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DO NOW, BUILD TOWARD: Using ESSER Funds for High-Dosage Tutoring

ESSER funding provides a unique opportunity for districts to support school recovery and redesign. Additional guidance on spending, scheduling, and staffing can help district leaders—who are stretched thin and have many priorities to balance—get programs off the ground and lay the groundwork for sustainable, long-term change.  

With some time still remaining to seize these opportunities, our strategy guide, “Using ESSER Funds for High-Dosage Tutoring,” draws on decades of research, leverages key takeaways from direct work in districts, and includes insights gathered from experts and partner organizations in the field.

Why Invest in High-Dosage Tutoring? 

Many districts are positioning tutoring as a key investment in their COVID-relief plans to combat learning loss—and for good reason. Research shows that effective tutoring programs, when done well, have a high ROI and can move the needle quickly on student outcomes. 

Our strategy guide, “Using ESSER Funds for High-Dosage Tutoring,” helps district leaders lay the groundwork for sustainable and effective long-term high-dosage tutoring programs.

As part of our “Do Now, Build Toward” approach, we highlight opportunities for districts to invest in tutoring partnerships and provide models for incorporating tutoring initiatives into school schedules, without sacrificing other needed subjects or opportunities. We also zero in on the need to ensure tutoring programs are part of a student support strategy (where a team of skilled educators use quantitative and qualitative data to decide who receives tutoring, in which subjects the tutoring takes place, and how the tutoring is aligned with the rest of the curriculum).

Download Our High-Dosage Tutoring Guide to...

  • Address student learning loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Incorporate an effective tutoring program without sacrificing other needed subjects.
  • Access real-world examples of staffing and scheduling models that your school/district can implement now—and continue to build upon along the way.

Examples and Benefits of High-Dosage Tutoring


DISTRICT STORY: How Building Toward Effective High-Dosage Tutoring Programs: Lessons Learned From 3 Successful Districts

See how Dallas ISD, Indianapolis Public Schools, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools implemented high-dosage tutoring programs to accelerate student learning. Learn more.

Grade-Wide Tutoring Block

One effective approach to high-dosage tutoring uses a grade-wide tutoring block, supported by full-time tutors, that reduces group size by partnering with a community organization. In this example, students receive 30 minutes of tutoring and/or 30 minutes of small group instruction, aligned with all the homerooms across their grade. Benefits of this model are the ability for tutors to support more students across grades, as well as flexible grouping within a grade level.


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