While tutoring is a crucial tool for schools to address COVID-related learning loss, other approaches to individualized instruction might be even more affordable. One option is “vacation academy” small-group programming. Districts select top-performing teachers to instruct vacation academy groups of roughly ten struggling students in a single subject over weeklong vacation breaks. Program participants in Springfield, MA saw both improvements on test scores and reductions in suspensions when they returned to school. Advancements were especially pronounced for students assigned to the same instructor for the duration of the program, suggesting the importance of relationship-building. Read more.