Maya Balouskas has had a hard time getting the grades she wants in her math classes. She started tutoring with Jacqueline O’Donnell, the founder of Saratoga-based tutoring company Math Refresh, last summer.

“I went from having 80s in algebra to last quarter, I finished with a 96 in geometry," says Balouskas, a Saratoga High School freshman.

Balouskas’ struggles are not uncommon. According to a study by The Northwest Evaluation Association, in nearly all grades, achievement gains last school year fell short of pre-pandemic trends, and students need an additional 4 1/2 months of instruction to catch up in math. That educational gap left by the pandemic is why O’Donnell, a former teacher, started Math Refresh.

“Because of the nature of how learning was going either online or in hybrid environments, education was not as consistent for many students. So, some of those foundational skills, the opportunity to practice those [in] depth, was really missing during those few years where the pandemic was affecting the day-to-day operations of the school," says O’Donnell.

O’Donnell is expanding to offer virtual tutoring, so kids across New York can benefit. Math Refresh is hiring teachers as tutors, so they can use the skills gained in remote learning during the pandemic.

“I felt like we can harness this and connect teachers from all over the state, with students all over the state who need this high-quality tutoring," O’Donnell said.