5 Areas to Address with High-Impact Tutoring and MTSS

Successfully Integrating High-Impact Tutoring Into an MTSS Framework edLeader Panel recording screenshot

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High-impact tutoring and Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) share a common goal: tailoring the academic experience for each and every student, no matter where they are in their journey. In order to make sure that your tutoring is effective long term for your students, district- and state-level experts in the edLeader Panel “Successfully Integrating High-Impact Tutoring Into an MTSS Framework” offered five key areas to address as you develop your program.

1. Understand what high-impact tutoring actually involves.

High-impact tutoring isn’t about putting small groups of students in a room from time to time. It’s creating a comprehensive program that’s integrated into the school day where every student, no matter their ability, can get individualized instruction.

The program should engage students and empower them to steer their own academic course. Often, this will mean hiring additional staff who work in concert with the teachers as well as purchasing enrichment materials that also fit the goals and standards of your school.

2. Create a plan for choosing the students.

While it would be ideal to offer tutoring to all students, it might not be feasible from a resource standpoint. Typical selection criteria include attendance, academic needs, motivation levels, and social and emotional situation. In addition, your funding source for the tutoring may dictate who participates.

The panelists cautioned, however, at creating immutable rules. For instance, since high-impact tutoring works best with regular participation, students who don’t attend school often won’t see the same benefits. However, those same students might be more inclined to attend school if they are part of an engaging program. Similarly, students with social-emotional issues benefit from the extra love and attention from the tutoring sessions.

3. Integrate tutoring into the master schedule.

Many students aren’t able to make the before- and after-school sessions, and these extra sessions are easy to skip. Also, pulling students out of specials like art and music makes tutoring seem like a punishment. Instead, the panelists said that before the school year begins, administrators should identify where and when tutoring will happen during the school day.

For schools utilizing MTSS, the tutoring can be set during periods marked for prevention. Similarly, staff should identify the students who will initially take part in the program so that it’s on their schedule when they start the year.

4. Develop collaboration and communication between teachers and tutors.

Teachers and tutors need to be on the same page with the goals for each student, but as students move throughout the year, those goals could need adjusting. Set aside time for them to discuss student progress and any needed changes.

Besides formal conversations, some schools have systems where tutors can leave teachers notes in classroom folders or who have staff act as a go-between. Just make sure that whatever system you put in place is easy for both parties to follow. In addition, any materials should be aligned with the educational standards and practices of the school.

5. Watch the data and be proactive about your funding sources.

With ESSER ending, many schools are looking at what programs to keep and cut. Keep track of outcomes so that you can show your board the value of your tutoring programs. Some federal funds can be used for tutoring, but the students who receive the tutoring must fit their parameters. The panelists said they often look for grants to fund tutoring that has a broader reach. Finally, universities with education programs are often looking for partnerships with schools to give their candidates experience.

High-impact tutoring, noted the panelists, can play a key role in MTSS. However, they did advise that Tier 3 students can be the most difficult to help because, by the time a student gets to Tier 3, the school has established that there are some things going on where tutoring may not help address what’s happening. Students in Tier 3 need specialized support and a tutor who understands their needs and how to work with them.

Learn more about this edWeb broadcast, Successfully Integrating High-Impact Tutoring Into an MTSS Framework, sponsored by Cignition, Inc.

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CignitionAs a leader in K-12 virtual tutoring for math and ELA, Cignition stands out for its innovative approach to education. They blend experienced teaching with research-based methodologies to deliver impactful learning experiences. Their focus on data-driven instruction and collaborative learning enhances student engagement and conceptual understanding. Cignition’s expert tutors, boasting significant classroom experience, tailor their approach to each student’s needs, ensuring personalized and effective learning journeys.

Setting a new standard for high-impact tutoring.


Article by Stacey Pusey, based on this edLeader Panel