City, school district jointly fund tutoring program

By Arnold Adler

Contributing Writer

PARAMOUNT — The City Council and the Paramount Unified School District have allocated $300,000 for an online program to help mentor students during the current pandemic and through June 2021.

The City Council approved an agreement Oct. 6, which calls for a contribution from the city of $125,000. The district’s share is $175,000, said Parks and Recreation Director Dave Johnson in a report to the council.

“The City Council approved $100,000 in (federal) CARES Act funds at the Sept. 1, meeting for a tutoring program and the city will be providing the additional $25,000 balance from the After-school Education and Safety fund that supports our STAR after-school program,” Johnson said.

The Paramount Unified School District has introduced the My Tutor program for the fall semester. The district has issued the needed equipment to participating students, a spokesperson said.

Students can access My Tutor from their Classlink Dashboard. Instructions are on the district’s website.

“We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Paper Learning to provide live virtual tutoring services to students in grades 4-12 in all subject areas,” said district Superintendent Ruth Perez in an online comment. “This service also includes an essay review tool that will offer students detailed feedback on their writing.”

My Tutor will be available to students 24 hours seven days per week in English and Spanish. We would like to thank our governing board for supporting this new service as well as the city of Paramount for providing financial support,” Perez said.

“The city and the Paramount Unified School District have cooperated for over 30 years to provide programs and areas of cooperation that strive to improve the educational and social outcomes for our young residents as they develop through their educational years.

“The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent actions taken to protect the health and safety of our students while ensuring their continued participation in the educational process through remote-learning has presented the Paramount Unified School District with enormous challenges,” Johnson, the city parks and recreation director, said.

“One of those challenges is how to ensure that our students have ongoing and effective access to learning tools that support their daily remote-learning environment. Our district partners have researched and identified a tutoring software platform that will provide this type of support to PUSD students through a 24-hours a day, 7 days a week online tutoring program,” he added.

Under the agreement, the city will assist with the marketing of the tutoring program to the Paramount community, he added.

“The district commits to contributing $175,000 toward the total cost of the tutoring program, provide all related implementation and coordinating activities, and to provide periodic reporting on the use and operation of the tutoring program,” Johnson said.

The program will reach 10,000 students in the district,” said Ryan Smith, assistant superintendent.

It began Oct. 5.