LOUISVILLE, Ky. — All middle and high school students who attend Jefferson County Public Schools can now take advantage of a digital tutoring program that aims at improving writing skills.
The district has partnered with the company Paper, to offer the tutoring service.
Seniors in Amanda Turner’s English class at Eastern High School have been using Paper since March.
“The tutor that I had was really helpful because they not only showed me what I needed to improve on but how to improve it,” Nicole Hicks, one of her English students, said.
This program is free-for-all students to use inside and out of the classroom. How it works is students submit their essays to the tutor and within a few hours, they get back comments on areas that are good, and where they could make changes.
“The real world application is beyond just writing a seven page MLA (Modern Language Association) research paper. Even if they never do another citation, being able to communicate in writing is critical,” Turner said.
Students shared how they feel this has improved their writing.
“I’m not a great writer at all and I don’t write a lot but its really taught me what makes, what people like to hear, what captures the audience and what makes them want to read it for seven pages even though its about something they may not be interested in,” Caiden Thompson said.
“It was refreshing because they didn’t just skim through it, you can tell that they took quality time out of their day and gave you quality feedback,” Hicks said.
Turner teaches around 100 seniors and says this allows her students to get feedback faster. She adds programs like this helps to make education more fair for students too.
“Say I have a student that I haven’t seen in a month and she doesn’t get a conference with me because of whatever attendance issues are keeping her out of school,” Turner said. “She can still log in and still get that feedback and I thank that is important.”
JCPS can fund this partnership with Paper thanks to federal money they received through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program, which distributed millions of dollars to districts in response to the coronavirus pandemic.