Students in northern New Mexico continue facing greater obstacles toward academic success due to the COVID pandemic. It is well known that many students’ skills declined during online schooling, especially for elementary students (see Stanford study reference below). Meanwhile, the University of Virginia has identified tutoring as one of the best methods of intervention to help students catch up after the lower proficiency scores of the quarantine year. Unfortunately, accessing services both in and out of school has become more challenging. Parents, schools, and tutors/mentors have varying preferences/regulations about in person versus virtual contact. While some school sites are allowing in-person services, others are barring outside personnel and even virtual contacts during school hours.
EVTA is responding by retooling our referral and service delivery protocols to respond to the continuing crisis. EVTA is contacting teachers at the restricted school sites to obtain referrals and match tutors who can best provide services on an individual out of school basis. (Normally, tutoring would have occurred on site.) Since the process is more arduous and time-consuming than in past years, EVTA has extended its active recruitment period over the course of the school year. The service year has also extended into the summer, with many families taking advantage of the additional time to help their children make up for the lost educational opportunities. Where school sites permit (Dixon and Des Montes), EVTA continues serving students at those sites when in-person school is in session. During remote times -- due to Omicron surges --EVTA has set up remote mentoring time slots when students can access an educator on-line who can help support completion of schoolwork.
EVTA provides tutoring services in Dixon/Embudo, Velarde (Rio Arriba County), and Des Montes (Taos County). Eighty-six percent of our tutoring hours are delivered in rural Rio Arriba County. Specifically, in 2018, EVTA tutored students at Dixon and Velarde elementary schools in Rio Arriba County and Anansi Charter School (K-8) in Des Montes, Taos County.
EVTA is the only organization in this rural area providing free and subsidized, regular, year-round tutoring services to local youth during and after the school day. It is the only organization to offer multisensory phonetic language learning interventions to children with reading disabilities free of charge to those with financial need.
Additionally, EVTA assumes a role recruiting and training tutors to provide appropriate therapy and support to children with learning disabilities through the Sounds in Syllables language therapy program, Wilson Language Program, and through professional development collaborations with the Anansi Charter School Special Education Department.
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