Tutoring FAQ

Tutoring FAQ

How is Invest in Youth different from other tutoring programs?

Invest in Youth offers tutors the opportunity to work directly with the same student, week after week, throughout the school year. Students and tutors form a bond over the course of the year and students benefit from a consistent, reliable role model and friend. Additionally, Invest in Youth is one of the only tutoring/enrichment programs provided in the Seattle Public Schools at no cost to either the school or students. Finally, each school year is capped off with an interactive learning experience facilitated by the Pacific Science Center’s Science on Wheels program.

What’s new with Invest in Youth in the 2016-2017 school year?

In response to Seattle Public Schools’ bell time changes, Invest in Youth is expanding our programming as some of our schools. Most elementary schools will be releasing at 2:05 pm this year, and this creates a challenge for both our volunteers and our students’ families that will need to arrange after-school care. Invest in Youth will be implementing a small group enrichment hour at some of our schools. At these schools, during the first hour of programming, Invest in Youth will facilitate small group time (with 1 adult to about 3-5 students) by bringing in partner organizations to run interactive lessons and activities. The schools participating will be:

  • Beacon Hill International School – Tuesdays
    • 2:05 – 3:05 pm = small group enrichment hour
    • 3:10 – 4:10 pm = one-on-one tutoring hour
  • Madrona K-8 – Wednesdays
    • 2:45 – 3:35 pm = small group enrichment
    • 3:40 – 4:40 pm = one-on-one tutoring hour
  • Daniel Bagley Elementary School – Thursdays
    • 2:15 – 3:15 pm = small group enrichment hour
    • 3:25 – 4:25 pm = one-on-one tutoring hour
Where do Invest in Youth tutors come from?

Invest in Youth tutors come from many different backgrounds, interests and careers. While historically we have worked closely with local investment firms to recruit volunteers, we encourage involvement by people from all corners of the community who can bring enthusiasm, energy and inspiration to the tutoring experience! Nearly half of our tutors are members of the community at large.

What is the time commitment involved in tutoring with Invest in Youth?

At a minimum, we ask that you commit to one student, one hour a week, for the duration of the year. Some tutors choose to dedicate themselves to multiple schools or multiple days. Keep in mind as well that there are many holidays and in-service days throughout the school year when we will not have tutoring. Please see our calendar for exact details.

How long does the program last?

Tutoring begins in early October and lasts through the end of May.

Can I still tutor if I travel regularly for work?

We ask that you commit to tutoring one student, one hour a week, every week, for the duration of the school year. If you can coordinate with another tutor who has been trained with Invest in Youth to cover those times when you are not available, that’s great. Alternatively, we’d love to have your join our roster of substitute tutors for the weeks that you are available. While you won’t have the same opportunity to develop a longer-term mentoring relationship with a single student, you’ll be providing continuity and consistent support for several of our wonderful students throughout the school year.

I know that I can’t commit every week—can I join Invest in Youth’s roster of substitute tutors?

Absolutely! We are always in need of substitutes to cover planned (vacation schedules) or unplanned (illnesses) absences by our fantastic volunteer tutors! Simply contact our program director and indicate that you are interested in being a substitute and at which schools. You’ll also need to send in a signed, dated copy of the background screening authorization form that is required of all tutors. Once you have cleared the background screening, we’ll check back with you to make sure you are able to attend one of our orientation sessions to learn what you can expect throughout the year.

Can I tutor more than one day per week?

Definitely! We serve five schools, four days a week. You are encouraged to tutor multiple days if you are interested in doing so and you can make the time commitment.

I am a high school or college student. Can I still tutor?

Some of our best tutors are students! However, we realize that your schedule is busy and can sometimes become unpredictable. Please seriously consider the year ahead and be sure that you can make the requested commitment. Please also ensure that you will have safe and reliable transportation to and from the school each week.

What do I do if I will be absent from tutoring one day due to vacation/illness?

If you know that you are going to be absent in advance, please communicate this to the program director or on-site liaison as soon as possible. There may be an opportunity for you to line up a substitute to cover for you during your absence. If you are sick, or something comes up last minute, call and/or email the program director or liaison as soon as possible.

What subjects will I be tutoring?

Whatever students need help on! The students we work with are usually in third through fifth grade and standard subjects include reading, writing, math and sometimes science. Math is generally limited to the basics like addition/subtraction, multiplication tables, beginning long division, measurements and introductory geometry. You may also spend time reading and writing with your student at their “just-right” reading level. Help is always available during our sessions if you and your student encounter any difficulties with their curriculum.

What will I do with my student during our hour together?

Invest in Youth focuses on providing academic support to our students. You might spend some time helping them with their homework, reading, writing or practicing math facts and strategies. You can also expect to spend some time catching up with your student and serving as a role model, mentor and friend.

What training is offered?

Invest in Youth staff offers a one-hour training in late September/early October, one week before tutoring begins. Additionally, there are many great training opportunities available with the Seattle Tutoring Coalition throughout the school year and we strongly encourage our tutors to take advantage of these great resources. Please contact the program director or your school liaison for more information on relevant tools and support.

What happens if I don’t get along with my student?

Talk to the program director or your on-site liaison. We will work with you to mediate any issues with your student or if the match isn’t appropriate, will do what we can to pair you with a good fit.

What support is available during tutoring sessions?

There will always be a representative from Invest in Youth on-site. This may be the program director or school liaison. This person is available specifically to support you and your student. If you need guidance, motivation or help in any way, do not hesitate to look to Invest in Youth staff!

What do I need to do to sign up?

Please fill out our online application. If you have any questions, you can contact our Associate Director. In order to apply, you will need to provide an emergency contact’s name and phone number. In response to your email, we will send you a background screening authorization — please mail your completed, signed form back to the address listed in order to authorize a criminal background check. Once you have successfully cleared this screen you are ready to begin and we will send details regarding tutor orientation in the fall!

Why is a background check required? What would disqualify me from becoming a tutor with Invest in Youth?

Any person volunteering or working in Seattle Public Schools must clear a background check with the Washington State Patrol. This is to ensure the safety of the students we serve. A history of criminal charges may prevent you from becoming a tutor with Invest in Youth.

Can I invite friends to join Invest in Youth?

Absolutely! We are always interested in expanding our pool of wonderful volunteers. If possible, please ask your friends to begin the application process online and we will follow up with them to complete the process.

How will I get to tutoring?

Street parking is available in the area surrounding each of the schools. All schools are also on a bus line and are easily accessible from downtown. Please use Metro’s Trip Planner to determine the best route for you to and from each school.

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