As students return to the classroom many are finding they need extra help after months of distance learning.
Former teacher Philip Cutler created a remote tutoring company pre-pandemic called Paper.
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"The product that we offer allows students to get access 24/7 to a live tutor who can help them with any of the homework that they're working on, and we do that by partnering directly with the school district," said Cutler.
The online instant messaging-based service is entirely free for students and their families. School districts foot the bill. He says the company has had a surge of new clients since most districts have provided devices and hot spots for students.
"Ultimately that allowed them to make decisions that integrated technology into the curriculum and into the school district in ways they hadn't done before," said Cutler.
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Paper works with approximately a dozen Bay Area school districts including Alum Rock Union School District, Aspire Public Schools, Cambrian Elementary School District, Campbell Union High School District, Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District, East Side Union High School District, Jefferson Union High School District, Newark Unified School District, Pittsburg Unified School District, Santa Clara Unified School District, Sequoia Union High School District and South San Francisco Unified School District.
East Side Union High School District in San Jose began using Paper as a pilot program last year.
"To be able to support them when they're doing their homework at home, on the weekends, during breaks," said Teresa Marquez, Associate Superintendent of Educational Services in East Side Union High School District.
This year they expanded services.
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"So that they don't have that added anxiety at home when they get stuck and they can't call their teacher, or they can't reach out to their parents for whatever reason or they can't reach out to a friend that this is an opportunity that's provided to all 22,000 plus students in the East Side Union High School District free of charge," said Marquez.
It's the reason Cutler created Paper.
"This was the mission that really meant an enormous amount to me was to close that equity gap and support students in ways they hadn't been supported before," said Cutler.
An original mission that's gained new momentum in this new world.
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