Ensuring East Tennessee Students are On Track for Success

In partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education's TN ALL Corps grant, the Niswonger Foundation's Project On-Track high-dosage/low-ratio tutoring program is supporting 18 East Tennessee school districts and 5 local agencies to provide literacy and math instruction to 6000 students in grades 1-8 over the next 26 months. Research estimates student learning loss from the pandemic to be as much as 2 ½ times that of typical summer learning deficits. Like many students from across the world, students across the state of Tennessee also had limited access to high-quality instruction in the spring of 2020 and throughout the 2020-21 school year, and this resulted in lower student proficiency across key subject areas, specifically in math and early reading.

Research has shown that reading proficiency is a key indicator of future academic success as well as lifelong socioeconomic and health outcomes, and high-dosage tutoring is one intervention that has a proven track record in closing academic learning gaps. In addition to tutoring services throughout the school year, Project On-Track also supported student learning acceleration through numerous school district summer learning camps across the region. As of July 31, over 5,500 students have participated in high-dosage tutoring sessions through Project On-Track.

From August 2022 to September 2024, Project On-Track will provide support in literacy and math across the region. Before, during, or after-school, selected students will work with highly-trained tutors at least twice a week for 30 minutes for 12 weeks each semester, using high-quality instructional materials, and students and their families will receive a variety of educational resources to use at home. 

“The Niswonger Foundation is proud to be part of this visionary work. It is exciting to think about joining forces across the state, to ensure that our children have the best possible start to their future,” said Nancy Dishner, President and CEO of the Niswonger Foundation. “Having seen the power of high-dosage, low-ratio tutoring in national research and in our Foundation's current work, I am convinced that this is the right direction for student success.”