Through discussions with teachers and administrators, the OSDEF Board learned that sixth grade is a critical time for many students. Specifically, we heard that struggling in middle school math can be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to continued academic success. As a result, the Board decided in 2014 to pilot a middle school math tutoring program at Washington Middle School and Jefferson Middle School
In both programs, a group of students spent an extra hour after school with an experienced math teacher. Based on data provided by both schools, all students showed growth in their math test scores. At Washington Middle School, 28 percent of the participating students saw double-digit growth. Many of the students at both schools achieved for the first time test scores that were above standard, which is considered to be grade-level understanding of the math concepts.
As a result of the pilot program’s success, OSDEF expanded the effort to all four Olympia School District middle schools. We anticipate that the program will benefit approximately 100 students.
The OSDEF Middle School Math Tutoring Initiative not only helps kids build math skills, it helps them build confidence and motivation for success in school and in life.