✏ NJ Tutoring Corps has announced it's expanding its services this school year

✏ Services will be offered in 41 NJ locations compared to 19 in 2022

✏ The public-private partnership offers a high-impact tutoring program

The New Jersey Tutoring Corps has announced a dramatic expansion of its high-impact tutoring program to critical areas across the state for the 2023-24 school year.

When did it start?

NJTC was first established in May 2022 by first lady Tammy Murphy and institutions such as the Overdeck Foundation, the Community Foundation of New Jersey, the Tepper Foundation, New Jersey Children’s Foundation, the Prudential Foundation, and the Debra and Kenneth Caplan Foundation.

The purpose was to specifically address learning loss related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We don’t like to use learning loss because it indicates that scholars, and we refer to our students as scholars, did not learn anything and that’s not true," NJTC CEO Katherine Bassett said. "They learned a lot. They just didn’t learn a lot about their academics, necessarily. So, we refer to them as learning gaps."

NJTC serves scholars primarily in high-needs communities. It implements high-impact tutoring for scholars in pre-kindergarten through Grade 8 in mathematics and literacy, Bassett said.

While also tutoring those who need help, the organization also grows the educator pipeline in New Jersey.

“So, we are bringing educators into the pipeline by giving them additional, critical hours. We are working on getting them credit. As early educators and career educators enter our program, they are getting more opportunities to serve as teacher leaders,” she said.
There are also roles for site coordinators and instructional coaches.

There are three program models embedded during the school day, after school, and during the summer, she said.

To date, NJTC has served over 7,500 students and enlisted the help of over 400 field staff.

Asian primary students girl with backpack and books wearing masks to prevent the outbreak of Covid 19 in classroom while back to school reopen their school, New normal for education concept.

What was the pilot program?

In 2022, NJTC did an extensive school year pilot, thanks to $1 million funding from the Murphy administration.

Last year, New Jersey Student Learning Assessments showed that overall, nearly 65% and 51% of all New Jersey stud

Students were not meeting grade-level expectations in mathematics and English.
So, NJTC launched the initial pilot, serving approximately 500 scholars in Hunterdon, Mercer, Essex, Sussex, and Camden counties.

Through the hard work of its tutors, the percentage performing at grade level or above in math improved from 16% to 40%, Bassett said. In addition, literacy improved among scholars from 23% to 40%.

That was quantitative data from that cycle.

Happy young Hispanic woman is babysitting, tutoring elementary age girl.
Courtney Hale

What did the qualitative data show?

The following data was from the school year, summer 2022-2023 pilot data:

Over 75% of scholars told NJTC they understand math and literacy better, Bassett said. Over 97% said they enjoyed working with their tutors. 80% said they were more willing to help their friends. 83% said they would participate more in class and be actively engaged in learning math and literacy. As far as tutor impact, 90% believe they saw scholar growth and they themselves grew professionally. 93% believed they made a difference.

The data also showed there was a 71% retention rate in the field staff. So, tutors, instructional coaches, and site coordinators come back, Bassett said.

What is the program expansion?

As a result of $1.5 million in funding from the Murphy administration, Bassett said the NJTC program has expanded to serve 41 school locations and an estimated 1,900 scholars statewide, compared to 19 locations and 500 scholars in 2022, Bassett said.

Common Core Tests

What is the focus of the program this year?

Bassett said the NJTC would like to see more scholars being grade-level proficient or higher at the end of this program cycle. They want to see more educators engaged across that continuum. They want to see more evidence that the program works.

“We say that our program is research-based and evidence-rich,” Bassett said.
The program does not do homework help. It does service teacher’s aides. Instead, it does high-impact tutoring.

High-impact tutoring means the same scholars work with the same tutors throughout the program. It means that tutors are looking at pre-diagnostic assessment data to make sure that they are on target with scholars. It means tutors are working in 30 to 60-minute sessions with scholars at least two to three times a week. Bassett said these are what makes the program very successful.

High School Tutor Giving Female Student Wearing Uniform One To One Tuition At Desk
Getty Images/iStockphoto

What is expected from the tutors?

All tutors and other field staff must undergo an intensive training week. They learn how to infuse social-emotional skills into academic content, curriculum, professionalism, and leadership skills. Training is critical and all field staff hold their New Jersey Criminal Background History Fingerprint certificate.

"There is a deep sense of urgency at this moment, and our mission these last few months has been to create a solid and consistent institution on which teachers and school leaders can rely,” Bassett said.

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