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Here are the tutoring programs available to Indianapolis students and how to access them

A person wearing a dark shit gestures with a hand towards a worksheet.

Indiana has rolled out several tutoring programs to help students recover from the pandemic.

Sylvia Jarrus for Chalkbeat

Families looking for tutoring services in Indiana might have more easily accessible options than ever before. 

Multiple tutoring programs have rolled out this year to help students catch up on the critical math and reading skills they lost or didn’t gain during the pandemic, fueled by millions in federal relief dollars earmarked for academic makeup. 

Indiana is not alone in turning to tutoring. And the approach might get still more attention after recent test scores showed a decline in math and reading performance. 

Indiana students’ scores on the National Assessment Educational Progress — or NAEP — showed a not-unexpected decline from 2019. Students’ scores on the state test, the ILEARN, also dropped sharply from 2019 to 2021, before showing a slight rebound in 2022.

While outside tutoring has always been an option, more and more schools are trying targeted “high dosage” tutoring that pairs a few students with one regular tutor — an approach that has been linked to strong results.

Some of the programs are virtual, and some studies suggest that format holds promising outcomes as well.  

The new programs also aim to give more families access by providing the funding. Some are free to families through their schools or the city of Indianapolis, while one provides parents up to $1,000 to spend on tutoring through a provider of their choice. 

Here are four programs available to Indianapolis students and how to sign up. 

Virtual after-school tutoring for all IPS students

Indianapolis Public Schools is offering free virtual tutoring after school for all students at  district-run schools. The program is offered through Tutored by Teachers. Students will meet virtually in small groups with a teacher for one hour each of math and English instruction. 

Tutoring for the fall semester began on Oct. 3, but the application will reopen on Nov. 28 through Dec. 20 for the spring semester. More information is available here.

Virtual in-class tutoring for certain IPS schools

IPS also announced in July that it would expand virtual tutoring during the school day to more low-performing schools. Students are part of the program automatically if they attend the district’s emerging schools, which have low NWEA test scores and consecutive failing grades from the state.

  • Anna Brochhausen School 88
  • Brookside School 54
  • Charles Warren Fairbanks Schools 105
  • Christian Park School 82
  • Clarence Farrington School 61
  • Eleanor Skillen School 34
  • George S Buck School 94
  • H. L. Harshman Math/Science & World Languages Magnet
  • James Russell Lowell School 51
  • James Whitcomb Riley School 43
  • Northwest Community Middle School
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson School 58

Indiana Learns grants for 4th and 5th graders

Indiana is offering grants of at least $500 for fourth and fifth grade students who qualify for subsidized meals and who tested below proficiency on both sections of last year’s state assessment. But students who are enrolled in certain school districts could qualify for a matching grant and have up to $1,000 to spend on math and reading tutoring services. 

That list of school districts initially included Gary, Greenwood, Knox, Penn-Harris-Madison, Mishawaka, and Wawasee, and will be updated soon, according to the state Department of Education. 

Indiana Learns launched on Oct. 15. Families can check their child’s eligibility and sign up for services here

Circle City Readers

Unveiled by Indianapolis on Oct. 11, Circle City Readers is intended to provide reading help for students in kindergarten through third grade. Those students will meet with a tutor several times per week in small groups for literacy instruction at locations throughout the city, according to the Circle City Readers website. The city is funding the one-year program using $1 million in federal emergency money, and seeks to serve around 1,000 students in Marion County. 

The program is set to launch in 2023, but families can indicate their interest via an online form

Aleksandra Appleton covers Indiana education policy and writes about K-12 schools across the state. Contact her at aappleton@chalkbeat.org.

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