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MDE partnering with company to offer free tutoring to students

Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 10:36 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - The Mississippi State Department of Education is aiming to address the learning loss caused by the pandemic.

MDE is partnering with a company called Paper.

Paper provides 24/7 online tutoring access for students.

“Students are able to log in anytime they need and get access... in any language that they need,” said Paper CEO Philip Cutler. “English, French, Spanish, Mandarin... It’s available around the clock.”

Paper employs subject area experts. The tutors do not teach the curriculum but are there to help students better understand it.

“We have nothing to do with what’s being taught in the schools,” Cutler said. “That’s really up to the classroom teacher. We’re just there to answer questions as students come, you know, they hit a roadblock, is there somebody who’s there whenever they need to help them get un-stuck.”

MDE used $10.7 million of its ESSER funds to procure tutoring services. It began on March 1 of this year and goes until Sept. 30, 2024.

“The tutoring services that are going to be offered that are available to all students in grades three through 12 in our public schools and five of our eligible charter schools are tutoring services that are free, they’re on-demand and they’re also with a live tutor,” said MDE Associate State Superintendent Dr. Marla Davis. “They’re not with a machine.”

MDE says this service is revolutionary for students across the state of Mississippi.

“And then another thing that also makes this... I’m just going to call it a game-changer... there’s often times when you’re working with someone, and they say something that’s phenomenal or they provide you with a technique that you... you want to make sure that you hold on to... they have the ability to actually get back into the platform and grab that session and all of the notes from that tutoring session,” Davis said.

The tutoring service is being offered to all public school districts in the state that opted in.

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