New Partnership with Varsity Tutors Empowers Teachers to Assign Tutoring as an Extension of Classroom Curriculum
Polk County Public Schools (PCPS) and Varsity Tutors have launched a new online tutoring partnership that brings live instruction and lessons to 40,000 students across the district.
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Polk County Public Schools launches a teacher-led tutoring program through a new partnership with Varsity Tutors that empowers teachers to assign tutoring as an extension of classroom curriculum. (Graphic: Business Wire)
The first-of-its-kind program enables district educators to schedule online, face-to-face personalized tutoring for any student. The services will be available across 43 Polk County schools and utilized by both teachers in the classroom and families at home.
"This program was designed to serve as an extension of our teachers, providing each classroom with resources that work hand-in-hand with the educators of our district,” said Superintendent Frederick Heid. “Our students and teachers need additional support, and by enabling our school communities to work directly with tutors in this way, we’re ensuring that every student has the tools they need to succeed while offering teachers an unparalleled support system.”
In addition to the live online tutoring, students will have access to on-demand homework help, support studying for tests, and assistance reviewing draft essays and papers. Services are available in both English and Spanish, across all grades and academic levels, including AP and IB courses. Additional resources for special needs students will be available from certified tutors.
The program will be rolled out throughout the school year, beginning this month, and includes the following services:
- Live, Face-to-Face Teacher-Assigned TutoringTM: Empowers educators who know students best to schedule live, face-to-face, personalized support from tutors. Teachers get an extra set of hands to reinforce what happens in the classroom, with a targeted focus on the specific needs of the individual student. Students work with tutors on the Varsity Tutors platform that combines interactive tools, collaborative workspaces, and sophisticated tutor-student matching. Tutors provide teachers with progress notes on every session with students so they can monitor progress and get insight if more individualized instruction is needed.
- On Demand Tutoring: Providing 24/7 support to every student, On Demand gives access to fast support from highly qualified tutors through an interactive, live chat platform across core K-12 subjects. Students and tutors collaborate in live sessions via a shared whiteboard that allows students to draw, upload a file, or share an image of their assignment. The service also offers proven standards-based self-study resources and diagnostic assessments.
- Essay Review: Essay Review tutors offer coaching and feedback to help students strengthen their writing skills. Students are able to upload already-written work into a safe and secure environment, and receive personalized skills-based feedback from expert tutors within 48 hours.
“There’s overwhelming evidence that teachers need support now more than ever, and Polk County School District is taking bold action with a new initiative that is unprecedented in its scale and ambition,” said Anthony Salcito, Chief Institution Business Officer at Varsity Tutors. “Teachers are in the best position to identify the specific challenges and opportunities where tutoring can help students, and this program makes it easy for Polk County teachers to assign the right support to any student - when they need it, for as long as they need it.”
As the new program rolls out this year, Polk County teachers will receive dedicated training on implementing the services, and a range of resources will also be available for use by families at home. The contract with Varsity Tutors for Schools was unanimously approved by the PCSP School Board, and will be funded through Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding, which provides additional resources to address learning losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students, teachers, and families can learn more about the program by visiting https://varsitytutors.com/en/polkschools.
About Polk County Public Schools
Polk County Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the nation, encompassing more than 150 school sites and serving more than 110,000 students (pre-K through 12th grade). Polk is the fastest-growing county in Florida and the seventh-fastest in the nation. The school district operates with an annual budget of more than $2 billion and employs approximately 14,000 total staff members (more than 7,000 of whom are teachers). PCPS has built a reputation for educational excellence with nearly 30 certified or model career academies and has become a destination for school districts around the United States interested in learning about and applying the academy model. Over the last several years, six schools have earned the Florida Arts Model Schools designation from the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE). PCPS also provides a variety of rigorous academic programs, including Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Cambridge courses. As it grows and innovates, the district remains true to its mission of delivering a high-quality education to every student.
About Varsity Tutors for Schools
Varsity Tutors – the online tutoring platform used by millions of families – launched Varsity Tutors for Schools to help district leaders deliver 1-on-1, small group, and on-demand tutoring to students. Informed by insights from partnering with over 200 K-12 districts last year, Varsity Tutors has built a full suite of services for schools and educators to implement alongside classroom learning. Most recently, Varsity Tutors launched its proprietary Teacher-Assigned Tutoring program that puts teachers in the driver’s seat: using a single platform, they can easily request and schedule live face-to-face tutoring, share insights, instructional materials and learning goals with tutors, and get real-time updates on student progress.
About Nerdy Inc.
Nerdy (NYSE: NRDY) is a leading platform for live online learning, with a mission to transform the way people learn through technology. The Company’s purpose-built proprietary platform leverages technology, including AI, to connect learners of all ages to experts, delivering superior value on both sides of the network. Nerdy’s comprehensive learning destination provides learning experiences across 3,000+ subjects and multiple formats—including one-on-one instruction, small group classes, large format group classes, and adaptive self-study. Nerdy’s flagship business, Varsity Tutors, is one of the nation’s largest platforms for live online tutoring and classes. Its solutions are available directly to students and consumers, as well as through schools and other institutions. Learn more about Nerdy at https://www.nerdy.com/.
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PCPS Public Relations