Summer tutors in demand as students prepare for school in fall

BOSTON — After months of remote learning and with an uncertain school year ahead, many parents are hiring tutors to ensure their kids are ready for the fall.

William Shivers, father of three girls who attend East Taunton Elementary School, posted on Facebook Tuesday, looking for an instructor to tutor his children for a couple hours three days a week for the rest of the summer.

Shivers wants to make sure his daughters – 10-year-old twins, Elizabeth and Victoria, and eight-year-old Anastasia – have not fallen behind since the coronavirus pandemic shut down schools and forced students to attend classes online.

“The hard part is, we have no idea what’s going to happen when school opens back up. And if it’s going to be more of the same, I have to make sure they’re over-prepared, not just prepared,” Shivers said. “Because, as a parent, I would hate for them to have to repeat a grade or not be where they should be because I didn’t take right actions.”

Shivers’ daughters welcome the idea of getting a tutor during their summer break if it means being ready for the fall. Despite the challenges and distractions of not being in the classroom, the girls have excelled at remote learning, their father said, but not everything can be taught online.

“I want them to go back to school and be elated to be around their friends and their peers and gain that social experience without having that worry of ‘I don’t know what I’m doing in class,’” Shivers said.

Livius Tutoring, headquartered in Newton, has seen an increase in families like the Shivers, looking to catch up on their lessons in preparation for the fall.

“I’ve noticed there’s been much of an uptick. I’d probably say, like, a twenty-percent uptick in just the pandemic and parents being really concerned,” Academic Director Lindsey Bandoian said. “Parents, of course, have their best interest of their child in mind, and they want to do everything they can during the summer months to get their kid up to par to where they need to be.”

Bandoian has also noticed the math and verbal assessments new Livius students take are lower than where they should be.

“I have noticed right now, for a lot of the students that are in middle school, in particular, who are going to be rising seventh-graders, right now they’re performing at about a 6.3 level,” Bandoian said. “So right now, they’re not at the end of their sixth-grade year, even though they’re going to be a rising seventh-grader.”

But a lower assessment level is nothing personalized instruction with the right tutor cannot fix, Bandoian said.

“Our goal is to zone in on lots of those sixth-grade concepts that they may have missed during the school year and make it personalized to what they need,” Bandoian said. “Just doing 60 minutes once a week over a period of time will do loads of difference for when you’re going up to the new grade level.”

All sessions at Livius are by Zoom, as the company plans to reopen its physical teaching space in August or September, after stocking up on personal protective gear and finalizing best safety practices.

Livius is offering several free online programs for students, including a four-week SAT and ACT preparation course at

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