Elkhart County lawmakers: High schoolers can tutor younger students, earn credit

New option could help fill in gaps created by e-learning

Posted by: Allison Vanatsky  | Tuesday, July 28, 2020

STATEHOUSE (July 28, 2020) – When students begin school in the coming weeks, a new opportunity to fulfill graduation requirements will be available to high school juniors and seniors to tutor younger students, according to area lawmakers.

State Rep. Doug Miller (R-Elkhart) said students can experience some form of learning loss over summer break, meaning they do not retain some of the lessons they learned the previous school year, but most are typically able to relearn these lessons quickly. However, because students participated in remote- or e-learning due to COVID-19, a recent NWEA report estimates some children could begin the 2020-2021 school year up to nearly a full grade level behind their peers in some subject areas.

"Tutoring is a great way to supplement classroom learning and allows students to take more time to focus on problem areas," Miller said. "As a dad and granddad, I also understand that sometimes the message is better received when it's not from the parent. So, high school students can use this opportunity to fulfill some graduation requirements and younger students can benefit from the extra schooling."

To help bridge the learning gap, State Rep. Christy Stutzman (R-Middlebury) said schools can implement the Indiana Department of Education's newly developed Indiana Tutoring Fellowship, which will fulfill the Service-Based Learning Experience under Graduation Pathway Requirement #2.

"For those with an interest in teaching or making a difference in the lives of others, tutoring is a great opportunity to share your passion as you work toward your career goals," Stutzman said. "Utilizing Indiana's graduation pathways is a great way to better prepare our students for life after high school."

To be eligible to participate in this program, State Rep. Curt Nisly (R-Milford) said students must be a high school junior or senior, maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and be in good behavioral standing. The IDOE recommends tutoring sessions take place virtually, but if students are permitted to meet face-to-face, social distancing must be followed. Tutors will work with students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

"Older students who have proven themselves academically and behaviorally can instill the love of learning in younger generations," Nisly said. "And, this can all be done remotely and parents can work with schools to make sure their child gets caught up."

Indiana's graduation pathways are the result of a 2017 law. Visit doe.in.gov/graduation-pathways for more information.  


State Rep. Doug Miller (R-Elkhart) represents House District 48, which includes portions of Elkhart County.

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State Rep. Curt Nisly (R-Milford) represents House District 22, which includes portions of Kosciusko and Elkhart counties.

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State Rep. Christy Stutzman (R-Middlebury) represents House District 49, which includes the eastern portion of Elkhart County.

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