Launching Virtual In-Class Mentoring

Boston Partners is proud to bring our mentoring programs online for the 2020-21 school year. Our virtual in-class model, launching online October 2020, will most closely resemble our typical in-person mentoring programs. Teachers will be able to nominate students in need of additional support, and mentors will join those students in their virtual classrooms during the school day each week. In many cases, mentors and students will split into online breakout rooms and work together one-on-one or in small groups. Teachers or other school staff will serve as proctors for the safety and security of all parties.


What’s Virtual In-Class Mentoring?

Academic mentors meet students where they are, joining them in their virtual classrooms during the school day to provide additional academic and socio-emotional support. For at least one hour per week, mentors work with students via Zoom or Google Meet – either one-on-one, in small groups of 2-4, or in a whole class setting. During mentoring sessions, volunteers will review classwork, support student projects, and help students build skills in their areas of need.

In addition to academic growth, the individualized support from a mentor provides students with the encouragement they need to build confidence and motivation. This is a critical component of the mentoring relationship, especially for those students feeling challenged by the isolation of online learning. Mentors build rapport with students, promoting social-emotional learning competencies such as self-management, social awareness, and responsible decision-making.


How Does It Work?

We recruit and train talented members from the community to become volunteer academic mentors. Volunteers match their skills, interests, and availability with Boston Public Schools students who have been identified by their teachers as benefiting from additional support.

Once matched, mentors will meet with student(s) in their virtual classrooms during regular classroom instruction time, using Zoom or Google Meet.

By joining students directly in online classrooms, mentors can support teachers’ lessons by reinforcing concepts in real time. In many cases, mentors and students may also work in online breakout rooms to provide students with more individualized attention. Teachers or other school staff will serve as proctors for the safety and security of all parties.

Note: The use of Zoom rather than Google Meet is required for mentoring sessions to take place in breakout rooms.


Who Does It Support?

Any Boston Public Schools student in need of additional support can be nominated to be matched with a remote Boston Partners mentor. Our online mentoring programs help reduce the opportunity gaps that exist within the Boston Public Schools by offering support to all BPS students, at no cost to them or their families.

Teachers nominate students for our programs who could benefit from additional social-emotional or academic support. Our virtual in-class model is a good fit for students who:

  • experience challenges in a specific subject area
  • feel disconnected from school or their classmates
  • lack confidence in school or online learning
  • speak English as a second language