HISD Puts Out Call For More Apollo 20 Math Tutors

The Houston Independent School District is looking for dozens of math tutors for its Apollo 20 program. That's the three-year effort the district began last fall to improve student achievement at 20 under-performing elementary, middle, and high schools. David Pitman has more on the qualifications and the kind of workload the tutors can expect.

At the beginning of the school year, each Apollo 20 math tutor will assigned 10 to 12 students.  The tutor will work with the kids every day throughout the year — typically in groups of two, but sometimes one-on-one.  Tim Johnson helps recruit tutors for the Apollo 20 program.  He says tutors must have a college degree, and some kind of math background.  He says tutors also have to be engaged with the students' families.

"And one way that we do that is with weekly phone calls home.  Not just a negative call from the school, but a positive call, a check-in call.  So we're looking for someone who's going to really take an interest in the success of the students they're assigned."

Last year, the district received more than 1,000 applications for 240 tutoring positions.  This year, the district needs to fill 166 openings to replace tutors who are moving on, and to handle the program's expansion to 11 elementary schools.  Johnson says most of the applicants are recent college graduates — and not displaced teachers who need a job in the meantime.

"So far this year, we haven't seen as many folks who are looking for teaching positions apply for the tutoring. But (we) definitely anticipate an uptick in those."

The Apollo 20 math tutoring jobs pay $20,000 plus benefits for a ten-month commitment to what's essentially a full-time job.   The HISD will hold two hiring events on the 8th and the 29th at Sharpstown High School. 

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David Pitman

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