Our Story


Over 300 tutors – 30 Seattle Public Schools – 160,000+ hours of tutoring support

UTSS began in 2012 as the vision of Professor Greg Fritzberg to infuse public school classrooms with the talent, energy, and passion of college students. As principals and staff shared the success and impact of our program, UTSS quickly grew and has served over 30 elementary, middle, and high schools in the district, managing over 100 tutors annually. Our model of supporting staff and students by providing hands-on support with diverse tutors who reflect the students they serve is an effective and flexible model that works.
UTSS’ goal is simple, effective, and efficient. Our staff recruits highly-competent and caring tutors from universities and colleges in the region and pairs their skills and passion to the needs of students in partnership with our school partners.
15 Years of
12 International
451 Educated

Why does the community need UTSS?

There is an urgent, growing equity gap for students in the Seattle Public Schools. As reported by several agencies, low-income, limited English, students of color are unable to consistently connect with their learning, teachers and schools.

Long before COVID, student data reflects that gaps begin early and widen, making it hard for many students of color to succeed academically, stay in school, prepare for college, and ultimately, compete for today’s highly-skilled careers. Parents wanting to help can lack the language skills, time or financial resources to support instruction.

Inside the district’s school buildings are great ideas for addressing the systemic barriers contributing to the gap. What’s wanted and needed – yet missing – is enough teachers in the classroom to bring those ideas to life.

What makes UTSS uniquely effective?

UTSS matches the right skill set, with the right need, to close gaps unique to each school.
Our model advances equity across the entire education ecosystem: providing direct services in the classroom and diversifying the workforce.

We provide skilled tutoring during the school day to reach K-12 students, removing the financial and time barriers for individualized instruction families can face.

Our tutors are highly-trained, highly-competent, pre-service educators or community members who are committed to student success. Beyond academics, they serve as another caring adult with whom students can bond while fulfilling their own educational goals and requirements.

Our trusted partnerships with schools are flexible and nimble. We understand the strengths and availability of our tutors; we also understand that our school partners and teachers know their communities and students best. Our model is intentionally unstructured, a model that allows schools to define each tutor’s role, quickly adapting or pivoting entirely to address immediate or emerging needs within the school or classroom.

In addition, school leaders and teachers serve as mentors for already-skilled tutors, building relationships that often easily transition tutors into full-time positions.

What our partners say

Share the journey to online support.