Schools add online instruction model to tutoring efforts

Students in a classroom utilizing the Elevate K-12 program.

St. Charles Parish Public Schools has been adding a new wrinkle to its after-school tutoring program.

Elevate K-12, a rapidly growing online instruction program, is being utilized in six parish schools and the School Board has discussed expanding its usage to maximize the results of its tutoring and remediation programs.

During a presentation at the last meeting of the School Board’s curriculum, instruction and assessment committee, assistant superintendent A.J. Pethe noted usage of the program has begun with a total of 24 fifth grade students combined over Luling and R.J. Vial elementary schools, and 64 eighth grade students over Albert Cammon, Harry Hurst, J.B. Martin and R.K. Smith middle schools.

Pethe said these schools have been using Elevate about two to three times each week.

“Some schools are utilizing Elevate as an after school program and others utilize Elevate to provide remediation during the school day,” Pethe said. “The scope of the program may be expanded to additional schools or students if the data indicates that student achievement is increasing.”

The program utilizes a network of more than 200 online instructors around the country. The Elevate K-12 website claims the average student averages a 30 percent increase in test scoring after 30 hours of the program’s intervention, with more than 80,000 impacted by the program thus far.

Pethe noted that the program alleviated the need to find multiple local instructors available for tutoring.

The program’s instructors are certified teachers who aren’t in the traditional classroom for varying reasons – a teacher could have recently retired or had a child, for example.

One strength of the program that he highlighted is how it enables tutoring classes to break down into smaller groups to receive greater individual attention from an online instructor. He noted that for traditional remediation, a teacher may be in a classroom with 16 to 20 students, and that teacher must divide their instruction among all the students in the class. But with Elevate K12, one has the same number of students, but they’re divided among four instructors.

“Online programs, like Elevate, allow us to better meet individual student needs,” Pethe said. “In some cases, students need additional time and practice to master concepts. Elevate’s remediation program helps us provide students time with a certified teacher to complete that practice.”

Elevate K-12

  • According to the Elevate K-12 website, the average student participating for 30-plus hours in the program sees test scores improve by 30 percent.
  • A 20- to 30-student tutoring class would be divided among four to five online instructors, giving each student more individualized attention.
  • All teachers with the online instruction program are certified.

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