Frederick County Public Schools this week officially launched a 24/7 virtual tutoring program for middle and high school students.

Last month, the county Board of Education voted unanimously to approve an $800,000, two-year contract between the district and TutorMe, LLC, a Los Angeles-based company.

Now, 24,000 secondary students across the county can access the platform, which provides on-demand assistance in hundreds of subjects.

“For example, students can get an essay edited or a math question answered,” FCPS officials wrote in a news release.

When the board approved the contract in September, members asked FCPS staff how they’d ensure students knew how to use the TutorMe service. Though instructions for using the platform are available now on the district’s website, middle school instructional director Tom Saunders said last month that FCPS would designate time to get familiar with it in all students’ schedules.

“FCPS teachers remain the absolute best tutors for our students,” FCPS Superintendent Terry Alban said in the release. “We believe this virtual tutoring option will be a valuable additional support when students are working on homework, preparing for exams and needing immediate assistance.”

The hope is that the tutoring services will help mitigate learning loss resulting from the pandemic, FCPS school management director Daniel Lippy told the News-Post in August.

Students can choose whether to exchange text messages with their tutor or participate in an audio or video call. All tutors are subject to background checks, and the system will automatically record everything that happened in the session. Those recordings will be available to the students’ families and to the district.

Follow Jillian Atelsek on Twitter: @jillian_atelsek

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