East Ramapo schools partner with online tutors to get students extra help
A school district in Rockland County is offering a new program to help students who may have fallen behind because of the pandemic.
Students within the East Ramapo School District are back in the classroom in person, but virtual learning will continue to play a large part in their education.
The district has partnered with BookNook, an online literacy tutoring service, to help students who may have fallen behind academically because of the pandemic.
“We can't get 2,000 tutors here, but we can get them here virtually, so I think it was the next logical thing to do,” says Dr. Clarence Ellis, the superintendent of schools of East Ramapo Central School District.
The free program is for kids in grades K-8 and will focus on English language art skills during half-hour sessions, three days per week for 12 weeks.
“Their teachers will be coalescing with ours. They'll be taking our lead in terms of data. We will tell them what our children's needs are, what their challenges are, and they'll take it from there,” Ellis says.
He says nearly 2,000 students have already signed on to take part in the program. About 150 students are in the Eldorado Elementary School under Principal Fitzgerald Georges.
“This is the type of partnership we've been looking for for some time,” Georges says.
The school district came under fire early in the pandemic for not providing enough resources for students to participate in remote learning.
Ellis took the helm this year and says all students currently have access to laptops, hotspots and now virtual tutors.
News 12 was told all eight school districts in Rockland County are making additional support systems available for students and families, including extra help with academic work, technology resources and mental health assistance.