IPS Plans to Expand Online Literacy Tutoring Program


Wendell Phillips first graders meet online TutorMate tutors for first time in person at celebration party

During the 2016-2017 school year, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) piloted the online literacy program TutorMate in five elementary schools.  Many schools across the nation using TutorMate have seen literacy gains in their students.  Based on the benefits and results of the pilot, the program will expand to more IPS elementary schools next school year. The tutors held 2,277 sessions that were 30 minutes in length with 137 IPS first graders.  On average, students grew two to three reading levels. 
At the end of the school year, the first graders were able to meet their tutors in person for the first time.  One first grade student said, “I can’t wait to meet my tutor.  She is so nice on the computer.”
Christy Chappell, an Indianapolis Program Ambassador for Innovations for Learning, supports classrooms using TutorMate.  She shared, “TutorMate is a wonderful support for classroom instruction, and alongside the hard working IPS first-grade staff significant gains were made in reading instruction this year.  TutorMate partners have committed to the beginning again as early as late August to make even more gains in literacy for next school year.  The added immeasurable gain is a wonderful rapport student build with their tutors which was evident at the end of the year celebrations.”
For the 2017-18 school year, TutorMate will grow from five schools to potentially nine IPS elementary schools.  Tutor partners are looking to expand their presence in existing buildings, and new partners are being added to support the new schools.