Duluth, Ga., August 20, 2007 — In an effort to help districts effectively integrate technology into their schools, Curriculum Advantage, Inc. has just completed a yearlong review of successful implementation models and revamped its entire Professional Development process. From how it does its Implementation Planning to its new suite of 25 training courses, Curriculum Advantage now offers a more comprehensive solution to help schools get results faster.
One of the chief concerns regarding instructional technology is that while schools now have technology, most haven´t seen dramatic improvements, as noted in this spring´s U.S. Department of Education — Institute of Education Sciences study (Effectiveness Of Reading And Mathematics Software Products: Findings From The First Student Cohort). The research suggests that this is mainly from poor integration into the standard curricula. Curriculum Advantage was cited as one of the only instructional software companies to be effective in a comprehensive research study by Johns Hopkins University last year (Effective Programs in Elementary Mathematics: A Best-Evidence Synthesis, by Dr. Robert E. Slavin and Dr. Cynthia Lake), and the company wanted to find a way to maximize those results for all its customers.
"What we´ve found is that the schools with the most successful results with instructional technology are the ones with solid action plans. In our Implementation Planning meetings, we help identify specific district goals and how those will be accomplished at the schools," said Lindsey Cook, Curriculum Advantage´s chief executive officer. "For instance, if there´s a general goal to improve AYP scores, we will develop a training program for teachers of mainstream students and then a more aggressive plan for ´bubble´ kids."
In an ongoing effort to be results-driven, Curriculum Advantage partners with 15 to 20 schools each year to complete Effectiveness Studies. By creating specific programs to raise student test scores, it has been able to replicate the model in more schools. These best practices are now integrated into the new Professional Development courses. Of the 25 courses, 18 are brand-new, which gives schools exactly what they need, even for advanced users.
"We have taken the best of what we´ve learned while working with our schools and created new modules addressing such topics as summer school programs, raising test scores for students failing AYP, and sessions on how to bring other technologies such as Smart Boards into use with Classworks," said Debbie Nicholas, Curriculum Advantage´s vice president for customer service. Some of the other classes include "Reviewing the Reports, Analyzing the Data," "Classworks for Credit Recovery," and "Standards-based Instruction for All Students."
Curriculum Advantage is dedicated to making a school´s implementation a success by customizing its Professional Development. Classworks customers have come to appreciate the personalized training and support provided by its instructors. These courses are designed to help make new teachers feel comfortable with the program, as well as expanding the capabilities of teachers who have experience with Classworks.
"Curriculum Advantage´s technical and professional development support has been consistently excellent. As a result, our teachers have confidence in both Classworks and their ability to make the most of its potential in the classroom," said Dr. Stanley W. DeJarnett, superintendent of Morgan County Schools (Ga.). "I have never worked with a company that pays more attention to customer service than Curriculum Advantage. They have become a true partner with Morgan County."
Continued Professional Development will help build on a school´s past accomplishments, sustain current initiatives and add instructional components and skills to get the most from its Classworks implementation. These courses will help teachers quickly and efficiently plan, deliver and integrate instruction using Classworks.
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.