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Oklahoma's Education Department rolls out new tutoring initiatives

Oklahoma State Department of Education
Kyle Phillips
Oklahoma Voice
Oklahoma State Department of Education

The Oklahoma State Department of Education announced three new initiatives to get tutoring to students: community volunteer tutoring, online tutoring through a third-party vendor and an incentive program for teachers to tutor.

The community tutoring program is intended to help elementary students with literacy training in small group settings of 3 to 5 students per adult. The department says this program will be available at several large districts and districts that currently operate expanded learning grant sites, but has not specified exactly which districts.

The department said on its website that it would also “provide opportunities” to volunteers for training on literacy tutoring. Volunteers can sign up here.

StateImpact repeatedly asked for clarification on issues like volunteer background checks and preparedness, but the department has not responded.

The state is also partnering with Varsity Tutors for Schools, a company that provides on-demand online tutoring for students of all ages who attend schools that sign up for program access. According to the department, Varsity Tutors will offer:

  • 24/7 tutoring
  • On demand essay coaching
  • Live enrichment classes
  • SAT and ACT Prep Classes
  • “Celebrity-led StarCourses
  • Studying resources
  • College and career readiness resources
  • Adaptive diagnostic assessments
  • Recorded enrichment classes

More information on Varsity Tutors can be found here.

StateImpact asked the department how much the partnership will cost the state, but received no response.

And in January, the department will launch what it calls a “high dosage” tutoring program that will pay teachers $50 an hour to tutor 4th grade students at low-performing elementary schools.

Those teachers will also be eligible for “growth incentives,” which StateImpact has asked the department to define but received no response.

This story will be updated if the department returns requests for clarification.

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Beth Wallis is StateImpact Oklahoma's education reporter.
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