JustREAD and JustMATH Tutoring
JustREAD and JustMATH are intervention programs for youth who are struggling in school or who are learning English. One-on-one tutoring, in JustREAD/JustMATH tutoring centers at school during school hours, provides 6th – 12th graders with the fundamentals of reading, writing, listening, speaking, and basic math skills that they should have learned in earlier grades.
- Our high school students read at an average 4th-5th grade level. Our middle school students read at an average 2nd-3rd grade level.
- Students’ families are often low-income and cannot afford private tutoring.
- Many students are from families where little or no English is spoken at home, and adults have limited education.
- Some students have moved often and not received a consistent education.
- Some students have mild learning disabilities that have never been addressed.
High schools and middle schools do not have the resources or time to teach literacy and math fundamentals to students. Students are expected to already know their basic English and math skills. We begin at a kindergarten level and incrementally teach students the basic skills they should have learned in earlier grades.
We provide direct tutoring services on campus and during the school day, at Graham and Crittenden Middle Schools in Mountain View, and at Mountain View High School and Alta Vista High School (a continuation school). Students are referred by teachers and counselors because their literacy or math skills are far below grade level. We work in classroom space dedicated to JustREAD and JustMATH, where students feel comfortable and are nurtured.
Middle school students are tutored twice per week; high school students attend 4 tutoring sessions/week and receive high school elective credit toward graduation.
We test each student upon entry to our program. Based on test results and interviews, our Center Manager, a credentialed teacher, creates an individualized focus plan for each student, which highlights the gaps in the student’s knowledge.
The tutor follows this plan, and uses the ToolBox to explain literacy or math fundamentals. The Site Coordinator provides daily exercises for the students to strengthen their skills. Literacy students choose their own books and read at every session. The Site Coordinator is always available to answer any questions tutors may have, and may offer supplementary materials depending on the needs of the student.
How are JustREAD and JustMATH Different from Other Tutoring Programs?
Some after-school programs offer homework help or mentoring, but they do not employ a curriculum or metrics to know how well they are doing. Other programs target students most likely to succeed, i.e. the first in their families to attend college. We target students most likely to drop out.
- We focus on teens. Most literacy intervention programs work with elementary students. We work with pre-teens and teens. There are many reasons why a student may not have received proper instruction at a younger age. Many of our students are recent immigrants, are still learning English, and just need some extra one-on-one help.
- We test our students.
- We test students when they enter and exit the program, usually at the end of the school year. We use the nationally recognized Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement III, which breaks literacy and math down into its components, and provides us with detailed information about grade level performance.
- Tests are administered by trained teachers, and the information is used to tailor a focus plan for each student.
- Testing at the end of the year not only gives us objective data on student progress, it also provides JustREAD with data on overall program performance. We are continually striving to improve our instructional materials (the JustREAD and JustMATH ToolBoxes), as well as our tutoring methods in order to improve the effectiveness of our programs.
- We train our tutors. Tutors participate in two training sessions: a JustREAD or JustMATH orientation and a ToolBox training session. Tutors are also encouraged to shadow an experienced tutor if they choose. Each tutoring site is staffed by a Site Coordinator who is available to help tutors with questions or problems.
- We use our own instructional materials, developed by education professionals. The JustREAD and JustMATH ToolBoxes cover fundamental skills. For JustREAD: the alphabet, phonics, punctuation, grammar, paragraph writing and comprehension. For JustMATH: numbers, basic math operations, percents, decimals, fractions, and introductions to algebra and geometry.