Helping School Districts Deliver Effective Tutoring



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– Michael McCormick, Superintendent Val Verde United School District Download the Case Study

Common Tutoring Program Pitfalls

Not all tutoring programs are alike. And not all are a fit for the specific needs of K-12 students, families, and teachers. Before embarking on a solution, be sure to look for these potential signs it may not be a fit for your goals.


Many students don't qualify

Traditional tutoring programs are inevitably constrained by scheduling, available staff, and transportation, forcing schools to limit access to a fraction of the students who need support.


Pricing is based on usage

Pay-as-you-go hourly billing of tutors makes it difficult to determine exactly how many students you can support. Incremental costs can result in inefficiencies that limit how many students can be helped.


Requires dedicated  full-time staff

Even with the funds to support expanded programs, staffing can be a roadblock. Trying to staff tutors in-house or recruit volunteers may delay when your program can start.


Inflexible tutoring programs

Many tutoring programs are built around a model that makes it challenging to adapt to site-specific needs, which can hurt adoption and hinder program success.


Not attuned to K-12 needs

Providers focused on Higher Ed and private clients over-emphasize test prep and scores, bringing little experience helping learners to achieve K-12 grade level standards.


Carries extra help stigma

Programs geared towards remediation can create a negative perception of participants as poor performers.

“Enabling all students to have access 24/7 to tutoring extends our ability to ensure more equitable access to learning, no matter the place or time of day”.
– Michael McCormick, Superintendent Val Verde USD
Download the case study

Watch: Val Verde USD talks about how Paper helped the district provide equitable access to extended learning opportunities.

Key Characteristics of An Effective Tutoring Program

District leaders are working diligently to ensure that available funding is applied toward programs with a high likelihood of success. As you develop requirements for your tutoring program, keep these in mind.


Turnkey implementation

Rolling out new programs requires commitment, but it doesn’t have to be a heavy lift. Look for a partner with a reputation for excellent service, seamless rostering, and implementation support.


Predictable budgeting

Seek a tutoring model that makes it easy to forecast cost per student. An unlimited model that eliminates the possibility of overage costs makes it possible to expand access to more students.


Easy access for students

Keeping students engaged with learning means putting help just a click away, on every device, 24/7/365, with support for multiple languages.


Highly effective tutors

While it may not be feasible to find enough credentialed teachers to meet demand, tutors should be qualified educators with a vested interest in student success - never contractors without ongoing coaching and accountability.


Aligned with equity goals

Tutoring should be scalable and cost-effective enough to offer to all students, and tutoring staff should reflect the diversity of the student population.


High dosage, frequency, and impact

Follow the research: tutoring is effective when delivered at least 3x a week, in groups of no more than 5 students. Take it a step further and aim for unlimited 1:1 tutoring flexible enough to be offered during, after or as part of the regular school day.

Partnering With K-12 School Districts to
Deliver Educational Equity

Paper partners with hundreds of school districts across the country to provide equitable access to 1:1 tutoring across all content areas and grade levels. With an unlimited usage model, Paper makes it possible for districts to provide 1:1 tutoring services to every student 24/7/365 through its safe and engaging online platform. Paper Tutors are diverse, mission-driven educators who are prepared to support students with different learning styles, and in multiple languages.
Case Study

At Val Verde USD, 24/7 Tutoring Engages Disadvantaged Students, Boosts Graduation Rates

Learn more about how a highly effective tutoring program is designed and deployed.



Download the full case study PDF now