Frederick County Public Schools is looking to establish a 24/7 virtual tutoring service for its secondary students.
At the Board of Education meeting Wednesday, the system announced it was soliciting contract bids for the service. Daniel Lippy, FCPS’ director of school management and charter schools, said he’d ideally like to see a live-video option that middle and high school students could access for help with homework at any time of the day or night.
“High-dose tutoring,” in which students meet in small groups or individually with teachers several times per week, could be key in helping kids recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Lippy said.
“It’s another layer of service,” he said. “We’re still going to have teachers that do tutoring after school. … We’re trying to put together many different options for families.”
During the pandemic, FCPS expanded its tutoring hours, Lippy said, which had previously been largely relegated to the afternoon hours directly after school. The “community was really vocal about how much they appreciated the evening hours,” he said, which made it easier for families with working parents.
That appreciation, coupled with the learning loss FCPS expects to confront this fall, are what prompted the system to pursue a 24/7 virtual tutoring program, Lippy said.
The idea is still in its early stages, Lippy added. He couldn’t commit to a timeline because that depends on what company is eventually tapped for the job, he said.
The virtual tutors would be subjected to the “same kind of extensive background checks that we expect of anybody who works with students,” Lippy said.