The Virginia Department of Education through “Onward and Upward VA” is inviting schools around the state to apply for over $100 million in student-focused grants to support programs to help students catch up and achieve their academic goals. District leaders have a unique chance to create radical transformational change and flip the dynamics in equity in education while also combating unfinished learning, promoting the socio-emotional well-being of all students, and addressing staffing shortages.
Schools must apply by November 23rd in order to capitalize on this rare opportunity to provide students with high-dosage, data-driven academic support. Assessing and addressing their mental health needs by redesigning your educational model is the only way to utilize these federal pandemic-relief funds. Without this vital access for schools to implement prescriptive and personalized instruction and support, disenfranchised students will remain disenfranchised.
Research shows that high-dosage tutoring is the most effective form of academic support, particularly when it is incorporated into the school day, and aligned to curriculum and state standards. Keeping group sizes small, and grouping students based on skills and need, rather than grade level, enables educators to provide the time and attention necessary to understand each student’s unique needs. Understanding these individual needs is essential to “meeting students where they are” and providing the exact support they need, thus creating equitable and individualized instruction.
The desire to provide individualized instruction is not new in the educational world, but the opportunity to implement this educational model is. The past two years forced all educators to reexamine and reimagine what learning in K-12 schools looks like, whether that was a virtual model or a hybrid model. These novel approaches to K-12 education, combined with increased local and federal funding, open the door for true systematic change.
More students have access to personal computing technology than ever before, and there are more educational programs and services available for use by school districts. Selecting the right partners as schools attempt to recover from the pandemic is essential for districts. These decisions will have a massive impact on the efficacy of recovery programs. The solutions that districts choose to implement must be data-driven, research-backed, and flexible to ensure efficacy now, and in the future as needs and resources change.
Littera Education’s academic support platform enables school districts to design, deliver and monitor high-impact, evidence-based tutoring programs to address the needs of their students. We enable districts to use their own curriculum, scheduling specifications, and intervention methods to provide students with tutoring that is aligned to their in-school instruction, creating an equitable model for all.