Duluth, Ga., August 20, 2007 — Julie Harrelson was quite happy in her position as the Special Education and Title I Director at the Telfair County (Ga.) School District. She enjoyed working with special needs children and their teachers, helping them find the resources they needed to meet their academic goals and requirements.
But she wanted to do more. More for the students in Telfair County, and more for other special needs students throughout Georgia. She just didn´t know how.
Then the district decided to purchase Classworks, published by Curriculum Advantage, Inc. (www.curriculumadvantage.com). The program downloaded her students´ Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) results, created several detailed reports and diagnosed, prescribed and generated individual learning paths, complete with intervention activities, quizzes, projects and remediation (as needed) for each student.
When Harrelson saw how Classworks took test data and created learning paths for each student automatically, she was sold on the power of the product.
"I was amazed at how quickly Classworks turned the data into relevant instruction," Harrelson said. "Creating instruction is one thing, but for that instruction to address each student´s specific needs and weaknesses was startling. I saw Classworks work wonders at Telfair County, and if it could work here, it could work everywhere."
Harrelson decided she could better affect students´ education by introducing her colleagues to the benefits of integrating instructional technology targeted toward individualized instruction. She joins the growing ranks of district administrators, principals and teachers who are helping their peers with effective technology use for students.
Harrelson is now a leader on the Classworks Georgia implementation team, working with her former peers across the state to help everyone achieve their education goals.
But Harrelson´s is not an isolated case.
Mike Forsyth, who taught third-, fourth- and sixth-grade science, knows that skilled elementary school science teachers are few and far between. "I know what I did in my classroom worked," said Forsyth, who would convert his classroom into a 19th century sailing ship to teach science through sailing and adventure. "Throughout the year the emphasis was to ´teach students to fish´ for scientific answers so they might have answers for a lifetime."
But Forsyth, like Harrelson, wanted to reach out to and teach more students than just those in his classroom. With Classworks preparing to launch a Classworks Science product, Forsyth decided to join Curriculum Advantage to give more students the chance to experience the scientific adventures his classes experienced.
In Utah, Forsyth´s home state, Classworks just received the highest recommendation possible for supplementary curriculum by the Utah Instructional Materials Center. Additionally, Forsyth is excited about working with the Classworks Utah edition, which is specifically designed to help students master skills outlined by the Utah Core Curriculum. It is also aligned to the high-stakes Utah Core Assessments and the Utah Basic Skills Competency Test. "Being aligned to Utah´s specific requirements means Classworks can really help boost test scores for each student," Forsyth said.
Another new member of the Classworks team is Betsy Lichner, a primary school teacher with a special education background, who will be working in Illinois.
"I believe that everyone associated with Curriculum Advantage really cares about helping students do better," said Lichner. "As a teacher and as a mother of two grade-school children, I was looking for a company whose product went right to the heart of ´how children learn.´"
Lichner will be working with a new Illinois edition of Classworks aligned to the Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT) that was released in June. She is eager to expand the use of Classworks in the Midwest and is planning to meet with state education officials to learn the real issues facing Illinois educators, as well as talking with district administrators across the state regarding student achievement and how Classworks can help raise student proficiency rates.
And in South Carolina, Judy Ethridge comes to Classworks after having worked as a public school speech and language therapist. Ethridge says her experience gives a "hands-on knowledge of current educational challenges that teachers and administrators face on a daily basis. Educators want to make a difference and I feel that my association with Curriculum Advantage will allow me to continue to make a difference in the lives of all of South Carolina´s students."
As more and more educators are joining the Classworks team, their knowledge of the education system and their knowledge of Classworks will help them do what they set out to do in the first place — teach children.
Classworks (www.classworks.com), a leader in computer-based student instruction in K-12 for English/Language Arts, Reading and Mathematics, was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as one of only a handful of computer-assisted instruction programs to demonstrate that it improves student achievement, and has earned several software industry honors. Classworks´ Language Learner Series, another component of the program, addresses English as a Second Language learning with content that focuses on auditory, visual and tactile/kinesthetic components.
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. Its activities are correlated to national and state learning standards and state tests, and include prescriptive and summative assessment, remediation and reporting tools. Classworks Language Learner Series, another part of the program, addresses English as a Second Language learning with content that focuses on auditory, visual and tactile/kinesthetic components.