While the design and purpose of academic-support programs may vary widely from school to school, the following are some representative examples of common forms of academic support:

Classroom-based strategies: Teachers continually monitor student performance and learning needs, and then adjust what they teach or how they teach to improve student learning.

School-based strategies: Schools create academic-support opportunities during the school day, such as learning labs, to increase the instructional time that academically struggling students receive, while also varying the way that instruction is delivered. For example, if students in a course primarily learn in large or small groups that all work at the same pace, students in a learning lab or other support program might work one-on-one with a teacher and be given more time to practice skills or learn complex concepts.

After-hours strategies: Schools may provide after-school or before-school programs, usually within the school building, that provide students with tutoring or mentoring, or that help students prepare for class or acquire study skills, for example.

Outside-of-school strategies: Community groups and volunteer-based learning programs, often working in partnership with local public schools, may provide a variety of programs, such as reading programs for young children, that are connected to what students are learning in school.

Vacation-break strategies: Strategies such as summer school or “summer bridge programs” may be created to help students catch up (if they fell behind during the previous year) or prepare for the next grade (if there are concerns they might struggle academically or drop out of high school). Similar support programs and learning opportunities may be provided during vacation breaks in the fall, winter, and spring.

Technology-assisted strategies: Schools may use digital and online learning applications, such as visual simulations or gamed-based learning, to help students grasp difficult concepts, or teachers may use course-management programs that allow them to archive course materials and communicate with students online. These options may be self-directed by students or overseen by teachers, or they may be provided during the school day or they may allow students to work from home at their own pace.