6 key elements to build a successful coaching program

A successful coaching program can have an extraordinarily positive impact on teachers, students, and schools. A recent national survey of educators showed that most districts agree — 75 percent see the connection between coaching, teacher growth, and student achievement.

Here are 6 key elements of successful coaching programs that can serve as a roadmap for building and sustaining a successful instructional coaching program.

1. Create a strong vision for the coaching program…Read More

Understanding historical trends and patterns in student data

Educators, students, and families weathered historic interruptions in learning over the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Student achievement, predicted to slide in the ongoing chaos, revealed its fragile nature in the NAEP’s recently released Long-Term Trend results from 2020–2022. The report showed the first-ever decline in mathematics and the most significant drop in reading achievement since the 1980s.

Effective student data analysis

As educators address this new landscape, accurate interventions to accelerate student learning are in demand. In order to know what type of intervention a student needs, high-quality data remain an essential element for educators. Teacher review and understanding of students’ data will guide instructional decisions and create positive outcomes for all students.…Read More

What’s missing from your professional development?

The importance of professional development in education cannot be overstated. In fact, according to research, when teachers receive well-designed professional development, an average of 49 hours spread over six to 12 months, they can increase student achievement by as much as 21 percentile points.

Yet, professional development is often overlooked and considered an afterthought—especially with pressing concerns around students’ mental health and well-being, gaps in reading and math skills, and so much more. The COVID-19 pandemic shook up professional development, encouraging schools and districts to rethink what this process looks like and how to best set their educators up for success and, in turn, their students.

At Waxahachie ISD in Texas, we’ve implemented professional development through the use of video, and lean on self-reflection and personalization that is naturally part of the video process to transform how our educators learn, collaborate and grow.…Read More

Why universal screening is a more equitable identifier of gifted and talented students

School districts have historically relied on a referral-based process to identify students for gifted and talented programming. This means that teachers or parents nominate their students to take selected achievement and/or cognitive aptitude tests, frequently used as a screener for gifted and talented placement.

Unfortunately, relying on referrals alone results in overly homogenous gifted and talented programs that are predominantly white, middle class, and male. Research shows that referral-based identification excludes too many students from enrichment and advanced academic opportunities.

But districts are slowly starting to change their identification processes. Instead of using referrals to determine which students take the specified tests, districts have begun universally screening every child to make the identification process more equitable, especially when districts use cognitive aptitude tests for all students, not just a select subset.…Read More

5 school safety questions your district should be prepared to answer

With students and educators reentering their classrooms for the 2022-23 school year, district leaders need to be able to reassure everyone in their school community that school safety is a priority and that they will be safe physically, socially, and emotionally.

Decades’ worth of research have shown that school safety, school climate, and student well-being are all important for academic achievement. The conditions that support them are complex and ever-shifting, which means it’s a constant challenge to create an optimal learning environment. That’s why district leaders should always be ready to explain what their school safety plans are and how their administration arrived at them.

Be prepared to answer these five questions on the topic of school safety from parents, educators, and students as you head back to school:…Read More

New Research from Curriculum Associates: Student Achievement Shows Concerns and Bright Spots in Recovery—More Students Are Behind in Phonics but Some Schools Are Exceeding Expectations

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass. — While more students are falling behind in foundational reading skills, some schools buck the trend with positive practice in the pandemic’s wake, according to new research released by Curriculum Associates today. 

The first report, The State of Student Learning in  2022, analyzes reading and mathematics data gathered from nearly two million Grades 1–8 students during the 2021–2022 school year via the edtech company’s i-Ready Assessment tool. In a second report, Keys to Unlocking Success, Curriculum Associates identified 301 schools across the country at which students are exceeding learning expectations and conducted research to understand how school leaders are ushering their students and schools toward recovery.  

“We’re beginning the third full academic year since the pandemic began, and many school communities are still grappling with the impact of the massive 2020 disruptions,” said Dr. Kristen Huff, vice president of assessment and research at Curriculum Associates. “The question is no longer if or howthe pandemic affected student learning, it is if and how it can recover. It is critical to grow our understanding of what measurable shifts have occurred in student learning as we have more distance from 2020 and more investment in recovery efforts.” …Read More

Students and Teachers in Utah’s Davis School District Set to Begin the 2022-23 School Year with New Science Resources from Discovery Education

Charlotte, NC (Thursday, August 25, 2022)—Students and teachers in Utah’s Davis School District (DSD) will return to the classroom for the 2022-2023 school year with state-of-the-art digital resources thanks to a new partnership with worldwide edtech leader Discovery Education. Through this new collaboration, DSD students in grades 7-12 will be immersed in rich science content through a suite of digital tools that will fuel academic achievement.  

Serving nearly 75,000 students across North Central Utah’s Davis County, DSD is the second largest school district in the state. Dedicated to providing an innovative, relevant, and well-rounded education for all students, DSD’s staff sought a new set of science resources for students in the district’s junior and senior high school science classes. Specifically, DSD sought digital resources that would deeply engage students in science instruction, increase student literacy in science and STEM, and connect students to real-world learning opportunities. 

Following a careful review, the district selected the Discovery Education Science Techbooks for classroom use. The Discovery Education Science Techbook series is a comprehensive, research-backed science solution for grades K-12. Used in classrooms across the United States and Canada and delivered through Discovery Education’s K-12 platform, the Science Techbook drives engagement with exclusive phenomena and interactive content.  …Read More

Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready® Assessment Named to the Georgia Department of Education Approved List of Gifted Identification Screeners

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., August18, 2022—The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) has added Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Assessment for Grades K–12 to its approved list of Gifted EducationAssessment Measuresto identify students’ eligibility for gifted education programs in the achievement domain. With this approval, districts throughout the state can now use their existing reading and mathematics data from the i-Ready Assessment as a source of evidence to support a referral for gifted education programs. The i-Ready normative scores can be used to determine if students meet the criteria in the achievement category of the evaluation and eligibility process, eliminating the need for a separate achievement assessment.

“The i-Ready Assessment data is powerful in helping teachers identify students’ strengths and needs so they can provide more personalized instruction,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “The Georgia Department of Education’s approval of i-Ready to support gifted identification will help districts throughout the state save valuable time and resources by eliminating the need for another achievement assessment. A more efficient screening process will also help schools connect students more quickly with services that help them reach their full potential.”

The GaDOE gifted education screening process requires information be gathered about a student in four categories: mental ability, achievement, creativity, and motivation. In order to be eligible to receive gifted programming, students must qualify in three of the four categories, or they must have a qualifying score in both the mental ability and achievement categories. i-Ready data is used in the achievement category.…Read More

Clearlake Capital-Backed Discovery Education Acquires DoodleLearning

Silver Spring, MD (Tuesday, August 17, 2022)Discovery Education—the worldwide edtech leader backed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. (together with its affiliates, “Clearlake”)—announced the acquisition of  DoodleLearning. The United Kingdom-based DoodleLearning’s Math and English Language Arts products create personalized learning experiences that help improve students’ academic achievement and confidence. Terms were not disclosed.  

The acquisition of DoodleLearning supports Discovery Education’s mission to prepare learners for tomorrow by creating innovative classrooms connected to today’s world. DoodleLearning complements Discovery Education’s other award-winning digital services, which include  Discovery Education’s K-12 platformMystery ScienceSTEM Connect, and the  MathScience, and  Social Studies Techbooks. 

“Discovery Education is dedicated to creating a best-in-class edtech ecosystem that supports our mission to prepare today’s students for future success,” said Discovery Education Chief Executive Officer Scott Kinney. “This acquisition is an important milestone in that effort, and we look forward to both partnering with the talented DoodleLearning team and scaling the reach of their innovative, adaptive Math and English Language Arts products.” …Read More