OTTAWA -- When COVID-19 hit the capital, it disrupted the studies of thousands of students.

Now, with virtual learning not living up to the standards of some parents, they are turning to tutoring centres for extra help.

Kanata Learning Centre director Rebecca Moore says demand for tutors is high.

"We saw a jump in requests for support starting in October," said Moore. 

Following months of confusion for Ottawa students, much of their learning has been turned upside down.

"Part of it is that COVID has been here for a year now, so some kids and their parents are dealing with just the cumulative affects of disruptions to school," says Moore.

Local learning centres say families are turning to private tutoring to assist in what has been described as a rough year.

"Kids are having to learn in really different kinds of ways right now," says Moore. "Parents are having to support some of them who are doing virtual learning at home. And I think a lot of students and their families are starting to feel the stress from this."

"Students all need to get caught up from where they left off last year," says Kyra Cosman, vice-president of Ottawa Tutoring. "The semester really stopped abruptly and moved fully online. So a lot of students are busy playing catch up." 

Even with in-person learning back, some parents are still opting to keep their kids home, going the virtual route. Tutoring centres have had to extend their hours and hire more staff to keep up with the demand.

"So that was something unique to this year that we did have to find tutors that were willing to accommodate that type of schedule," says Cosman. 

It's not just elementary students, teens are looking for extra help too.

"You know we’ve got high school students that are worrying about passing tests and exams, and getting their credits," says Moore.  

“The new format of the school year for high school students with the quadmester and octomester formats. The semesters move very quickly and tutors can be really beneficial for students to stay on top of their studies that way,” says Cosman.

Although the demand for tutors is higher than it has ever been, both Cosman and Moore say they haven’t had to turn away any students this school year.