SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — We all know the coronavirus put a strain on education from students to teachers. But the Scottsdale Unified School District found a way to make sure their students stayed on track.
“Our teachers were so busy meeting all the student's needs, and there's also some staffing shortages,” said Dr. Kimberly Guerin, assistant superintendent of the Scottsdale Unified School District.
So they used federal relief money to team up with Varsity Tutors, an online learning platform that connects students and experts for personalized instruction. Scottsdale students can now get six hours of free tutoring
“Tutoring is a way to make sure that they get targeted supplemental help to make sure that doesn't snowball into a bigger problem," explained Brian Galvin, Chief Academic Officer at Varsity Tutors. "Now, with Varsity tutors, for schools, one of the things we love is that we can facilitate online tutoring, which means that it can happen at any day, time, any subject, any type of tutor a student needs. It can be really customized.”
He said tutoring can take place whenever it’s convenient for the student, whether it’s after or before school, or even on weekends.
“Families can schedule tutoring. And it's virtual, and they record it," said Dr. Guerin. "So if it's a math lesson, and you want to go back and re-watch it, to see how to work that algebra problem, you can do that as well. And you also get the virtual notes,”
But it’s not just core subjects like math, science or a foreign language, there are also summer programs available.
“All throughout the summer, they're enriching summer camp opportunities and learning about space, dinosaurs, coding, art and creativity," Galvin added. "We have a whole series of what we call virtual field trips with museums like the Smithsonian. We've worked with Phoenix Zoo, and celebrities like astronauts and Discovery Channel hosts.”
Roughly 400 families in the Scottsdale Unified School District have signed up for the Varsity Tutors program.
“I've loved to see the student's response to it, gaining confidence, and getting that support that they need, and not falling behind in school. So it's all about what the students need. And that if we can find creative ways to meet that need, then we're doing our job,” said Dr. Guerin.
If you're interested in the program, you can sign up here.
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