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5 Things We Learned from our Work in Indy

Updated: Apr 19

For the 2022-2023 school year, The Mind Trust partnered with Bridges to Readiness to provide high-dosage tutoring in SAT Math for 107 students over the course of 2 months from January to February. As we eagerly await our student's results of our tutoring, Bridges to Readiness wanted to initially reflect on five lessons learned from our program launch.

1. Students need strong connections along with strong content.

When we started our partnership with our schools in Indianapolis, we set a goal of ensuring that students were prepared and confident not just for the SAT but for life after high school. We are hearing from students that they not only appreciate the learning that happened in their sessions, but that they also gained a mentor to help them through life’s everyday challenges as a high school student.

2. When conditions are in place, students show up for tutoring.

Our overall attendance rate is over 60 percentage points higher than nationally reported uptake rates on high-dosage tutoring (Chalkbeat, November 2022). We attribute this to the expectations for implementation that we were able to set with our partners, the quality of our tutors, and the flexibility of our program to meet our students’ unique needs.

3. Get creative when seeking feedback from stakeholders.

We gathered feedback from students after each session and automated survey reminders. When emails went unanswered, we sent text messages, or changed the survey length or format. As an organization, we are committed to being learners, and we know that listening to our partners is the best way to identify areas for improvement.

4. The benefits of a relationship-driven, content-focused tutoring continue long after test day.

Students need more than tips and tricks for the test. Our Bridges to Readiness curriculum program seeks to advance educational equity by supporting students’ mastery of mathematical concepts and skills for college- and career readiness. Our students recently took the SAT, but they will continue to lean on what they learned in our sessions in their continued academic studies and future careers.

5. Get the data, study the data, use the data.

Data from college entrance exams is rich with information about student readiness. Leaders must respond to this data to help students meet benchmarks so they are prepared for #postsecondary pathways. This level of clarity and transparency with teachers and students will help schools better reach the students who need the most academic support, especially our historically marginalized students. Leaders need support in creating academic models and data analysis and response plans, as we see that many leaders are seeking to better understand the expectations of college entrance exams and how to help students meet goals.

Bridges to Readiness is actively reflecting on these five lessons to prioritize program improvements and accelerate student learning, especially for historically marginalized groups. We are seeking schools, districts, and city-wide partnerships to expand our high-dosage tutoring program for high school students nationwide. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us.


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