What are supplemental educational services?


Generally, supplemental educational services (SES) are free tutoring services that must be offered to low-income children who attend a Title I school that fails to make progress for three years (in its second year of “school improvement status”).

Low-income students are generally those who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

These services offer students extra help in academic subjects such as reading, language arts, and mathematics. SES services are provided outside the regular school day—before or after school, on weekends, or in the summer.

Note: Title I schools that do not make adequate yearly progress for two years in a row must offer students the opportunity to transfer to a better-performing public school. For information about this school choice option, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website.


Who can get SES?


Low income students, generally those who receive free or reduced-price lunch, who attend Title I schools that have not made adequate yearly progress for at least three years are eligible for free tutoring services.

As part of the No Child Left Behind Act, states are required to set definitions of adequate yearly progress (AYP), the minimum performance that districts and schools must reach every year on state achievement tests. Title I schools that don’t make AYP for at least three years must offer SES to students. Schools must continue to offer SES to their students until the school shows adequate yearly progress for two years in a row. If the demand for SES exceeds available funds, districts may give priority to the lowest achieving eligible students.

School districts are required to tell families whether their children are eligible for SES. Families can also find out whether a child is eligible by contacting the school principal, school district, a local community group, or the U.S. Department of Education (toll-free at 1-800-872-5327).


How does SES work?


Once a state has identified a school as “in need of improvement” for two or more years, the school district determines which students in that school are eligible for services. Then, the district notifies families of eligible students about their right to free tutoring. The district must also provide information about the local SES providers to help families select one and should allow families enough time to compare options and make informed choices.

If families ask for assistance, a district must help choose a provider. Once a family chooses a provider, the district enters into a contract with the provider. The district pays the provider for tutoring services. If more eligible families demand SES than existing funds can support, districts must give priority to the lowest-achieving students.

Each state develops a list of potential SES providers. To get on this list, providers must be approved by the state. States choose providers that can offer tutoring programs in line with state standards and that offer high-quality, research-based tutoring.

These providers can be any of the following:

  • For-profit companies.
  • Non-profit groups.
  • Local community programs.
  • Colleges or universities.
  • National organizations.
  • Faith-based groups.
  • Private and charter schools.
  • Public schools and districts that have not been identified as in need of improvement.

Many providers will offer “hands on” tutoring by trained instructors. Others may offer Internet-based instruction that students can access through a computer at home, in a school, or at a community center.

Once a family chooses a provider, the provider, the school, and the district meet with the parents to agree on performance goals for the child and a schedule for services.


Why is SES important?


The SES program gives low-income families the opportunity to choose free tutoring services for their children. The program offers children who may be struggling in school a chance to get the extra academic help and individual instruction they need.

Studies suggest that academically based programs offered outside the school day can help students improve their achievement and work habits. Tutoring can help children improve achievement by building on the learning that takes place during the school day. Students at risk of academic failure have the most to gain from tutoring programs. Some of these students may not learn well in traditional classrooms and, through tutoring, can learn in different, perhaps more effective ways. Tutoring also provides students a safe, nurturing environment outside of school. Finally, by helping individual students improve, SES can support teachers’ and principals’ efforts to improve their schools.



Who monitors SES providers for quality?


States, in cooperation with districts, monitor the quality of SES providers. States develop and apply objective criteria to evaluate providers and monitor the quality of services. If a provider has not helped students improve achievement for two or more years, states are required to remove that provider from the state list. Districts are required to provide states with information to help monitor the performance of state-approved providers. Families can monitor their child’s performance against performance goals set with the provider, the school, and the district.

This information is from the Tutorsforkids.org website.  For more information please visit The Tutors for Kids website at www.tutorsforkids.com