Federally funded tutoring program aims to help Limestone County Schools students impacted by pandemic disruptions in education

The tutoring sessions start on February 18.

Posted: Feb 10, 2021 11:13 PM

Almost a year after schools across Alabama were shut down due to the pandemic, some students are still struggling to catch up to where they need to be academically.

Makayla Harris said her second-grader, Kaylee, has been struggling with her reading skills these many months later.

Students who opted into the program so far:

  • 694 Kindergarten through 5th grade
  • 70 6th grade through 12th grade

"Those last few months of the last year, you know, when they shut it down, it seems like it really did. It got her more behind than she should be. It really hurt her," Harris said.

Limestone County Schools is hoping to help students like Kaylee across the district through its new tutoring initiative.

The money is coming from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF) through the U.S. Department of Education. $66,854,427 of the $4,053,060,000 allocated for the GEERF was sent to Alabama.

"As we worked with committees, we decided that this would be a way to offer some extended learning opportunities for our students to be able to provide two days of tutoring each week," said Allison Romine Usery, the school system's federal programs director.

During its school board meeting Tuesday night, Romine Usery said they hired 103 people to act as tutors for its program. She said most of them are current teachers within the school system.

"I was amazed at how many teachers we’ve had volunteer to be willing to work these additional hours to be able to provide tutoring to our students as well as our bus drivers, cause we are providing transportation, as well as our CMP program. We’re providing supper for all of these students who stay as well," Romine Usery said.

All of the schools across the Limestone County Schools district are participating in the program, which offers tutoring sessions twice each week. Each school decides which days the tutoring will be offered and whether it will take place before or after school.

The sessions start on February 18.

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