DULUTH, Ga. (April 19, 2007)–While the calendar still says April, school administrators are already planning for summer school–trying to decide how to effectively design a summer school program that will effectively target, remediate and meet their students´ needs.
Schools with Classworks are resting a little easier than others. Classworks, by Curriculum Advantage, Inc. (www.curriculumadvantage.com), contains a built-in summer school program that is already being leveraged in many states. Whether students need tutoring for a high-stakes test retake, remediation assistance, on-grade level enrichment or a diagnostic tool, Classworks is perfectly suited for summer school because:
*It is aligned to state standards in reading, Language Arts and Math;
*It can import results from state tests to automatically create individual curriculum for each student;
*Its instruction is differentiated and engaging for the student;
*It generates weekly progress reports so students and their parents can see improvement over the course of the summer.
In the Mt. Pleasant Area District School in Pennsylvania, the summer school focus is entirely on reading. Students spend part of their days with teachers and small groups, while the balance of time is with Classworks.
Paul Tepper, the Title I coordinator and principal of two elementary schools for the MPADS, said Classworks´ capacity to take student diagnostic data from third-party assessment programs–in this case, Scantron–and automatically assign specific reading lessons to each student is a big plus.
Tepper also said that another of Classworks´ advantages is having students work at their own pace and to not feel pressured by letter grades. "It offers a relaxed atmosphere with no grades, just working on skill development. Not having the pressure of grades or having No Child Left Behind staring over your shoulder actually adds to the performance of the children," he said.
One Classworks feature that students and educators both like is that with 10,881 activities from 180 different software packages, students are offered a great variety of activities to keep their attention. Students might find themselves working on a spaceship game one minute and then on a jungle-themed quiz activity a few minutes later.
"The vast assortment of activities definitely keeps the children´s minds on their work, instead of thinking about where they would rather be on a fine summer day," said Sean Van Scoyoc, the technology coordinator at Mt. Pleasant.
Another district that has been using Classworks for summer school is Houston County (Ga.) School District. In each summer session classroom in Houston, there is a certified teacher and a Title I teacher. Often, these summer session teachers don´t know their students, but Classworks alleviates this concern. "Classworks is a beneficial component for the summer school program here because it allows the summer remediation teachers who are not familiar with all of these students to know that the instruction they are receiving on the Classworks program is aligned to their needs," said Jan Grace, the director of testing and instructional technology for Houston County.
Houston uses Classworks extensively during the summer, which is split into a short remediation session for students who have not passed the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT), and then a conventional summer school for students who have not completed the work needed to advance to the next grade. Classworks´ ability to import CRCT results allows for students to get a crash-course in specific subjects before they take the CRCT retest. Last year, according to Houston´s Instructional Technology Coordinator Chris McPhail, 60 to 65 percent of these remediation students passed the reading retest.
While Classworks is an excellent option for summer school, it has also been recognized as powerful education tool by winning industry awards as well as having demonstrated effectiveness in increasing student achievement in a number of research studies.
About Curriculum Advantage
Curriculum Advantage, Inc. (www.curriculumadvantage.com) is based in Duluth, Ga. Curriculum Advantage´s flagship product is Classworks, a network-based system of K-12 reading and mathematics curriculum and learning tools that currently comprise over 5,000 hours of curriculum. Classworks activities are correlated to national and state learning standards and state tests, and include prescriptive and summative assessment, remediation and reporting tools. Classworks is installed in more than 3,000 schools in the United States and worldwide. INET Classroom, also from Curriculum Advantage, is a comprehensive library of web-based curriculum linked to state and national standards.