Even the best designed group tutorial programs do not meet the needs of ALL pupils. IDMANN Academy provides tutorial support for small groups of students in middle and high school through the Cooperative Parents' Alliance (CPA). Children in kindergarten and elementary school need more individualized instruction and support to learn effectively online. That is what the IDMANN Private Tutor Program (PTP) provides.
In our experience, there are four groups of students for whom even the best designed group online classes simply do not work. Those include:
- Younger children (typically age 4 ~ 10): For most children in this age range, an online class of 10-15 is simply an impossible proposition since they are unable to concentrate for long enough to benefit from a group online class. Their attention spans simply cannot support that kind of learning for prolonged periods (which defeats the purpose of signing them to an online program in the first place).
- Children with special needs: Learning online is hard enough. Children with special needs or learning disabilities can find the added pressure of remote learning to be even more challenging. The perceived competitive pressure that may come from other children in the class combined with the limited attention of a group online instructor can hinder the learning of children with special needs.
- Highly gifted children needing a specialized tutorial curriculum: Group instruction aims to cater to the broad needs of the class. Certain students show interest or unique aptitude in a particular subject area or elective. A private tutor can support the unique of the student in a way that is simply impracticable in a group class, no matter how well intentioned the group instructor might be.
- Families with unique scheduling needs: There are those instances where family circumstances limit the ability of students to participate in group classes. Private tutors come with the inherent flexibility to schedule sessions at the convenience of the student.
The Private Tutor Program (PTP) creates and delivers a specialized online tutorial program to serve one child exclusively. Each child has a teacher (or teachers) exclusively dedicated to their instruction in the given time slot. The curriculum (based on the Common Core standard for the grade in question) is customized to meet the specific needs of this one student. The PTP is available for children from the kindergarten and 1st grade through the 12th grade.
Children in kindergarten and the elementary classes have assigned one instructor, while children in middle and high school have one instructor per subject during the day. The early childhood education support covers the following:
- Motor Skills
- Handwriting & Penmanship
- Basic Keyboard & Computer Skills
The support for middle-school and high school students covers the following:
- English Language Arts
- Social Science
The student may choose from one of the following electives:
- Consumer Science (dressmaking/fashion or nutrition/wellness)
- Computer Programming (programming with Python)
- Engineering Science (electrical technology, robotics & mechatronics)
- Digital Art
The PTP can augment the efforts of parents who seek to home-school their children by providing additional tutorial resources to support the children, where permitted. Many parents choose to home-school their children and use the PTP as a supportive resource.
The PTP is based on the following simple guidelines:
- Given the target age-range of the PTP, classes are held with generous breaks between blocks. Classes MAY run five days a week, from Monday to Friday, excluding Federal holidays. Nominally classes start by 9a.m. and end by 3p.m.
- Even though classes are held online with a tutor, parents must provide continuous and responsible adult supervision for their children (who participate from home) throughout the sessions. Tutors cannot be expected to "keep an eye" on kids over a video-feed from possibly hundreds of miles away. Parents are responsible for the safety and well-being of their children who remain in their homes at all times. Tutors are there only for the provision of tutorial instruction. Furthermore, students will take breaks between tutorial blocks. Parents are expected to supervise their children during these breaks, and to ensure they return back to the tutorial session at the appointed time.
- Subjects covered in the PTP derive from the Common Core Standard for the grade in question and typically include the following: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. Where there are upcoming state-mandated assessment tests for a particular grade, the requirements of those tests are incorporated gradually into the tutorial process.
- Given the age of the children in the PTP, parents may be provided a secure "digital access window" that enables them to occasionally "look into the classroom" and observe how their children are doing in class. There will be limits to the frequency of the "drop-ins" but we extend this service to parents to provide added comfort to those that might be anxious about leaving their children for the first time, or worry about their integration into a new learning environment.
- It is important to point out that tutors cannot play the role of childminders or babysitters. Classes end with a hard stop at the prescribed time. (Instructors are parents too!) Parents should ensure that their domestic arrangements provide for appropriate supervision and suitable engagement of their children at the end of each class.
- As in any other educational or tutorial endeavor, parents have a critical role to play. Parents are expected to closely monitor and actively support the progress of their children. This includes following up to ensure the completion of homework, assignments, and exercises in a timely manner. At the end of the day, young students NEED the reinforcement of the adults in their lives - at home - to focus and make the most of their educational journey. Parents will be provided confidential updates on their children so as to support this process.
- Tutors in the PTP are trained early-childhood educators, and are screened properly before being assigned to support our precious children.