Plum to weigh options for types of tutoring programs
Plum School Board member Sal Colella said he is pleased with students' academic strides.
Colella, though, wants to give students opportunities for increased performance and sees a tutoring program as one of the strategies.
“We could start with the elementary (students),” Colella said during last week's education-committee meeting.
Colella's comments came after Assistant Superintendent Guy Rossi's presentation on options for a tutoring program.
Rossi said the district could look at tutoring in two ways — giving students assistance with homework or providing remediation.
Rossi said providing remediation, which would be a more intense form of help, would be more challenging to implement.
Rossi said some other challenges of a tutoring program in general would be things the district couldn't control: student and tutor participation, recruitment and retention of tutors, training of tutors and the wide range of grade spans for which tutors would be needed.
The assistant superintendent also told education-committee members that district officials would need to take several factors into consideration if the board decided to go forward with a tutoring program.
Some of the factors would be: clearly defining the criteria and process, surveying teachers to find out their ideas and potential interest in being a part of the program, not replicating the school day, providing at least 90 minutes of tutoring a week, having a low student-to-tutor ratio and figuring out transportation options for students who would stay after school for tutoring.
Rossi said district officials also would need to monitor the progress of a tutoring program and have measures in place to supervise tutors.
Board President Andrew Drake suggested district officials consider community members as volunteer tutors.
Rossi said if community members were considered, district officials would need to determine the amount of time volunteers could devote. Also volunteers would need to obtain background checks.
The assistant superintendent estimates that if 100 students were in a tutoring program that focuses on remediation that 33 tutors would be needed with three students to one tutor. He estimates the cost at $58,806.
With 150 students in an assignment-assistance tutoring program, Rossi estimates 20 tutors would be needed at a cost of $35,640.
Colella said students who would benefit from tutoring could be identified through analysis of their performance on state tests.
Colella suggests district officials next speak with teachers in the elementary buildings to determine if the teachers are interested in serving as tutors.
Colella further said teachers can help put together a list of potential students who would benefit from tutoring.
“They can identify students,” Colella said.
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.