HOSTS Learning showcased the success stories of districts using its Mentoring and Intervention solution, a customizable learning and assessment program that helps educators target instruction by tracking students’ individual strengths and weaknesses. For example, at the Natomas Unified School District in a high-growth sector of Sacramento, Calif., district superintendent Steve Farrar had a problem: As many as 57 of his students had failed to pass California’s new statewide high school exit exam. He knew that, despite having passing grades, these students–most of whom hailed from disadvantaged backgrounds–would not be allowed to graduate unless they improved their scores on the state’s exit exam. Using HOSTS Learning’s tracking and assessment tool, Farrar directed his educators to gauge students’ proficiency on certain skill sets. Armed with that information, educators then were able to use the data, which HOSTS tied into the school’s resource database, to locate learning resources that addressed the needs of each student in the program. Once these resources were located, struggling students were enrolled in after-school mentoring programs designed to help them get back on track. Using the HOSTS program, Farrar said, his team of after-school mentors was able to create an individualized learning plan for each student. After just a few months in the program, he said, 25 students retook the exit exam and passed, with all 57 students showing significant gains. So successful was the program in its first year that Farrar said he’s now working with local business leaders and other stakeholders to expand the HOSTS intervention initiative across the entire school system, making the program accessible to all students, not just those struggling to pass the state’s exit exam.
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