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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Estrada

Playing Catch Up: One-on-One Tutoring helps students two years behind reach their grade level

Students in Santa Ana Unified School District have finished their second week of school, and they, along with their teachers are getting into the routine of the new school year. Amidst settling into new grades, re-acquainting themselves with friends, and exploring new academic endeavors, students once again find themselves settling into homework and classwork.

For some, the homework is just part of the routine. But for many who lost academic skills due to the pandemic, finishing homework seems a nearly impossible task. According to a recent story by the Minnesota Post, Tens of millions of students may now be months or, in some cases, even a full year behind because they couldn’t attend school in person during the pandemic. Students took longer to understand concepts while they learned virtually, so key concepts that should have been covered were omitted. One example comes from a school in Maryland, which omitted fourth grade standards such as identifying symmetry and geometric patterns and work with coordinate planes in the fifth grade. It's no surprise that 20 percent of the elementary school teachers, when polled, felt their students did not have a good understanding of a core math topic — such as fractions for third graders or division for fifth graders — and would need considerable reteaching as the concepts came up next year.

Students who are living in poverty, who didn’t have a computer, a reliable internet connection or a workspace to learn at home, were the ones most impacted, and teachers are scrambling to catch these students up to their peers.

While there is no magic strategy to catch up all students, a recent Hechinger Report found that intensive daily tutoring as one of the most effective ways to help academically struggling children catch up.

According to the article, "A seminal 2016 study sorted through almost 200 well-designed experiments on improving education, from expanding preschool to reducing class size, and found that frequent one-to-one tutoring was especially effective in increasing learning rates for low-performing students."

La Semilla is Doing its Part

This year, part of La Semilla's goal is to provide basic math and English skills practice for all students. We have also included a few of our previously graduated students -- 5th and 6th graders -- who can benefit from this additional time with tutors.

We believe that by spending this time with tutors, we are helping our students master those skills that were lost during the pandemic.

Currently, we are also in the process of reviewing curriculum as a supplement to homework, which would allow us to give students more practice with those key skills needed. Fractions, decimals, division, multiplication, writing, reading comprehension and study skills are elements we will focus on this year.

Be a part of the solution

We would love to have your support as either a tutor or through your financial contribution. You could help a child reach grade level academics, and beyond that, can help them be ready for the future.

Give today or email us to join our tutoring team.

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