At their meeting last night, trustees of Near North District School Board (NNDSB) heard that the board is using provincial funding to initiate small group and individual tutoring supports for students in Kindergarten through Grade 12.
The funding is part of the Plan to Catch Up, a Ministry of Education initiative to close gaps caused by the disruptions of COVID-19. Funding will be in place until March 31, 2023. All NNDSB schools have been invited to access funding to either initiate or extend opportunities to engage students impacted by learning disruptions.
Board Chair Erika Lougheed says the three-pronged approach to tutoring means support can be provided to students in both panels all across the district. “This funding will enable staff to support even the youngest learners if they need extra help,” says the Chair.
Three approaches have been developed that will prioritize math, literacy and other foundational learning skills:
- NNDSB has recruited permanent and occasional educators to facilitate before- and after-school tutoring programs in all regions of the board. Research shows that additional time and support can help students learn what they need to be successful. The Teacher Tutors have participated in training sessions to develop instructional/intervention approaches in math and literacy. Tutoring will take place in person with virtual help available when necessary. The typical group size is two to five, although groups up to 12 may be accommodated, and individual tutoring is also possible
- The board has entered into a partnership with LEARNstyle to support struggling readers in Grades 7-10. The corrective reading program will help students who need support with decoding, fluency and comprehension. Students will meet one-on-one with reading intervention coaches and work through a set of lessons. Each student is assessed prior to beginning with corrective reading to allow for an individualized program
- NNDSB’s program staff have developed a plan to recruit, hire and train post-secondary students to work with K-12 students in small groups during the school day. The plan aims to build upon the success of last spring’s tutoring initiative, during which 32 post-secondary students from the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University were hired to facilitate tutoring programs. Board staff continue to work with faculty and staff to determine opportunities to continue post-secondary tutor recruitment.
The approaches support the board’s multi-year strategic plan pillar of excellence in teaching and learning, and NNDSB’s commitment to student achievement and well-being.
Director of Education Craig Myles says recruiting and training Nipissing students has provided valuable support to students while they’re at school supplementing the work of classroom teachers.
Board Vice-Chair Howard Wesley says the plan ensures that NNDSB students, regardless of geography, have access to tutoring supports to aid student success.