High-Dosage Tutoring

High-dosage tutoring is provided by a certified teacher, paraprofessional, or other highly qualified educator, delivered at least three days per week for at least 30 minutes at a time, and in groups of five or fewer students. Working with a few students in a group, tutors cover content that connects with regular classroom instruction but also meets students where they are. Schools that have restructured to provide this type of consistent, individualized tutoring as part of an extended school day have been able to meaningfully accelerate to grade level standards.

Guiding Questions

  • What models exist for high dosage tutoring?
  • How are schools programming the day to allow high dosage tutoring for students?
  • How are districts staffing and training highly qualified tutors?
Examples, Tools and Strategies
Strategies Aligned Resources

Design a highdosage tutoring program 

High-dosage tutoring programs (like those pioneered by Match Education in Boston and scaled by Saga Education in Chicago) provide students who are behind grade level with an individualized 50-minute class period every school day. While these programs may vary slightly from one another, they share a set of common characteristics that are proven effective. 

Consider using one of Brown University’s Annenberg Institute 10 evidence-based design principles  + Add to Action Plan for high dosage tutoring with specific recommendations for the frequency of tutoring, group size, scheduling, the training of tutors, and progress monitoring.  

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education in Washington, DC created a guide + Add to Action Plan detailing specific features and practical considerations for establishing and managing effective high-dosage tutoring programs. 

Find the right staff

Hiring highly qualified tutors are shown to have the most effective outcomes, though well-trained paraprofessionals or volunteers can reduce costs. One tutoring model uses recent college graduates who receive stipends and a recent paper from Brown University presents a scalable model where high school students tutor elementary students via an elective class, college students work in middle schools via federal work-study and college students are in high schools via AmeriCorps.

The Score Institute’s High Dosage Tutoring Planning and Implementation Guide  + Add to Action Plan includes a helpful section (pages 4-6) on preparing to staff your tutoring program.

Designate tutoring time in daily schedules

School days are packed, but leaders must prioritize specific tutoring times in order to truly accelerate learning. Tutoring sessions can be scheduled during the school day, during extended time or out-of-school time. Study hall or intervention periods could be designated tutoring times as could independent practice portions of a class.

Help schools find time in the day using these three strategies for scheduling + Add to Action Plan from the National Center on Intensive Intervention.

This brief from the National Center on Response to Intervention has helpful approaches to and questions for optimal scheduling + Add to Action Plan. See page four to learn more about how other institutions have established daily intervention classes.

Structure your program 

Similar to classroom instruction, tutoring sessions should be carefully planned, proactive and relate to the grade-level content students are learning in the classroom.

Help leaders guide tutors to have consistent structure and flow in their tutoring session design using this exemplar tutoring session structure + Add to Action Plan from the National Student Support Accelerator.

Incorporate an equity lens

Use an equity lens when designing tutoring programs. Where possible, provide tutors in students’ native languages, recruit tutors who represent the racial and ethnic diversity of students, and provide training to tutors in cultural competency and social emotional learning so tutors are better able to connect with students and build meaningful relationships.

Share this National Student Support Accelerator equity toolkit + Add to Action Plan, specifically focused on tutors, with schools or hiring managers when recruiting + Add to Action Plan, selecting + Add to Action Plan and training + Add to Action Plan tutors.