Distance Education

Utah Counties Served
Counties with Distance Tutoring, So Far

We are pleased to announce that the University of Utah Reading Clinic (UURC) is now able to offer our assessment and intervention services for struggling readers online!

If you reside more than 30 miles from our clinic in Murray, and your child is in 3rd through 12th grade and experiencing difficulties learning to read in the regular classroom setting, he or she may be eligible for this exceptional additional help. Here is how it works:

Parents or legal guardians who are concerned about a child's reading ability may contact the UURC at 801-265-3951 to schedule an assessment appointment. We do prefer to complete the initial evaluation on site and "in person". If this is a hardship and you are more than 30 miles from our Murray site, we can arrange an online assessment.

Results are evaluated at weekly staff meetings and a written summary is mailed to parents. If intervention is recommended, the child's name is automatically placed on the UURC Distance Tutoring waiting list. Children on the waiting list are enrolled on a "first come, first served" basis and parents are notified when a tutoring opportunity for Distance basic intervention becomes available.

When an enrollment opportunity becomes available, you will want to consider the following:

  1. Equipment furnished by family:
    • a home computer with a webcam - webcam may be purchased separately (see below)
    • a small document camera - we recommend HUE HD (cost approximately $50)
    • printing capabilities - for text specific to certain intervention models
      Logitech HD Webcam C310 HUE HD Camera
  2. Determine fees for tutoring sessions:
    • One of your first considerations for this service will be determining fees for the tutoring sessions. Unlike for-profit tutoring centers, the UURC uses a sliding scale to calculate tuition according to income and family size. You may determine your rate by discussing your most recent 1040 tax return with the staff member setting up your sessions. Please make a copy of this 1040 tax return and make it available before your first intervention session. Tuition is paid monthly, and is due on the first tutoring session of each month.
  3. Determine schedule for tutoring sessions:
    • UURC models are research-based and via our Distance Tutoring, we are able to offer both our Next StepsSM and Higher StepsSM models for tutoring. We offer this service during the regular school year after school hours from 4:00 - 6:00. Sessions last 45 mins. and are offered 2 times weekly; Mondays & Wednesdays, or Tuesdays & Thursdays. We can also make arrangements for this service to be delivered 2 times weekly during regular school hours for students who are schooled at home. A parent must be present during all tutoring sessions.
  4. UURC intervention services contract:
    • Parents/guardians who wish to enroll their children in UURC Distance intervention services must read and sign a contract that outlines requirements for tuition, attendance, supervision, and student behavior. Parents will be provided a copy of the contract for referral. Please note that your child's services are contingent upon continued compliance with contract requirements.
  5. At Home:
    • Parents need to be aware that the amount of reading that happens (or doesn't happen) at home has an enormous impact on the amount and rate at which struggling readers improve.

      Intervention is helpful, but your child will not make sufficient progress without significantly increasing the amount of reading that he or she does at school and at home. Therefore, your struggling reader needs to read, read, READ! on instructional level at home - at least 20 minutes daily.

      Whatever services parents secure for their child, they need to remember that intervention often is not sufficient for children to reach grade level expectations. Why? Struggling readers lack what researchers call a "practice effect" - improvement that comes from reading, reading, and more reading that happens outside of school hours. One study (Nagy & Anderson, 1987) showed that good readers consumed millions of words per year in text, while poor readers averaged only a fraction of that amount. In this sense, reading is like any other skill: limited practice leads to limited improvement.

      So, the message is: even if your child is receiving intervention, (and ESPECIALLY if he or she is not currently receiving intervention) reading at home every day is critically important. And, at least 20 minutes of home reading time needs to be "out loud" as you, or another skilled reader, listens and offers support as needed. Use the UURC's home reading charts to track progress.

Checklist for Parents