In a rural Maine school district, Goalbook is a game-changer for students with special needs and gifted learners alike
FAIRFIELD, Maine (April 30, 2014) – Over the past two years, educators in Maine’s MSAD 49 have seen drastic improvements in the outcomes of students who benefit from specialized instruction. Cory Rogers, the district’s special education director, attributes this success to the dedication of his teachers as well as their partnership with Goalbook.
Prior to working with Goalbook, the district’s teachers found it challenging to find ways to fully engage students in the Common Core – especially those either below or above grade level. The challenge of differentiating instruction for a diverse population where a large percentage of students qualify for free and reduced lunch was magnified by the shift to the new standards.
Rogers saw an opportunity to partner with Goalbook to support teachers. Goalbook’s resources helped teachers gain a deeper understanding of the standards and what was expected of them and their students. Furthermore, he has seen Goalbook used effectively to identify appropriate learning objectives and aid in the design of personalized instruction to meet individual students’ needs.
In a short amount of time, many teachers reported they were spending less time navigating the complexities of Common Core and more time planning instruction for a diverse set of students. “Goalbook transformed our classrooms,” said Rogers. “It gave our teachers their ‘educational capital’ back so they could deeply engage all students.”
Specifically, Rogers recalled a fifth grade classroom that included a student who was three grade levels behind in reading and math. The student’s teacher struggled to reconcile the need for individual learning objectives with that of providing appropriate, grade-level instruction. “Goalbook helped that teacher design effective instruction appropriate for this student. The student began to progress rapidly towards proficiency in all subject areas,” said Rogers.
The successful use of Goalbook has also proved essential in planning instruction for gifted students. One educator taught a gifted seventh grader who was testing at a high school level in math. Goalbook helped the teacher develop a personalized plan aligned to standards, ensuring that the student would continue to learn and progress.
Rogers envisions an educational system where personalized learning is seen as essential for meeting the increasingly broad range of academic and social-emotional needs of individual students.
“Goalbook is the perfect tool for supporting teachers. Instead of spending so much time analyzing standards, our teachers are empowered to spend their time working with students on an individualized basis,” said Rogers. “This is the future of education – providing a personalized learning plan that ensures success for every student – Goalbook gives my teachers the support they need to do that.”
Goalbook empowers teachers to transform instruction for all students through instructional technology, research-based resources and professional development. More than 200 districts in 40 states have partnered with Goalbook, and the company is recognized as a leading innovator around instructional quality and teacher development for diverse learners. Goalbook was founded by former district administrators, Daniel Jhin Yoo and Justin Su, was a member of ImagineK12’s first cohort and the first company to be funded through New Schools Venture Fund’s Seed Fund.