ins
multi-tiered system • Ensures strong implementation of tutoring
of supports lead program among diverse learners, including
recommended) English learners and students with disabilities
• Reviews tutoring session data and coordinates
Teacher Advisory with tutors as needed to ensure alignment of
Group key content and special populations supports
with tutoring sessions
At A Glance- goals,
• Reviews Individualized Education Program (IEP)
students’ strengths
of the students receiving special education
and areas of need,
Special Education services and coordinates with tutors to ensure
Lead the appropriate special education and related
and modifications
services are provided in order to achieve goal
should be provided,
attainment and success in the tutoring pro-
reviewed and
available to tutors
Selecting A Program Focus
When selecting a program focus, LEAs should consider three main factors:
• Student Needs: Student assessment data can be used to identify key gaps in student learning. Assess-
ment data should be reviewed by content area, grade level, and student population. Recent research indi-
cates that most students are falling behind due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but students of color are faring
worse.3 Many English learners and students with disabilities have also struggled in the virtual learning envi-
ronment. Reviewing the data by these specific student populations can help inform the program design.
• Tutoring Effect: Research indicates that tutoring can be effective at all grade levels; however, the evi-
dence is strongest for tutoring focused on early literacy and middle-school math. A recent meta-anal-
ysis of 96 randomized evaluations found that tutoring programs that focus on literacy tend to become
less effective as students get older, while tutoring programs that focus on math tend to become more
effective as students advance through fifth grade.
• Cost: While tutoring is cost-effective, it is also costly. The cost of tutoring programs varies depending on
tutor type, student:tutor ratio, and dosage. The National Student Accelerator has developed a Cost Cal-
Dorn, E., Hancock, B., Sarakatsannis, J., Viruleg, E. (2020). “COVID-19 and learning loss-disparities grow and students need help.”
McKinsey & Company, https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/covid-19-and-learning-
8. High Impact Tutoring Toolkit
culator that can be a helpful tool for constructing cost estimates. As 60-80% of the program costs are
related to personnel4, the tutor type has the greatest effect on the estimated per pupil cost. See exam-
ple table below for approximate per pupil costs for a typical high impact tutoring program (3:1 student:-
tutor ratio, with students receiving 1.5 hours of tutoring a week).
Teachers $3,627
AmeriCorps $2,758
Retired Teachers $1,960
College Students $461
Trained Volunteers No additional cost beyond materials
Note: Tutoring is an explicitly allowable use of ESSER funds.
Student Prioritization
According to the National Student Support Accelerator, there are three key models for determining which
students to prioritize. These decisions are central to the overall strategy and will affect various aspects of the
tutoring program, but each model can lead to positive effects.
Need-driven: Tutoring is targeted to students who are struggling and perform below
particular benchmark thresholds.
• Most tutoring interventions that have undergone evaluation have been need-driven.
• Historical assessment data, progress monitoring documentation for students in special education
should be reviewed and considered in the development of lesson plan and tutoring plan.
• Students with disabilities are identified for tutoring through collaboration with special education
teacher and general education teacher. The identified students are heterogeneously and strategi-
cally integrated into mainstream tutoring groups/classes.
• Example: Pharr- San Juan-Alamo ISD identified a group of priority-for-service migrant students
based on failure rates and other academic indicators. Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD partnered
with Intervene K-12 to provide 60 min of high impact tutoring daily. Content area focus varied
depending on grade level.
White, S., Falken, G., Kraft, M. (2021). Tutoring Program Structure and Cost Landscape.
9. High Impact Tutoring Toolkit
Curriculum-Driven: Tutoring is provided at critical moments when students
generally tend to fall behind.
• Example: Reading Recovery is a short-term invention in reading and writing that focuses
specifically on first grade as it is a crucial point for literacy development. Among programs
reviewed by the What Works Clearinghouse, Reading Recovery received the highest
improvement index in reading achievement and fluency.
Universal: All students receive tutoring.
• Example: In 2005, MATCH Charter Public High School integrated two hours of individualized
tutorials throughout an extended school day. A 2013 evaluation found that, on average, ELA
tutorials raised student achievement on the 10th grade English language arts exam between
0.15 and 0.25 standard deviations per year – this is equivalent to approximately an additional
years’ worth of instruction. Additionally, the universal model may make tutored students feel
less stigmatized, could address the needs of the mid-performing students, and may provide a
vehicle for high-performing students in underserved communities to excel.
Creating the Structure
After identifying which students and content areas will be prioritized for the high-dosage tutoring program,
LEAs will need to create the structure of the program and determine where and when the tutoring will happen.
The recent meta-analysis of tutoring studies found that the effects of programs conducted during the
school day are roughly twice as large as those conducted outside of school. Additionally, the most effective
tutoring interventions involve three or more sessions per week with sessions that last for about 30-60
minutes per day. While these two elements are essential to ensuring that tutoring is effective, they can create
a significant scheduling challenge for schools. Below are a few different ways that districts have been able to
integrate high-impact tutoring into their school day:
Intervention Periods: Intervention periods are a highly effective way to build tutoring into the school day.
While it requires significant changes to the master schedule, it ensures that all students have the opportunity
to participate and creates a significantly higher likelihood of student attendance.
In the below example from Texas, the school has two Flex Periods, called Tutorials, in their 4 block day, where
each class lasts 90 minutes each and rotates between odd and even classes each day. The school chose to
give their Tutorials 30 minutes that coincide with lunch periods of the same length (often referred to as a
10. High Impact Tutoring Toolkit
Lunch & Learn model). In this model, students have a default lunch period, with the intent that they partici-
pate in a Tutorial for the other lunch period. If they choose to, students are also able to opt into two Tutorial
Periods and eat lunch during those or swap their default lunch and tutorial periods if their desired teacher
doesn’t have the same default lunch period (Source: Edficiency).
1/2 8:30 10:00 90
3/4 10:05 11:35 90
A Lunch / Tutorial A 11:35 12:05 30
B Lunch / Tutorial B 12:10 12:40 30
5/6 12:45 2:15 90
7/8 2:20 3:50 90
In-Class Tutoring: In this model, students receiving tutoring are pulled out of other classes to participate in
tutoring. Ideally, tutoring sessions would replace whichever time slots exhibit the lowest opportunity costs,
although this can be difficult to discern and coordinate for individual students. Programs such as Reading Re-
covery and Number Rockets ask that schools schedule tutoring sessions to avoid schedule conflicts with the
respective subject of tutoring (i.e., students in Reading Recovery are pulled out of other classes or recreation-
al activities to attend reading tutoring, and vice versa for Number Rockets).
Intersessional Calendar: An intersessional calendar includes longer breaks dispersed throughout the year
that provide flexibility. The National Student Support Accelerator has found that intensive “vacation academy”
programs where small groups of struggling students focus on a single subject over week-long vacation breaks
have also generated positive results, although the gains are smaller than typical high impact tutoring pro-
grams. Several examples of intersessional calendars can be found on the Additional Days School Year (ADSY)
The most effective tutoring interventions involve three or more sessions per week with sessions that last for
about 30 to 60 minutes per day. Elementary students may benefit from shorter 30 min sessions, while older
students likely need 45 to 60 min per session.
Delivery Mode
Both virtual and in-person tutoring can be effective if they follow the key principles of high-impact tutoring.
However, there are clear trade offs between the two. Virtual sessions expand the pool of tutors, reduce time
and logistical obstacles associated with commuting to schools. However, virtual programs require addition-
al resources to establish and maintain the technological infrastructure. Additionally, as we’ve seen through
virtual instruction, it can be difficult to establish relationships virtually vs. in-person and attendance can be
a challenge. Ultimately, LEAs will need to determine which model works best for their specific students and
11. High Impact Tutoring Toolkit
Selecting a Tutoring Provider
One of the most critical decisions in establishing a high-impact tutoring program is determining who will
provide the tutoring. LEAs can either (1) recruit their own tutors, or (2) partner with an outside organization to
provide the tutors. Both pathways can be effective, but there are trade offs.
Recruiting Own Tutors
• The LEA has full control over the tutor type (teachers, volunteers, college students, etc.) and
required qualifications.
• Tutor training is customized to the school curriculum and culture.
• Recruiting and managing tutors requires a significant share of resources for LEAs. LEAs that
choose this option will likely require at least one full-time program director, with help from
additional staff members.
Working with a Third-Party Provider
• Tutoring organizations often bring additional capabilities beyond recruiting and managing
tutors, including data analytics and program evaluation systems.
• Most tutoring organizations also provide tutor training and ongoing support, a key element
to a successful tutoring program.
• For LEAs considering virtual tutoring, many tutoring organizations such as BookNook,
Intervene K-12, and others have created their own virtual platforms with unique capabilities
designed for tutoring.
• Many tutoring organizations have their own curriculum and have already trained their tutors
in effectively delivering that curriculum.
• For LEAs needing tutoring for students with disabilities, ensure that the third-party provider is
well-versed in special education and implementation plan for special education services.
Key Considerations for Tutor Type
• Dosage: Any decision about tutor type will influence the dosage a program can provide. For example, if
the tutor type is unpaid volunteers, it may be more challenging to require any given volunteer to serve 5
days a week when not getting paid, meaning that either dosage or consistency must be sacrificed.
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• Student-Tutor Ratio: If the tutor type is teachers or paraprofessionals, small groups become more
feasible, as these tutors often already have skills (or have more time to be trained) in leading small-group
instruction. For other tutor types, if the student-tutor ratio is greater than one-on-one, the program must
provide additional facilitation and behavior management training to tutors.
• Tutor Training: The less pedagogical training a tutor already has, and the greater the responsibilities
of the tutor role, the more training the tutor will need. If the tutor type is teachers or paraprofessionals,
generally they will have previous training in pedagogy; thus, the program will likely only need to provide
training on its own specific program requirements such as session structure or specific curriculum used.
If a tutor is a college student or family member, for example, the program cannot expect them to come
in already trained on pedagogy, and so will need to provide both general knowledge on effective instruc-
tion and program specific training. In order to provide equitable access to tutoring, the LEA must ensure
that an appropriate number of tutors are qualified or receive targeted training to serve students with
IEPs, 504 plans, students who receive instruction in another language, and students who require linguis-
tic accommodations.
LEAs that are interested in working with third-party tutoring providers can find partners through the Tutoring
Database provided by the National Student Support Accelerator. Other potential partners include communi-
ty-based organizations and professional associations.
Additional Resources:
• Tutor Job Description Guidance
• Tutor Recruitment Strategy
• Tutor Selection Strategy
• Tutor Background Check Guidance
• Setting Expectations with Tutors
Identifying High-Quality Instructional Materials
High-Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) .are the foundational tools for teachers and tutors to lead suc-
cessful instruction. HQIM for tutoring can be defined by both content agnostic and content specific character-
Key Considerations for tutoring HQIM:
• Aligned to core classroom content: While the main focus of the tutoring materials may be outside
of the student’s current grade level, its scope and sequence should align to the scope and sequence
of the core content classroom.
• Content specific research-backed approaches: Across content areas, approaches to the materials
provided within the curriculum should be content specific, as detailed below.
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¡ Early Literacy: Tutoring materials for early literacy should focus specifically on building students’
foundational skills. Bilingual program students’ language of instruction should align with the language
allocation plan of the LEA’s bilingual program model.
¡ ELAR/SLAR: Once students can decode, tutoring in ELAR/SLAR should be focused on developing back-
ground knowledge and vocabulary to support the texts being read in their core content classroom.
¡ Math: In math, materials should be focused on supporting students’ ability to deepen their concep-
tual understanding and then use of strategies in their classroom instruction. For example, as seventh
grade math instruction approaches solving problems using ratios, the tutoring learning goal may focus
on ratio strategies such as models to represent ratios and forming equivalent ratios. Bilingual program
students’ language of instruction should align with the language allocation plan of the LEA’s bilingual
program model.
¡ Science: Similar to ELAR/SLAR, science materials should be focused on building student background
knowledge to support their access to phenomena being investigated in core classrooms. Tutoring can
also be used to build student understanding and efficacy with science and engineering practices. Bi-
lingual program students’ language of instruction should align with the language allocation plan of the
LEA’s bilingual program mode.
• Tutor facing lesson plans and guidance: HQIM should include robust materials to support tutors
in preparing and executing daily lessons in the appropriate language of instruction. These supports
should include daily activities, daily objectives, suggested strategies for lesson execution, and iden-
tified potential student misconceptions. Additionally, HQIM supports should include differentiation
and Universal Design of Learning in lesson planning with consideration to the students’ identified
interventions, strategies, and strengths per IEP.
• Presence of formative assessment tools and progress monitoring: Monitoring student progress
across tutoring lessons is essential to both communication with the core classroom teacher and
the success of a tutoring program. HQIM should include formative assessments (such as exit tickets
or writing tasks) that match the language of instruction. School systems should have appropriate
systems in place to track student progress and leverage this data to support tutor development.
Additionally, beyond the quantitative score, progress monitoring in tutoring should understand how
students are approaching their work and their thinking. This type of specific insight on student suc-
cess and gaps is a powerful tool and should direct future tutoring sessions.
To determine whether tutoring instructional materials are high quality, LEAs should consult Texas Resource
Review. If materials have not yet been rated by TRR, LEA’s may consult edReports. (Note: edReports does not
evaluate materials for TEKS alignment, so a separate check for TEKS alignment must be conducted.
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Texas Home Learning
Texas Home Learning (THL) includes access to high-quality, TEKS-aligned instructional materials for prekin-
dergarten through grade 12, technology, and professional learning opportunities to support implementation
in-person and remote settings. THL includes both core instructional materials and supplemental instructional
materials. Products include Eureka Math, ST Math, Carnegie Learning Texas Math Solution (Middle School and
High School products available), Amplify Texas Elementary Literacy Program (available in English and Spanish),
Amplify Reading (available for K-2 and 6-8), and more. Consult the THL product fact sheet for more detailed
information on the available materials.
Program Implementation
Training Tutors and Providing Ongoing Support
Tutor training is the most effective way to ensure tutors are building and maintaining the skills and mindsets
required to successfully tutor. There are two main methods of training: Pre-Service Training, which takes
place before tutoring sessions begin, and In-Service Training, which is an integral part of a tutor’s ongoing
support. Whether LEAs are recruiting their own tutors or working with a tutoring organization, they should
ensure that tutors are receiving both types of training. The National Student Support Accelerator provides in-
depth guidance for both pre-service and in-service training:
• Pre-Service Training Guidance
• In-Service Training Guidance
Key Considerations:
• All tutors, regardless of their experience and background, benefit from continued training. However,
the frequency of training depends on the tutor type and complexity of the program model.
• The design of the tutoring program will influence training content. Programs with online delivery mod-
els will need to train tutors to use the platform, programs with multiple students per tutor will need to
train tutors to manage student behavior, etc.
• Student data should also inform training content. If students are struggling with specific skills, tutors
should be trained on specific intervention practices related to that skill.
• Tutors should be trained on appropriate instructional methods for students with IEPs, 504 plans, and
linguistic accommodations/goals for English learners.
• Pre-service training should focus on building knowledge, while in service training should hone skills.
• All tutors need support, although the ways to provide support may vary. Some methods of support
include a formal manager or site director, a tutor coach or mentor, a lead tutor or teachers, etc.
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• Student IEP special factors need to be identified. Behavior Intervention Planning and Procedures
should be developed prior to the beginning of tutoring. Special Education staff should be a part of this
planning and be on site for assistance with implementation and training for general education staff
and tutors.
Additional Resources:
• Saga Tutor Training Topics
• Saga Coach: Tutor Training Portal
• Example Fidelity Checklist
• Example Tutoring Session Structure
Curriculum and Instructional Strategy
Tutoring Session Structure: Below is an example of a structured session plan from the National Student Sup-
port Accelerator. Programs can adapt it as needed to suit their needs.
1. Session Opening: Relationship-Building
• Invest significant time at the outset building a strong tutor-student relationship. Students are more
engaged in the work and tutors can spend less time addressing behavior issues during sessions when
the tutor-student relationship is strong.
• Examples: Check-in about the student’s day or week; have a conversation about hobbies or interests;
start with an icebreaker or age-appropriate game
2. Data Touchpoint
• Shift the conversation smoothly to a follow-up from the previous session, culminating in an “entrance
ticket” that assesses the student’s current mastery of a relevant skill they learned previously or a new
skill they will use today.
• If necessary, use this time to remediate any unfinished learning that students will need today.
3. Framing and Objective
• Introduce the session’s topic or focus.
• Activate relevant prior knowledge with leading questions that guide students to make connections to
today’s topic.
• Clearly state today’s learning objective aloud and keep a written version on display in an accessible
location throughout the session.
4. Mini Lesson & Explicit Model
• Explicitly model the step-by-step process that students will use to reach the session’s learning goal:
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• Model examples: List out steps in applying a formula or use a written exemplar to demonstrate how
to write or analyze a particular type of text
• If Student-Tutor Ratio is Small Groups, let students work collaboratively on a second model (guided
• Students should participate in naming steps of the process and have ample opportunities to ask
5. Purposeful Independent Practice
• Provide plenty of time for multiple “at-bats” — opportunities for students to practice the skill or
• Practice should be as independent as possible. If students get stuck, ask guiding questions; don’t
provide answers.
6. Formative Assessment
• Let students demonstrate their progress towards mastery of the skill or content. Did they reach the
learning goal?
• Formative Assessments should be short, and should ask students to do only what was modeled and
practiced (e.g. an exit ticket)
Additional resources:
• Saga Sample Lesson & Activity
• Facilitation Moves Checklist: One-on-One Tutoring
• Effective Facilitation Guidelines: Small Group Tutoring
• Choosing and Using Blended Learning Software
Aligning Curriculum to Classroom Instruction
Tutoring directly aligned to classroom instruction is a key component in successful programs. While the for-
mat may look different, the materials and the strategies employed should mirror what is occurring in Tier I in-
struction including linguistic accommodations, specially designed instruction from IEPS, and accommodations
from 504 plans. A study conducted by The University of Chicago Education Lab demonstrates tutoring that
compliments in-class learning can lead to impressive academic gains.
Key considerations for tutoring that complements core classroom instruction:
• Engage teachers in the tutoring process: Tutors do not need to be classroom teachers, but teachers
should communicate learning needs for each student. Teachers have the ability to name the knowledge
and specific skills students need to access grade level material. Teachers can also provide insight on the
strategies employed within classroom instruction. This is especially true for serving students with disabil-
ities; General Education teacher and Special Education teacher collaboration is essential to the success
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of students receiving special education services.
• Connect student tutoring learning goals to the classroom: Students may lack foundational skills
outside of current grade level, but the learning targets should align with what is currently being taught.
For example, as seventh grade math instruction approaches dividing negative fractions, the tutoring
learning goal may focus on dividing whole numbers.
• Incorporate Differentiated Instruction (DI): Differentiated Instruction improves learning outcomes
for all students and consistently yields positive results across a broad range of targeted groups. Com-
pared with the general student population, students with mild or severe learning disabilities received
more benefits from differentiated and intensive support, especially when the differentiation was deliv-
ered in small groups or with targeted instruction.
• Preview grade-level concepts within tutoring: Tutors can leverage the small group size to indi-
vidualize instruction to specific needs. For example, a tutor working with a small group of fourth grade
students can introduce some difficult vocabulary words from an upcoming text to build the students
background knowledge and their confidence before engaging with the text in the classroom.
• Group students intentionally: Students should be paired with others in the same grade with similar
skill sets. This allows tutors to directly align supports to classroom instruction. Groups should be adjust-
ed as needed throughout the year based on continuous progress monitoring.
Key differences between classroom instruction and tutoring:
• Provides small group instruction: Successful tutoring sessions consist of no more than 4 students
per tutor. This allows tutors to truly individualize instruction to meet each student’s needs.
• Alternate prerequisite content coverage and acceleration opportunities: Tutors should balance
both prerequisite content coverage to cover skills necessary to access grade level content while also
providing opportunities for students to apply those skills within the context of their grade level work to
accelerate their learning.
Key consideration when adjusting curriculum for tutoring programs:
• Situations requiring alternative materials: As mentioned above, tutoring aligned to classroom
instruction is important. However, there are situations where schools may need to rely on alternative
materials. Standard tutoring curriculum may be required given the use of widely varying teacher-de-
veloped curriculum in Tier One instruction or in blended learning settings. For example, schools using
Eureka Math TEKS Edition could have students independently practice using Zearn because they are
directly aligned. The tutor would still leverage Eureka materials and models during live sessions, but the
asynchronous time practicing independently would still be aligned using Zearn.
Additional resources:
• Accelerating Student Learning with High-Dosage Tutoring
• Not Too Late: Improving Academic Outcomes Among Adolescents
18. High Impact Tutoring Toolkit
Engaging Stakeholders
The understanding and support of stakeholders is essential for any program or initiative to succeed. Prior to
the implementation of your tutoring program, it is necessary to identify and engage your stakeholders – dis-
trict and campus administrators, teachers, tutors, campus staff, students and their families, as well as any ad-
ditional internal or external partners (as determined by your tutoring program structure) so that a clear and
comprehensive understanding is achieved to identify the purpose, scope, and goals of the program. Ensuring
that communications and engagement are culturally-responsive, reduce stigma, and focus on stakeholder
support are guiding principles when targeting stakeholders.
Internal Communication Considerations: When engaging with your internal stakeholders (district and
campus level), consideration of both written and in-person introductions of the high-impact tutoring program
provide a unique opportunity to communicate the tutoring purpose, mission, logistics, schedule, participation
of various student populations, establish continued communication and collaboration channels, and solicit
additional input from your internal stakeholders. This also serves as an opportunity for the internal team to
ensure the necessary curricular pieces and student data pieces, quantitative and qualitative, are in order.
External Communication Considerations: When engaging with your external stakeholders (parents and
families, specifically), building trust, making a good first impression, and detailing what to expect will make
them more likely to trust and support it. Communicating expectations such as the purpose, design, and logis-
tics in writing and through a variety of mediums allows for referencing back to during the duration of the pro-
gram and year and allows for increasing the overall audience base in the school community. Providing spe-
cifics related to the purpose, participation options, setting, subject area(s), tutor background, delivery mode,
dosage, and safety measures are pieces of information conducive to transparency and program overview.
Example Resources
• Tutor-Family Communication
• Example parent survey
• Example teacher survey
Evaluating the Program
Tutoring programs that effectively use data are more likely to be successful. Frequent assessments of learn-
ing allow tutors to personalize instruction based on individual students’ needs, and ensures that LEAs can
make needed adjustments to maintain a high quality program.
LEAs seeking to effectively use data in their tutoring program should develop: (1) a performance measure-
ment plan and (2) regular routines for data review.
19. High Impact Tutoring Toolkit
Develop a Performance Measurement Plan: A Performance Measurement Plan outlines how to assess
a program’s progress and assess whether the program is on track. The plan should begin with your program
goals and identify specific metrics, tools, and expectations for each of the goals. The plan should specifically
address goals for students in special populations. These goals may be alternative (achievement of IEP goals)
or additional (growth in language fluency). See below example from the National Student Support Accelerator:
Students have increases Growth in baseline End-of-Year Assessment 90% of students meet
in test scores, GPA, assessment expected growth
and other academic
achievements this year Improvement in GPA
Students report positive Students enjoyed End-of-Year Survey Responses average 4.0
experiences throughout attending tutoring or higher on a 5-point
the program scale
Students feel they have
done better in school
because of the tutoring
Students report
that tutoring was a
welcoming space
Students gain a sense of Students feel confident End-of-Year Survey Responses average 4.0
self-efficacy in their ability to learn or higher on a 5-point
difficult content scale
Students feel the
tutoring program has
equipped them with the
skills necessary to be
successful in any class
Students, families, Student, Parent, End-of-Year Survey Net Promoter Score +40
teachers, and schools Teacher, and
are satisfied with the Administrator Net
tutoring program
Promoter Scores 1
Tutors are satisfied with Tutor Net Promoter End-of-Year Survey Net Promoter
their experience and Scores
become Net Promoters
Developing Routines for Regular Data Review: Data Review is the process of collecting data, reflecting on
it, and distilling it into actionable insights. Creating a regular routine for Data Review helps to institutionalize
20. High Impact Tutoring Toolkit
a focus on learning and improvement. Regular cycles of Data Review will ensure that the tutoring program
maintains consistent progress toward its goals and holds itself accountable for making a positive impact.
The National Student Support Accelerator recommends that for each dataset collected for the Performance
Measurement Plan, outline the following:
• Who is responsible for collecting this data? When and how will they collect it?
• Who is responsible for reviewing this data? When and how will they review it and distill actionable in-
• Who is responsible for acting on the insights distilled from the Data Review?
• Who is responsible for supporting those who are acting on the data, and what form will this support
• Who needs to be informed about the data, insights, and actions? Who will do the informing, and by
Additional Resources:
• Examples of Data Collection Tools
• Performance Management Plan Template
Ensuring Equity
Many school systems are prioritizing efforts to address inequities in their communities and school systems
with a focus on ensuring access and support for those that are most affected. High-impact tutoring programs
that provide opportunities to close learning gaps for students, thus improving and enhancing long-term out-
comes, can be leveraged as a part of the broader equity plans and structures that districts have in place or
are working to implement. High-impact tutoring programs will only improve and enhance long-term outcomes
for these identified student groups if their particular needs are addressed throughout the planning process.
Accessibility Data
Tutors should be trained in appropriate instructional strategies to ensure that students with a variety of
needs have access to equitable Tier I instruction. Achieving accessibility requires tutors to thoughtfully con-
sider each student’s individual needs. To do so, tutors must have a thorough and accurate picture of what
those needs are. By collecting data on how students best access information, programs can help guide tutors’
efforts to tailor instruction and make sessions more accessible to all students. For students who need spe-
cial education services, it is important to provide historical data on learning styles to support accessible and
effective instruction.
21. High Impact Tutoring Toolkit
Additional Resources:
• Accessibility Checklist
• Relationship-Building Activities
• Strong, Academically Focused, Tutor-Student Relationships
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t witter.com/ f acebook.com/
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