Students, educators, and families have returned to schools across the United States and are grappling with the academic, social, and emotional effects of the past two school years. Educators are working diligently to gather essential data about where their students are in lieu of traditional local formative data collections and state summative accountability exams.
One of the clearest problems facing our schools is the unprecedented scope and scale of unfinished learning. Appropriately matched student support services and interventions must reflect this reality. There are countless tools, such as Star and MAP Testing, to attempt to assess and identify areas of strength and growth for students.
Quantifying unfinished or interrupted learning is an essential first step in supporting students, leveraging that data and creating a meaningful intervention plan is the next one. There are many ways to support students, but there is no one way to support all students. Districts, schools, and classrooms are composed of a wide variety of learners, with a diverse set of circumstances and support.
High-dosage, small-group or one-to-one academic tutoring enables districts and schools to take a personalized and equitable approach to completing unfinished learning. A student who struggles with phonological awareness requires a different intervention than a student who struggles with visual discrimination. Traditional classroom instruction may not allow for these individual needs to be addressed each day, in each lesson, particularly in districts and schools with large class sizes. High-dosage, small-group tutoring aligned with curriculum and standards to support first instruction in the classroom provides a personalized solution.
Providing this level of individualized support, tracking the efficacy of that support at scale, and monitoring student performance outcomes will lead to improved outcomes for students. Across the nation, we are seeing unprecedented levels of incomplete learning, and while the problem is not new, its current scope requires novel solutions. ESSER funding has provided schools and school districts with a unique opportunity to build back stronger. Combined with state-of-the-art technology, this increase in funding has created a chance to support all students in a way that schools simply could not in the past.
The desire to support each student’s individual needs is not new in the world of education. Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) have been an essential part of ensuring exceptional learners receive the support and services they deserve for over four decades, but as educators, we know there are many more students that require support but do not qualify for or receive it. The number of students who require support but do not currently qualify has only increased in the past few years highlighting the need for a more individualized approach to learning and support services for all students.
Littera Education is primed to enable districts across the country to deliver high-dosage, small group or one-to-one tutoring at scale by removing the operational load traditionally associated with such programs. The flexibility of the platform enables districts to not only expand upon their existing successful student support models but to try novel approaches, as well. This creates a truly equitable support system, as it allows for a variety of learning styles and approaches to be accommodated in a way that a single prescriptive support model does not.
The past two years provided new challenges and exacerbated old ones, and with that, the potential for transformative solutions. Perhaps for the first time, districts have the resources they need to create an equitable educational model that incorporates individualized support and learning for all students.