Personalized instruction provides HOPE to Colorado students

Have you noticed an increase in student performance and/or motivation as a result of this technology use?

Given lessons at the appropriate skill level, students are able to understand and complete their lessons, thereby gaining confidence and motivation to continue learning. The self-paced, mastery-focused curriculum at HOPE has a noticeable impact on our students, especially those students who enroll for at least two consecutive years. Our data show that students who are enrolled for one year or more in HOPE increase their Colorado Student Assessment Program scores in reading (+6.5 percent), writing (+3.2 percent), and math (+6.5 percent).

Additionally, by using engaging technology, we have increased the percentage of students who re-enroll from 51 percent in the 2010-11 school year to 70 percent in the 2011-12 school year. This is especially notable because our student body tends to be a highly mobile, at-risk, low-income, minority population. For example, 49 percent of second through fifth graders have been in three or more schools in the past three years, at least 63 percent qualify for free lunch, and only 27 percent are grade-level proficient upon enrollment. With re-enrollment numbers trending upward, we hope to see continued gains among our students’ state assessment scores.

Over the past three years, HOPE also has seen a decrease in the number of behavior incidents. At the elementary level, incidents have decreased from 46 in 2009-10, to 24 in 2010-11, to 14 in 2011-12. This positive trend is also reflected at the high school level. Incidents have decreased from 135 to 109 from 2009-10 to 2011-12. This trend is attributable to our use of Moodle software, which trains HOPE teachers and staff about student behavior and strategic techniques for encouraging improved student behavior.

How do you use technology to streamline school administration and aid in decision-making?

With formative and summative assessment databases, as well as SPSS data mining software, our instructional team, teachers, and Learning Center staff are able to monitor student progress and achievement on a weekly, and even daily, basis. Collectively, these systems let staff evaluate student progress at the school, classroom, student subgroup, and individual student levels.

Data analysis is applied daily to address individual students’ learning needs. Historically, this monitoring has let us adjust students’ daily schedules. During our earliest years, students spent the majority of their time learning with the online curriculum. Now, using data provide d by all of our curriculums, learning programs, and assessments, we have discovered that a tiered approach to online and offline lessons works best. Younger students benefit most when the online curriculum is coupled with additional time spent with face-to-face group and one-on-one instruction. As students advance into higher grades, their need for the face-to-face group instruction decreases, and they’re able to be successful engaging with the online curriculum for longer periods of time, supplementing it with one-on-one, face-to-face support.

HOPE Learning Centers are operated by our approximately 50 partners, all of which are community-based nonprofit organizations committed to education and our students. Learning Centers provide a facility that students attend daily to access their online curriculum and receive face-to-face support from licensed teachers and experienced mentors. Learning Centers are located in students’ neighborhoods and give students a safe and nurturing environment for learning.

eSchool News Staff

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