IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Elko County Schools See 38% Increase in Online Tutoring

Since implementing online tutoring services from Paper in fall 2022, Elko County School District in Nevada has seen significant year-over-year growth in the number of students using the service.

online tutor, schoolgirl studying homework math during her online lesson at home, social distance during quarantine, self-isolation, online education concept, home schooler
(TNS) — Students in the Elko County School District are using the online tutoring service called Paper more these days, and Colleen Falvo, account manager for Paper Education Co. Inc., said the response "is incredible."

So far this school year, students have received 193,560 minutes, or over 3,226 hours, of academic support from Paper tutors, she said in her presentation to school trustees, reporting that year-on-year growth was 37.5 percent from 2022-2023 to the 2023-2024 school year.

Superintendent Clayton Anderson said that too many times programs come and go, but he is "super encouraged to see the usage grew by 37.5 percent from last year. ... I can only believe that it is going to continue to get better. I was very happy to see the growth rate has increased."

Falvo also reported that artificial intelligence won't take the place of tutors.

"We feel very strongly that human to human interaction is the most beneficial, so we are keeping the status quo that we will remain that way. So, yes, it is tutor to student, a real live person," she said in answer to a question from the board president, Matt McCarty, about AI.

The district provides Paper to students for free, and they can use it any time of the day. Paper isn't free to the school district, however. Anderson provided a cost update in a Wednesday email.

"The most recent six-month contract from January through June was for $136,475, and the plan/hope is to renew the contract with them, this time for 12 months at double that amount, coming in at $262,950 for July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025," he said.

ECSD began offering Paper in the fall of 2022, and the district paid for the initial services with federal Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief grant funds that were expiring, and planned to look for state grant money for the future.

Teachers may require students to do a task on Paper, but they also use Paper for help with their class subjects. Tutors can guide students in their studies, read over essays, book reports, lab reports and resumes, for example.

Tutor help is sought most for math, 56 percent, following by English language arts, 19 percent, Falvo said, and one of her charts showed that the most usage for the review center was for essays.

Guest student board member Katelynn Sutherland said she has used Paper "numerous times, mostly the review center." She said Paper's availability at late hours is "so beneficial," and her writing has improved working with Paper.

Sutherland said she submits a paper for review and gets the review back the next morning in time to finish the paper for school.

Students can use Paper before and after school, during school and on weekends, and a chart shows most use it during school days.

Falvo's presentation showed 25.31 percent of activities, or 645 hours, of usage was before or after school, and 68.95 percent, or 1,369 hours, was during regular hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., while 5.74 percent of usage, or 205 hours, took place on weekends.

A chart shows that West Wendover Elementary School is the largest user of Paper, with 8,018 activities, and Falvo told trustees that "students and teachers are really leveraging the platform there."

Anderson said figures at West Wendover are "inflated" because there was a form of math competition going on at the school, and the students were using Paper missions in that competition.

Others in the top 10 for using Paper the most include Flag View Intermediate School, 4,794 activities; Mountain View Elementary School, 2,584 activities; Adobe Middle School, 1,411 activities; Elko High School, 1,383 activities; Spring Creek Middle School, 1,131 activities; Carlin elementary, 912 activities; Sage Elementary School, 899 activities; Liberty Peak Elementary School, 878 activities; and West Wendover High School, 468 activities.

The grade using Paper the most in grades three through 12 is the fifth grade, according to another chart, with 8,996 activities; followed by grade four, 4,309 activities; grade six, 2,431 activities; grade three, 2,178 activities; and grade eight, 1,686 activities. Grade 10 had 1,050 activities; grade seven, 991 activities; grade 11,859 activities; and grade 12,197 activities.

Falvo said that from Aug. 1, 2023, through May 14 of this year there have been 24,773 activities between ECSD students and Paper tutors, including 5,573 live help sessions, 2,972 review center submissions, 14,827 paper missions, 84 college and career readiness requests and 1,269 paper reading sessions.

The review center allows students to upload writing to get feedback, and the newest feature, Paper reading, allows students to read into a device that measures words per minute and other reading details. Paper mission provides an interactive vocabulary and has "been very successful in your district," Falvo said.

"We cover over 200 subjects and topics," she said.

Falvo estimated 3,000 students in the school district have used Paper at least once in answer to a question from Trustee Susan Neal. Current enrollment is 9,777 students districtwide in all grades.

The company also plans to provide pulse questions in the next school year that "are a great way for teachers to get a pulse on where their students are at," Falvo said. Teachers can upload assignments and track accountability, and Paper will design activities for teachers to do with students every month.

She said it will be a "great bell-ringing activity."

Her presentation also included feedback from students who weren't identified, such as an Elko High School junior who wrote that "Michael L. is absolutely wonderful as a tutor! He stuck with me through the nearly two hours it took to answer the question. Not once did I feel judged about my question and not understanding what was going on."

Commenting about another tutor, a fifth grader at Flag View Intermediate School said "she was a great tutor and helped me and didn't just give me the answer."

Falvo said students "have the opportunity to leave feedback for their tutors."

ECSD states on its website it partnered with Paper to provide "unlimited access to trained tutors so every student can ask questions, work through problems, and grow their confidence at no cost to families."

The tutoring service is online and on-demand to provide students with "unlimited 24/7 academic support," the website says, and YouTube videos are on the website to explain Paper.

©2024 Elko Daily Free Press, Nev. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.