PDE Search

Frequently Asked Questions
Back Email Article  Print Article
Supplemental Educational Services (SES)
Frequently Asked Questions


What is SES?

SES stands for Supplemental Educational Services, a federal initiative for free tutoring and part of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Academic instruction in reading, math or science is provided before or after the normal school hours. Such instruction is designed to increase the academic achievement of students in Title I schools that have not met state targets for student progress for three or more years. Services may be offered to low- income students through public schools, districts, charter schools, higher education agencies, for-profit, non-profit or faith-based agencies that are state approved providers. The list of approved SES providers is posted on the state website.


Who is eligible to receive SES?

Students from low-income families who are in attendance at Title I schools identified for School Improvement (SI) 2, Corrective Action (CA) or Restructuring are eligible to receive services.


Are parents notified about SES?

Yes, school districts with schools identified for SI 2, CA, or Restructuring are required to provide annual notice to parents of eligible children about the availability of services and information on approved providers.


May parents choose providers for tutoring?

Yes, parents of eligible children may choose from the list of state-approved providers at the following link: Supplemental Education Services. Upon request, the school district will help parents determine which provider would best fit his/her child’s needs.  When parents choose a provider, the district then will contract with the provider agency to deliver the services.


How do I know if my school provides SES?

Schools identified for SI 2, CA or Restructuring and receiving Title I funding are eligible for SES.  To determine the Academic Achievement Report for a specific school, click on the following link: www.paayp.emetric.net.   Visit the following link for the Title I buildings providing SES: Title I School Improvement Buildings 09-10  


What actions can parents take if their child is eligible for tutoring but their school or district does not offer tutoring services?

Parents/guardians who have children registered at the school as low income may check the Title I list of eligible schools at the following website to determine whether their child is enrolled at a school providing SES. Title I School Improvement Buildings 09-10.

Parents should contact the principal of the school building for more information or finally the parents may contact the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Federal Programs Division.


How are providers of SES selected?

NCLB establishes basic requirements, and states must develop and apply objective criteria (consistent with those requirements) for reviewing providers and services that they offer. Providers must submit applications online at the PDE website, including fiscal documentation, and must attend meetings concerning state policy prior to being approved for SES. The rubric for the review of provider applications is found via the following SES website. 


How are providers of SES held accountable?

States must develop and apply objective criteria for evaluating providers and monitoring the quality of services that they offer. The state reviews the programs of providers through both announced and unannounced site visits. In addition the state formally evaluates student achievement with each SES provider serving students in the state. If fewer than 80% of the students that a provider has tutored over a two-year period do not make significant progress, the provider is removed from the list of approved SES providers. During the school year SES providers must give to parents, as well as to the school, regular updates on student progress.

School districts may submit to the state the following checklist noting issues of concern. SES_Provider_Checklist.doc.

Back to Top

When should the SES program begin?

All districts/schools/providers should begin tutoring programs for all eligible students as soon as possible after the identification of schools in improvement at the beginning of the school year. Once identified, schools provide parent notification letters and allow parents approximately one month to respond and indicate their intent to have their children participate in the program. When chosen, the provider must sign an agreement with the school district. Providers should be prepared to begin services as soon as possible after the agreement is signed.


When can SES providers submit application for Pennsylvania?

The window for submission of tutoring applications for the following school year in Pennsylvania is generally open from February until the end of April.  Please check website for specific timelines.


I understand that the state of Pennsylvania has an annual renewal process. What must I do to renew my status as an SES Provider?

All providers are required to attend an annual meeting for an explanation of policies and a review of the evaluation procedures. Normally these meetings are held during the month of May. Please access the website during the months of March, April and May, for updates on requirements and meetings. If email addresses are not current the department will do its best to contact providers via US Mail or by phone, but if current active provider contact information is not correct, the Department is not responsible for failure to communicate. Policy on the website states that contact information must be correct. In addition all providers must update applications online and submit a renewal application.  Any provider that has not complied with the state financial policy or carried out the components of the submitted state application and district contract will be unable to renew application.


Are there additional requirements to the online application?

Yes, in addition to the submission of application the SES provider must submit fiscal information including a financial statement, official documentation of business status and original background checks/child abuse forms for all staff. The original forms will be copied and returned to the provider. State reviewer must receive paper documents within 30 days of electronic date of application submission. Provider must send the all forms in one package and clearly marked for the provider agency. All SES providers are required to attend an annual state workshop to receive updated information on state policy and information on state evaluation procedures.


My agency is located at two different sites. May I submit two applications?

An agency may submit one application per FEIN number. Locations may be listed on the application, and may be provided through the school district mailing at time of parent notification. The website may only list one address per agency, however, will list the agency under each school district and/or county noted on the application.


How many students may be tutored in an SES small group?

During the school year a maximum of 10 students per instructor may be tutored in a small group setting. During the summer a maximum of 15 students may be tutored in a small group setting.


What types of programs are eligible for SES?

Tutoring is to be conducted using an evidence-based instructional model that is aligned with the state academic standards, the school curriculum and student needs. Approved PDE models are listed on the SES website. Others may submit documentation to the state for consideration for the following school year. SES does not include homework help programs.


How does the provider receive payment?

The process of payment will be defined by the contract between the school district and the SES provider. It is expected that the provider will provide proof of attendance and progress reports at defined periods of time at which time the district will provide payment for services.


How much money does the provider receive per pupil?

The maximum amount provided per pupil is determined by the district allocation for Title I funding divided by the number of low income students as defined by census count. The district and charter school per pupil amount is listed at the following link: SES_Per_Pupil_Amts.


Where can I find a copy of the SES Non-Regulatory Guidance issued January, 2009 ?

The Guidance is a list of Frequently Asked Questions prepared at the federal level and available at this link: SES Guidance


Is there a limit on incentives or rewards that I may provide to the student?

Yes, please see the SES Financial Rewards Policy online at the following link: Financial_Policy_for_SES_Providers.doc.

It is important that the majority of funding be spent on the educational plan for the student and not on rewards or incentives.


May distance providers give students a computer at the completion of the program?

According to the SES Financial Rewards Policy a provider may “lend” a computer to the student for the time of the program.


How may I remove my name from the approved provider list?

Please contact the Division of Federal Programs at 717-783-2193. The posted approved provider list is updated prior to the new school year when newly approved providers and renewals are updated. The list may be updated in January if changes are needed at that time.


I am having trouble accessing my provider application. What should I do?

If you have lost the link to your application, you will need to contact the Division of Federal Programs for a link to your application. When you first create an application the egrant system generates a message to be sent to your email address indicating you have created an application (not submitted) and provides a link for you to return to your own application. When you receive the link to your application, copy it and paste it to a safe place in order to retrieve it and return at any time. Your email is a vital communication tool should you want to receive updates from the Department. If you have technical problems please visit egrants and click on On-Line - eGrant Support which will provide a webpage for questions: http://egrants.ed.state.pa.us/v2/default.asp


Why was my application denied?

Please return to your application and open each section of the menu that is starred with a red marker. At the top of the page is a blue “View Comments” link that will provide for you an explanation for that section. Please refer to the rubric for reviewer criteria.


I am a teacher for a Pennsylvania school district. May I provide SES services?

Individual teachers may not apply for SES approval. Teachers may provide services through a school, district or agency that has applied for approval.


I have entered my Social Security Number and the system has given me an error message. What is wrong?

The egrant system is set to reject the SSN when it is not recognized by the state teacher certification office. In addition, because SES providers may not be individual teachers, the provider is required to enter a federal identification number as evidence of a business rather than the SSN. Otherwise, be sure that you are using the correct format for the SSN to be recognized by the egrant system (###-##-####).


What hard copy documentation should I provide for fiscal soundness?

The state requires the most recent auditor’s or detailed financial statement as well as documentation verifying the business status of the agency. This is generally a copy of an official document the state or federal government provides to each business verifying for-profit or non-profit status.


My phone number or last name has changed. How can I change this on the website?

Please call the Division of Federal Programs at 717-783-2193 for access to the provider information page to make changes in the database. Updates from the database to the website are normally posted in August and January.


How can I change the grade level or a tutoring program on my application?

The application was reviewed and approved with the current information. The application may be updated with the renewal process for the next school year.


Why can’t I find my name on the approved list?

Return to your application to see what program(s) was checked. Be sure that SES is checked. EAP or Classroom Plus may be checked but not SES. Check your application to see what county or school district was checked. The county or school district listing will show only those applicants who indicated they would tutor in that area. Otherwise, please contact the Division of Federal Programs for help with listing.


How do I know if I am approved?

Please refer to your online application for status of your application. Approval or denial will be sent to the email address given on the application. You may print this approval message or you may print the status page on the application.


How can I get a copy of my application?

Open the menu of your application and look at the right column for the blue bar that reads View and Print . Click on the link: Generate Reports. Click again on Tutor Provider Application . A pdf file will open to allow the applicant to print a copy of the application.


Are there sample forms for school district use?

Yes, please refer to the SES Toolkit for LEAs on the PDE website: PA_Toolkit.doc. This document includes a sample agreement, sample forms and sample parent notification letter.


If I disagree with a decision made by PDE what can I do?

Refer to Complaint Procedures at the SES Website. A letter must be addressed to the Chief of the Division of Federal Programs and must include a statement that PDE or a Local Educational Agency has violated a requirement of federal statute or regulations which apply to programs under the No Child Left Behind Act, the facts on which the statement is based and any information on any discussions, meetings or correspondence with PDE or the LEA regarding the complaint.


For additional information, please contact:

Tucker McKissick | Ed-Flex Waiver Manager
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Federal Programs
333 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.783.3381 | Fax: 717.787.8634
tmckissick@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us