Clearing the Path to Grade-Level Success

By: | 01/11/2022
Categories: Data Culture, Instruction

During the 2017–2020 school years, the learners in Georgetown County School District (GCSD) were lagging behind South Carolina’s state average. To change this trajectory, district leaders Fedrick Cohens, executive director of elementary schools, and Stephanie Stuckey, director of student interventions and support services, set forth a bold plan to help learners achieve grade-level success.

Their approach proved successful as, despite the challenges of the pandemic, students have made remarkable gains in reading. In fact, 21 percent of learners went from being a grade level behind to being above grade level—from Tier 2 to Tier 1.

How’d the team do it? These essential strategies helped them turn the tide.

Dive Deep into Each Learner’s Skillset

To make impactful instructional decisions, the team needed a complete picture of the students’ skills—something only a domain-level peek into learners’ underlying skills could reveal. With that kind of data, educators could then target individualized skills instruction.

With i-Ready’s targeted information in hand, teachers knew the “areas of deficit and exactly what students needed,” explains Stuckey. “The criterion-referenced data tells you where the gaps are and leads you to solutions to close them.”

For additional insights, read the full case study.


Accelerate Learning with a Strong Foundation

By leveraging i-Ready’s assessment data at the appropriate times, GCSD’s educators were able to implement interventions and personalized learning strategies that targeted their learners’ most important skills while scaffolding instruction to support them with grade-level success.

Soon after implementing i-Ready, the team began seeing results. “I didn't expect the results to happen so quickly because change typically takes time,” furthers Cohens. “And when the teachers saw their students’ growth,” shares Stuckey, “they got even more excited about the program.”

Involve Learners in Their Own Goal Setting

Since implementing i-Ready, GCSD’s educators hold frequent meetings with their students to discuss each learner’s assessment results. Through this process, teachers help students gain a true understanding of their own progress and identify areas for improvement and next steps.

By doing this, learners begin to set ambitious, yet attainable, growth goals. “The more they know about their own areas of growth, the more engaged they are to improve their learning,” Cohens said.

By ensuring all levels of the district and schools were dedicated to student achievement, educators provided an important foundation that resulted in remarkable student progress. Regardless of the tools they landed on, this success story all began with a team of educators dedicated to student achievement above all.

Learn more about GCSD’s plans and outcomes by downloading their case study.

Teacher and students sitting on the floor.

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