Region 15 Schools announced that they will be receiving a $516,000 grant from the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) to be used to build and expand math tutoring programs. Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker announced on Thursday, October 19, 2023 that the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is releasing $11.5 million to 46 school districts across Connecticut through the Connecticut High-Dosage Tutoring Program.
This significant investment underscores the commitment of the Lamont administration and CSDE in empowering students with enhanced educational opportunities and addressing the education disparities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“According to the grant requirements, funds are to be used for tutors to support students in Grades 6-8 mathematics. The Connecticut State Department of Education has provided a list of vetted tutoring services from which districts will choose. Students are selected for this program based on student performance on standardized assessments. The grant will provide tutoring support during the school day for approximately 258 students,” said Dr. Carrie Chiappetta, Assistant Superintendent of Region 15 Schools. “Intense tutoring is considered a key long-term strategy for accelerating student learning, increasing engagement and closing achievement gaps. We are excited to launch this program and will be inviting students and their families to a fun family math night to share additional information and to meet with the tutors,” she continued.
Governor Lamont and Commissioner Russell-Tucker announced the launch of the Connecticut High-Dosage Tutoring Program in March 2023 to target students in Grades 6 to 9 with a primary focus on enhancing mathematics proficiency. CSDE initially allocated $10 from American Rescue Plan Elementary Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funding for this program. In light of the high interest from districts during the application period, CSDE increased its commitment to $11.5 million.
This strategic investment in mathematics education follows recent data released by CSDE, revealing that while there have been improvements in mathematics proficiency across nearly all grades and student groups over the past year, the state is still striving to exceed pre-pandemic performance levels. Research indicates that in-person, in-school tutoring is the most effective means of addressing learning gaps. As a result, more than 40 districts in the state have committed to using the funding to integrate or expand in-person tutoring during regular school hours.
“The need for robust accelerated learning interventions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has never been greater, and by dedicating this funding to create an intensive tutoring program, we can provide school districts with greater support to identify students who are struggling and connect them with the resources they need to succeed,” Governor Lamont said.
Following an application period, a rigorous review process culminated in the allocation of funding to 46 districts, which are collectively expected to serve nearly 11,000 students. Among these districts, 26 have been identified by CSDE as high-needs districts, where at least 43% of students qualified for free or reduced-price meals between 2014 and 2022. Additionally, 15 of these districts are Alliance Districts. Funding amounts were determined based on individual district grant requests, anticipated student enrollment in the high-dosage tutoring program, and an analysis of each district’s 2021 ARP ESSER allocation. LEA applications that scored above the minimum cutoff score were offered grant funding through this program.
“We were truly inspired by the energy, vision, and thoughtfulness displayed in so many of these applications,” Commissioner Russell-Tucker said. “It is evident that district and school leaders are enthusiastic and deeply committed to implementing high-dosage tutoring programs, which research has found time and time again to have a significant, positive impact on accelerating academic recovery for students.”
Scheduled to begin by January 2024, the Connecticut High-Dosage Tutoring Program will allocate funding to schools for 2023-24 and the first half of the 2024-25 school year.
For more information on the Connecticut High-Dosage Tutoring Program, visit portal.ct.gov/sde/covid19/