Tutor.com Announces Partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools to Provide Unlimited Tutoring for K–12 Students

NEW YORK —  Tutor.com, one of the world’s largest and most innovative online tutoring organizations, announced that it has been selected by Pittsburgh Public School District, the largest of 43 districts in Allegheny County and the second-largest district in Pennsylvania, to provide 24/7 online tutoring for all students in grades K–12.

Through the partnership, which launches today, nearly 19,000 students across 54 Pittsburgh public schools can access one-to-one expert tutoring, test prep, concept review, and homework help across 218 subject areas, including IB™ and AP® subjects as well as many topics in Spanish. Providing this service advances the District’s mission “to prepare all children to achieve academic excellence and strength of character so that they have the opportunity to succeed in all aspects of life.”

“We believe that all children can learn at high levels,” said Dr. Wayne N. Walters, Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools. “By making individualized academic support available on an unlimited basis for every district student, we aim to meet learners’ needs and support their achievement. By partnering with Tutor.com, we are ensuring that every student can get help—whenever they need it, as frequently as they need it, in whatever they’re studying.”…Read More

One8 Foundation Announces $5.7m In Statewide Grants For Districts To Implement Ignite! Reading’s Virtual, One-On-One Literacy Tutoring Program

BOSTON – The One8 Foundation today announced it is providing over $5.7 million in grants to 13 Massachusetts school districts to implement Ignite! Reading’s one-on-one, virtual-powered literacy tutoring for 3,000 first grade students this fall.

The One8 Foundation is expanding schools’ ability to access programs like Ignite! Reading by providing grants to schools that offset the costs of adopting new programs. The 13 districts were selected after fulfilling several criteria, including the use of high-quality literacy materials, alignment to Science of Reading principles, and strong practices related to progress monitoring of students.

Ignite! Reading provides school districts with one-to-one virtual tutoring that teaches every student the foundational skills they need to become confident, independent readers. Ignite! Reading pairs developing readers with expert tutors who deliver daily, 15-minute, Science of Reading-based instruction to target specific decoding gaps. During the last school year, students in the Ignite! Reading program recorded an average of 2.4 weeks of reading progress for every week in the program with no achievement gap for students of color, students with IEPs, multilingual learners or students receiving free or reduced-price lunches.

“We strongly believe in the Science of Reading’s power to unlock learning opportunities and that first grade is the critical point for students to garner the necessary phonics skills they need to unlock independent reading to succeed in school and beyond. That’s why we’re excited to connect school districts serving thousands of students with Ignite! Reading, an innovative and effective model that is transforming literacy outcomes in Massachusetts and across the country. This work has the power to transform the academic trajectory of students who participate, rapidly accelerating their progress to becoming independent readers,” said Joanna Jacobson, a trustee and President of the One8 Foundation.

“We are grateful to the One8 Foundation for investing in evidence-based literacy programs that will supercharge learning outcomes for thousands of students throughout Massachusetts. And we’re thrilled to partner with school districts across the Commonwealth that are eager to deliver results,” said Jessica Reid Sliwerski, Co-Founder & CEO of Ignite! Reading. “With students learning to read at twice the rate that would be expected in a traditional classroom, our one-on-one, high-dosage tutoring model is not just transforming how kids are taught to read, but also how literacy instruction is being operationalized in schools. One8’s support will help accelerate this progress and ensure the students who need this intervention are reading by the end of first grade.”

Ignite! Reading first started working in Massachusetts early in 2022 through a pilot program with Worcester Public Schools. Since that time, Worcester Public Schools has expanded its work with Ignite to reach over 350 students during the 2022-23 school year. Students in Worcester receiving Ignite! tutoring have, on average, progressed at over twice the typical rate of progress for students not receiving tutoring. “This type of highly differentiated support has been totally game-changing for our students who struggle most with reading, allowing them to build their skills and confidence,” said Sam FanFan, Principal at Burncoat Prep Elementary School, one of the Worcester schools that is participating in the program this year.

The following districts were awarded grants:

  • Boston Renaissance Charter Public School
  • Chelsea Public Schools
  • Clinton Public Schools
  • Fall River Public Schools
  • Hoosac Valley Regional School District
  • Leicester Public Schools
  • Milford Public Schools
  • Pittsfield Public Schools
  • Quaboag Regional School District
  • Randolph Public Schools
  • Revere Public Schools
  • Waltham Public Schools
  • Westfield Public Schools

In addition to Massachusetts, Ignite! Reading is currently partnering with schools and districts in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, and Oregon, with further plans to expand nationwide.

About One8 Foundation
The One8 education team identifies, supports, and scales high-impact applied learning programs that engage students actively in their learning and prepare them for success in a rapidly changing, data-rich world. One8 is committed to building a future where high-quality applied learning opportunities, oriented around STEM and 21st century skills, that make learning relevant, stimulating, and rewarding, are a regular part of the student experience, driving impact for all students. Learn more at: www.one8.org

About Ignite! Reading
Ignite! Reading’s mission is to ensure that every student is an independent reader by the end of first grade. The organization was co-founded by CEO Jessica Reid Sliwerski and Evan Marwell, Executive Chairman of Ignite! Reading and CEO of EducationSuperHighway. Ignite! Reading pairs schools with a dedicated literacy specialist and a team of virtual reading tutors, all highly trained in the Science of Reading, who deliver 1:1 daily instruction to students focused on their specific decoding gaps. Ignite! Reading’s data-driven approach, provided by caring and skilled tutors, gives kids the know-how and confidence they need to thrive as fluent readers. The Ignite! Reading program, delivered 15 minutes per day during the school day, takes the burden of differentiated instruction off of teachers and has an impact immediately. For more information about Ignite! Reading, visit: www.ignite-reading.com…Read More

5 ways to make your IT department more efficient

Sometimes it feels like a school district IT department doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Yes, technology is more a part of today’s education than ever before, but when tech is running smoothly, it is easy to forget IT departments and the staff that keep the infrastructure running exist. 

In my six years as the director of technology for the Pittsburg Independent School District, a town about 120 miles east of Dallas, we’ve gone through many changes, not to mention what the pandemic put us through. But when COVID-19 forced us all to remote learning nearly overnight, my six-person team was able to move 2,500 students to a one-to-one program rapidly and quite successfully.

As I look back, I realize there were numerous factors contributing to the team’s stellar work. What follows are a few points that might help other IT departments better handle future challenges while generally improving operations for the long term.…Read More

6 things you can do now to make smarter tech purchases later

The sudden switch to remote learning during the Covid-19 pandemic caught plenty of school districts off guard, and they scrambled to find devices that were up to the task.

Now two years later, it’s time to begin planning to do it all over again.

Forward-thinking education leaders know that tech costs are an ongoing line item, not a one-time expense. Those one-to-one devices that were purchased with special funds during the pandemic will most certainly become obsolete and lose function – probably within five years.…Read More

Keeping COVID innovations even after the pandemic passes

Hoover City Schools in suburban Birmingham, AL, was already one-to-one when the pandemic struck in March. And while its transition to remote learning in the spring was relatively painless, teachers and students continue to adjust to the new realities of hybrid school days.

In this conversation with eSchool News, Bryan Phillips, CTO of Hoover City Schools, describes some of the positives he notices with this forced migration and divines which practices should probably remain once we get back to whatever normal is.

Related content: How automation keeps bullying in check–even remotely…Read More

Time to get real with equity

For Todd Dugan, superintendent of Bunker Hill CUSD #8, a small, remote district in southern Illinois, issues surrounding back-to-school COVID-19 style are not abstract but all too real.

Some of the district’s biggest priorities include:

  • Rural struggles–and successes–as COVID hit
  • Address learning loss that comes with inequity
  • As school resumes, freedom of choice

In this conversation with eSchool News, Todd tries to keep the glass half full as he looks to take advantage of these incredible disruptions to education.…Read More

Monitor student devices and active applications in real-time

ScreenBeam Inc. announced today that its popular Classroom Commander orchestration platform is now available for both Chromebook and Windows 1:1 classroom environments.

The ScreenBeam Classroom Commander is designed for today’s modern one-to-one or one-to-many modern classrooms by combining wireless display with student device orchestration to improve lesson flow and collaboration. Supporting up to 50 student Windows or Chromebook devices and a teacher Windows, macOS, iOS or Chromebook device, the platform untethers teachers from the classroom display. Educators can create an agile learning environment by moving freely and interacting with students without interrupting instruction.

Teachers can monitor student devices and active applications in real-time to keep the classroom focused and identify disengaged students quickly. During guided lessons, teachers can message a student or group, blank and lock the keyboard/mouse on a single student screen, multiple student screens or the entire class to command attention. With teacher permission, students can display their work right from their desks for the entire classroom to view. Thanks to the platform’s wireless inking and touch display support, teachers using Windows 10 devices can also annotate directly onto a student screen from the classroom display, even when student devices are not touch-enabled.…Read More

Free One-to-one Coaching for Kids Struggling to Learn

With schools around the country closed due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, teachers are scrambling to teach online classes, students are muddling through a new way to learn, and parents are worried their children will fall behind. For students who struggle in school during the best of times, one can only imagine the frustration they’re facing as they quickly try to familiarize themselves with new connectivity technologies and a novel way of learning from home.

Edge Foundation today is announcing free or reduced-price sliding scale fees for individual coaching aimed at students who are at home.

“This is a time of stress for many of us – students and adults alike,” said Edge Foundation Founder Neil Peterson. “Having an Edge coach can only help. Our coaches are not coaching English or math. Instead, they work on whatever issues a student or parent is concerned about. Edge coaches are specially trained to provide for youth what adults would receive from life or executive coaches.”…Read More

Tips to help IT teams manage digital transformation

From educators, IT teams, and school administrators to parents and students, nearly everyone with a stake in the education industry is aware of the promise new digital technologies hold to improve learning outcomes, increase student engagement, and add variety and depth to instruction and assessment.

Whether they’re talking about one-to-one computing initiatives, digital textbooks, using “smart” interactive whiteboards and 3D printers in classrooms, or moving to full-scale “flipped” instructional models, educators are excited about technology’s potential.

Related content: 5 key network steps to support edtech…Read More

5 secrets for rolling out a successful 1:1 initiative

Classrooms have become increasingly tech-focused, though technology alone isn’t enough to change a classroom. Instead, it’s a mix of the right training, tools, and support. Powerful digital resources become transformative only when the teachers and students using them are engaged and understand how to use tech to its fullest potential.

Chula Vista School District is the largest elementary school district in California. Of our 30,000 students, 34 percent are English learners (EL), and 52 percent are students living in poverty. We’re located approximately five miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, making EL instruction a top priority in our schools.

Five years ago, we began the journey to implement a 1:1 initiative across our 41 schools, for third through sixth grade. During this experience, we’ve learned a lot. These are our five key pieces of advice for rolling out a one-to-one initiative in an elementary district.…Read More