Oak Ridge Youth Development School

Lift Them Up

Parent Handbook

Contact Information

Contact Information

All tutoring sessions will be completed at the Oak Ridge Missionary Baptist Church at 9301 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, KS  66112.  Parents/caretakers may contact staff at (913) 788-8038 (office).  Staff can be contacted at the following email addresses:

            Charlie Jennings, Executive Director: cjennings@ormbc.org

            Jackie Anderson, Program Director: janderson@ormbc.org

            Ruby Kirkwood, Administrative Assistance: rkirkwood@ormbc.org

 Tutors will not provide their personal contact information to you or your scholar.  They may provide their email address @ormbc.org for any communication but you should not expect communication outside of the tutoring sessions and please be mindful of their personal time outside of work.  

Applying for Tutoring Services

Services are available to any scholar attending kindergarten through 12th grade in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area who is not meeting expectations for their grade level.  Students will be considered on a first come, first serve basis.

 A waiting list will be kept for any additional students beyond our capacity and those students will be invited to fill open appointments as they become available, by email to the parents/caregivers.  Families will have one week to respond to such invitations before they are removed from the list and the next available student is invited.  Parents/guardians may reapply at any time.

 Applications for Lift Them Up will open January 2024, on the ORYDS website, and will remain open year round.  Applications can be found at https://orydschool.org/lift-them-up/.  If you have trouble completing these online or do not have access to a computer/internet, please contact ORYDS directly to set up an appointment to complete the forms with our staff.

Forms must be completed in their entirety before your scholar will be considered for tutoring and scheduled or placed on the waiting list.  You must also sign a release for any teacher or faculty member at your child’s school that will need to communicate with ORYDS and specifically with the tutor.  Additional releases will need to be completed for any community partners or case managers who may be providing transportation for your scholar, assisting with tutoring, or may otherwise wish to contact ORYDS on behalf of your family.  We believe that open communication with you and the scholar’s teachers tends to provide the best outcome for your student.  ORYDS is happy to advocate for your scholar and family to ensure that they are receiving the best education possible both inside and outside of the classroom setting.

 Prior to scheduling tutoring sessions, you must provide the following:

  1. Current grades for your scholar in all subjects,
  2. Information regarding any diagnoses (physical health, mental health, learning disabilities, etc.),
  3. Copies of any IEPs, 504s or other academic or behavioral plans,
  4. A report from the school regarding any behavioral issues, disciplinary actions, etc. If there are none, the school must provide a letter or report showing no issues.

These documents will be reviewed to determine if Lift Them Up is a good fit for your scholar and how we can best support you with our services or those of other community partners.

 There is no fee to apply for services.  There is also no guarantee that services will be provided to your scholar simply because the application process had been completed.

Service Fees

Tutoring services can be very expensive for scholars and their families.  ORYDS wants any student to have access to these services regardless of their family’s financial situation.  You will note that the application contains questions regarding annual household income.  This is used for two purposes, the first being collection of demographic information and the second use is to determine tutoring fees.  Fees for each tutoring session are based on a sliding skill determined by income.  These fees must be paid prior to receiving services and may be changed at any time.  Fees will not be increased for any student during their current tutoring cycle (6 sessions).


Annual Household Income Fee per Session Fee per 6 Sessions
At or below federal poverty level (see chart) $0 $0
All others $25 $150



You are expected to provide transportation to and from ORYDS for tutoring sessions.  If other family members and/or friends will be used to help with transportation, they will need to be included on the application form as we will not release children to anyone not listed and previously approved.  Please tell them to bring identification when picking up your child. Your child will not be released to anyone that is not on the list or is unable to prove their identity.

 If you are struggling with transportation, please reach out to ORYDS so we can assist in finding a resolution to ensure that your student has access to these services.

 If a child is not picked up timely, staff will first attempt to contact you, your emergency contacts, and other contacts previously provided.  If this is unsuccessful either because family and friends cannot be reached or because they are unable to pick up the child, staff will contact law enforcement for assistance after waiting 1 hour for contact to be made and a resolution determined.  If this occurs a second time, services will no longer be provided for your child and you will need to reapply for services, if so desired.

Kansas City Kansas Public Schools are collaborating with ORYDS to provide some transportation to ORYDS for tutoring.  The schools involved in this collaboration will be announced on the website for each semester.

Data Collection

Our goal is to provide services to scholars who are motivated to learn and improve their academics.  Students will begin tutoring services by completing assessments so their current status can be determined.  Their progress will be tracked by the tutor they are working with within the software programs used during tutoring and at home.  At the end of services, they will complete an assessment to show their full range of progress.  ORYDS collects this data for many reasons.  The first is to celebrate with the student and their family as they progress and learn new skills while mastering the ones they have already learned.  It is important to celebrate all successes to encourage continued learning.  Second, we collect data to ensure that the tools we are using and the work being done in tutoring sessions and at home are creating an atmosphere for learning as well as assisting the child in their journey.  Third, ORYDS needs funding to provide these services to those in need.  Many of our funding sources are interested in the outcomes from our programming.  We do not provide names or contact information for those we serve; however, we do report demographics and overall outcomes for our program.  Our results determine future funding and this is very important to our sustainability.

Tools for Success

One of the benefits of Lift Them Up is that scholars will have a semester (or more) of access to the software ORYDS uses for literacy and math lessons.  These programs lead the industry and produce results for students who use them regularly to practice their skills.  It is necessary for your scholar to have access to a tablet/computer and internet services in your home so that they can complete weekly assignments provided by their tutor and also to utilize these resources to continue their academic growth.  We do not recommend trying to complete this work on cell phones due to their size.

If you do not have access to a tablet/computer and/or internet services, please contact ORYDS staff and we will assist you in completing the application with the state of Kansas to obtain these for free in your home.

Additionally, you will be asked to use mobile apps to assist with communication between ORYDS and the families we serve.  QManager will be used for you to notify ORYDS staff that you have arrived with your scholar and when you are ready to pick them up at the end of the their session.  You will also sign up for text messages from ORYDS.  This allows us to communicate information quickly and to all participants in the case of an emergency.  This may be used to remind families of a holiday, to announce closure due to inclement weather, or other important communications.

QManager is an innovative software that will enable parents to sign for authorized student(s) on your smartphone.  This will increase security and speed up arrivals and dismissals.

To set up this app:

  1. Download QManager on your Smartphone
  2. Make sure to accept location permissions when you first run QManager on your Smartphone.
  3. You will receive an email prior to orientation that will help you set up the app for ORYDS.

Prior to the first tutoring session, you will be invited to bring your scholar and meet with their assigned tutor.  This orientation will take approximately 1 hour.  During this time the tutor will demonstrate how to use the software programs, provide login information for your student to access these at home, and discuss the tutoring process.  This will give you a chance to ask any questions you might have as well as to get firsthand experience with the software.  You will also be taught how to use QManager and sign up for texts from ORYDS during this session if you have not already done this.  You are welcome to bring a tablet/laptop if you would like assistance in setting up the software sites for your scholar.

Schedule for Sessions

Your student will be scheduled for one tutoring session per week for 6 weeks.  They will be assigned primary tutor that will work with them during all sessions.  Should that tutor be unable to work on any given day, a substitute will be available so that there are no disruptions for your child. While at tutoring, your student will be have access to a tablet or computer or any needed school supplies.  They are welcome to bring their homework to work on and any other academic materials but should not bring in toys or other items as we cannot be responsible for these and do not want to create distractions from their sessions.

 Currently we have sessions available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The first sessions begin at 4:30PM and ends at 6:15PM.  The second sessions begins at 5:45PM and ends at 7:30PM.  If you have a preference of day/time, please let ORYDS staff know prior to scheduling.  If you cannot utilize the available times/dates, you will be put back on the waiting list as the next in line and will be offered the next available opening until you have one that works for your family.  Once the schedule is set, it cannot be changed.

 You will need to arrive with your child at the beginning time for their session at the north-east doors. We will not take children earlier than this time unless previously arranged with administrative staff.

  1. Sign into your QManager app to notify staff that you are in the parking lot and we will come to your car to greet your child and walk them inside.
  2. Because our hours are around dinner time, all students will receive a boxed meal to eat and enjoy in our Family Life Center.
  3. Following this, we will have a short social emotional learning activity that helps them decompress from their day at school and prepare for their tutoring session.
  4. Once done, tutors will escort their assigned students to their study room.
    1. Students will first work on any work assigned by their school teachers.
    2. If there is time left, they will be able to use a tablet or computer to play the software learning games.
  5. Your child’s tutor will prepare a Tutor’s Report that describes what was accomplished during the session, any school work that still needs to be completed, and skills that need to be practiced with the software over the next week. They will also share any celebrations or concerns.  You will receive the original and a copy is placed in the student’s ORYDS file.
  6. Please be in the parking lot to pick up your child at the same entrance on time. Again, you will log into QManager to notify staff that you are ready and once the tutoring session is completed, the tutor will bring your child out to your vehicle and provide you with the report.
  7. During the following week, you will assist your child with logging in and completing the activities assigned to them in the software programs before their next tutoring sessions. Consistency with their use is what helps students learn and retain the lessons.

If you are going to be late for any reason, please call (913) 788-8038 so that a plan can be created.

Expectations for You and Your Scholar

Your child will be putting in hard work in an effort to improve their understanding of the subjects as well as their grades.  There are several short term and many long term benefits to the work that they are doing.  In order to fully support their efforts and journey, ORYDS does have expectations outside of the tutoring sessions to ensure your student’s success.

 This requires a commitment not only by your scholar, but by you.  Students will have access to the software used by their tutor in the areas of reading and math.  Tutors will give them weekly assignments to complete on this software.  Although we encourage students to be responsible and put in the time and effort, we need you to support this process by ensuring that your child is practicing the skills and advancing their education.  This means that you will need to remind your child to complete the tasks, provide a quiet place to work, and ensure that the work is being completed before the next tutoring session.

 The software we use is meant to provide a game-like atmosphere to engage students in learning.  Tutors will provide information on how many minutes a student should engage in the work on a daily and weekly basis.  If your scholar wants to do even more work and move further ahead, we absolutely encourage this.  There are several tips and tricks to help engage students in this type of work and the tutors can provide assistance with these.  Some of the most important to note are:

  1. ALWAYS put homework as the priority. ORYDS does not want to interfere with your child’s school work and the expectations of their teachers.
  2. Provide a quiet work place for them to work. Turn off electronics and remove any items that may cause distractions.
  3. Schedule short periods of study (10-15 minutes) and then provide a break (even if they are struggling to complete a task).
  4. Always encourage them in what they are trying to do. Children may have trouble expressing what they can’t understand or why they are not in the right mindset to complete work.  Be patient and work with them.
  5. Understand that there may be days when working on the software just isn’t a good idea. On days when your student has been in school and had tutoring, they are likely to be unwilling to spend even more time working on reading or math, and that’s ok.
  6. Be creative in practicing their skills with them. The software is not the only way they learn and if provided attention and a “fun” activity, they can be coached in real life situations.  For example, while driving to school ask them to count by 5s to practice multiplication.  When settling down for bed, ask them to read to you.  Every practice session will make a difference in the long run.

And most importantly, CELEBRATE the student’s success.  Whether this is 15 minutes completed on the software, reading 1 page of a book, going to tutoring, or doing better in their classes, children respond to positivity and praise.  The more we reinforce their learning attitude, the more they will want to engage in these behaviors.

Our Approach to Discipline

We believe discipline should be used to teach a child and use positive guidance techniques.

  • Verbal Intervention: We explain to the scholar the inappropriate behavior and show him/her the appropriate way to handle the situation with words.
  • Logical Consequences: We help the scholar understand the logical consequence of his/her actions by removing the object or activity in which the scholar is engaged.
  • Take a Break: The scholar is separated from the group to allow him/her to relax and calm down, and to help him/her not to be influenced by peers. The scholar will have access to limited activities and be closely monitored.  The scholar may return to the group as soon as the negative behavior stops or is significantly reduced.

Giving positive verbal rewards encouraged acceptable behavior.  This reinforced a scholar’s good feeling about his/her behavior and serves as an example to the scholars to act in such a way as to receive the praise.  Asking a scholar to stop and think about their behavior enables the scholar to work at self-control and regulation.

Discipline Policy:

Scholars are expected to demonstrate appropriate behavior in the classroom, church/school property, and in any vehicles providing transportation.

Scholars are expected to contribute to a safe, caring, learning environment by cooperating in work and play; doing their best to achieve academic excellence; respecting themselves, others and the environment; and conducting themselves in a safe manner at all times.

Our policy is not to punish, but to ask the scholars, with the parents’ help, to take responsibility for their actions and the consequences of those actions.


General Guidelines:

  • Show respect in actions and in speech for members of the ORYDS staff, volunteers, visitors, and other students.
  • Respect the property of the church, staff, volunteers, visitors, and other students.
  • Behave in a manner that will ensure your safety and the safety of others.
  • Maintain a cooperative learning atmosphere by exhibiting a positive attitude.
  • Be considerate of others when passing in the hall, on the playground, or in the Family Life Center.
  • Use clean and respectful language.
  • Use proper table manners.

Enforcement of these rules will be age/developmentally appropriate.  They apply to everyone in ORYDS programs.


Acts of Serious Misconduct

If a student continues to exhibit misconduct and inappropriate behavior such as the use of offensive/obscene language, fighting, arguing, name-calling, any form of harassment, any form of substance abuse, possessing any items inappropriate for school, including the possession of a weapon/firearm, etc.; it will result in immediate notification to the parent/guardian and may result in immediate suspension and/or expulsion from ORYDS programs.

Dress Code Policy

The purpose of the scholar dress code policy, for all scholars in grades kindergarten through 12, is to ensure that the learning environment has no distractions from the classroom instruction and academic performance.  All clothing is to be clean and neat.  All clothing must be of appropriate size and fit properly.  Any clothing that is too tight, revealing/see-through, or saggy/baggy pants are not permitted.


  • Athletic shoes are permitted but students may wear any shoes meant for outdoor and indoor activity.


  • Scholars may wear t-shirts that have no offensive language or images.
  • No halter tops.
  • No tops that show any part of the stomach which includes midriffs and tube tops.


  • Scholars may wear basketball shorts or any other shorts that come to the knee. They may also wear jeans, pants, or active wear that fits correctly.  Leggings should include a top that covers below the student’s private areas.
  • No short shorts or mini-skirts are allowed.
  • Shorts, skirts, and dresses must pass the hand test, meaning they go past the students fingertips when their arms are fully extended down by their sides.


  • Backpacks are permitted but should only contact school work and supplies. Students should not be bringing any personal items to their tutoring sessions unless approved by administrative staff.  ORYDS will not be responsible for any lost, damaged, or stolen items.
  • Students are allowed to bring phones to tutoring but these will be put away and can only be used in situations where the student is communicating for pick up or other concerns. The use of the phone is at the discretion of the tutor and administrative staff. ORYDS will not be responsible for any lost, damaged, or stolen items.
  • Students are also to bring a tablet or laptop if this is their preferred method for utilizing our software programs or this is needed to complete their assigned homework. Students will not be allowed to utilize these devices for any reason outside of completing work in their tutoring sessions. ORYDS will not be responsible for any lost, damaged, or stolen items.
  • If the use of any of these items becomes an issue during tutoring sessions, admin staff will hold the items in their offices until the conclusion of the sessions and you will be informed that the item(s) are not allowed back at ORYDS.
Conclusion of Services

Because there is a high need for tutoring services, ORYDS wants to make sure that we are providing these to as many students as possible.  Once chosen for the program, your student will receive 6 tutoring sessions.  Tutors will discuss this with your family during orientation and it may entail 1 or 2 sessions a week depending on the needs of your child.  At the end of the 6th session, tutors will review the progress of your scholar with you and the team will determined if an additional 6 sessions are needed.  This determination relies on many different factors:

  1. The needs of your child based on progress in tutoring, at home, and as reported by teachers,
  2. Your child’s work both in tutoring sessions and at home,
  3. Your child’s and family’s use of the software programs at home and their ability to continue its use to make progress without tutoring, and
  4. Your child’s and family’s input regarding the needs of your scholar.

 Reviews and communication with your scholar’s teachers are not limited to the first and sixth weeks.  Tutors will be reviewing progress weekly and will have communication with all involved as needed both to celebrate progress, discuss any needs, and address any issues.

 Services for your scholar will also be concluded after two absences of any type.  Because we have limited spaces and many in need, we have to ensure that those receiving the service have committed themselves to participate and continuity is important when trying to learn new skills.  ORYDS understands that your child may be ill or that emergencies happen so exceptions may be made in some cases.  Because every student has different needs, we try to approach such situations individually and are happy to discuss any issues that arise.  Should it be determined that your scholar is still in need of services at a different time, they can be placed on the waiting list for a future, available position.

 Of course, services may also be concluded by the parent/caregiver at any time as they deem appropriate.  Severe issues with behavior or other concerns that place other children, staff, and volunteers in danger may also conclude in an immediate exit from the program.  It’s important that you are open with us about any behaviors or issues that may occur so that we can plan ahead with the family on ways to help the student self-regulate and remain safe.  This plan may include your presence during tutoring.  If you are contacted because of your child’s behavior, the expectation is that you respond immediately and return to ORYDS to pick up your child.

 NOTE: The student will continue to have access to the software programs at home for the remainder of the semester even after conclusion of services.  OYRDS cannot stress enough how important it is that scholars are practicing skills at home with the software provided and interactions with their parent/caregiver.  Consistent practice is needed to gain and master new skills.  This cannot be accomplished in one hour of tutoring a week or simply through school instruction.

Additional Services, Community Partners, Resources

ORYDS believes that we must support the student and their family as a whole.  If you or your child has any needs outside of this program, we encourage you to share this with ORYDS staff so that we can help problem solve and find a resolution.  We have many resources and connections to community partners that we can provide to assist in many different areas of need.

 ORYDS may also refer families, with their permission, for different community services if we identify resources that may be helpful to your scholar or family.