Empowering Teachers with Quick Access to Meaningful Data in Bucklin, KS

Empowering Teachers with Quick Access to Meaningful Data in Bucklin, KS
School Name and Location: 
USD #459 Bucklin Schools
The Challenge: 

Small districts often run into roadblocks when trying to provide a wealth of content and course options to a student body who may only number in the hundreds. Such is the case in Bucklin, Kansas, at Bucklin Unified School District #459, a district of 230 students who are all served at one site. As educators strive to meet Kansas’ comprehensive educational standards across all grades, scheduling can be a challenge. But, there are options to widen the opportunities for students and provide teachers with state-of-the-art tools.

“We were looking for ways to offer other learning options in a very limited schedule,” said Bucklin Schools’ grades 5–12 principal Mark Calvin. “We also needed a system that would provide data on individual student achievement to help us make daily/weekly/monthly academic decisions.”

How They Did it: 

One of the advantages of teaching and learning in a small setting is personalized attention and the flexibility to change course quickly. Those benefits can be amplified by better data to make informed decisions and more course content options to steer students toward. In Bucklin Schools’ case, those solutions were found through Study Island and Edmentum Courseware. “Edmentum is excellent for formative assessment and the triangulation of student data in PLCs [professional learning communities],” Mr. Calvin remarked.

Of particular interest was the ability to offer credit recovery options to at-risk and struggling learners in the high school grades. Bucklin Schools’ solution is to have those students work through Edmentum Courseware at their own pace. While students use the program independently, teachers and counselors can monitor their success using the system’s progress-monitoring capabilities. At a glance, progress through a course or assignment is graphically displayed, and additional content can be assigned to better personalize the students’ learning experience.

Additionally, Bucklin Schools’ junior high students use Study Island for standards-based practice and preparation on a regular basis, providing them with a customized learning experience. “Since the activities in Study Island are adaptable, we can adjust to any level,” Mr. Calvin explained.

The students’ results in Study Island are also used to inform targeted, direct instruction that happens throughout each instructional week. Study Island’s teacher dashboard, Edmentum Sensei, allows educators to review class progress across multiple subjects and take a deeper dive into the individual topic level to see who has mastered what and adjust accordingly. The same level of granularity is available up to the district level, which is particularly handy for Bucklin Schools’ one-site installation.

Success: 

With its new data-driven approach, Bucklin Schools’ districtwide math proficiency increased more than four points between 2015 and 2016. English language arts has held steady so far, but the district is optimistic about what lies ahead.                                      

As educators at Bucklin Schools continue to leverage these online tools even further, they are seeing value in the technology-enhanced items and data found in Study Island. This has translated into a desire for greater access into more content areas, especially as students and teachers prepare for high-stakes summative assessments.

As for their use of Courseware as a credit recovery solution, school leaders recognize that the gains made here can change their academic trajectory. Mr. Calvin shared one individual story: “We have a student who is a second-year senior doing his best to make up credits to graduate. He is using Courseware as a recovery tool to recover the credits he is missing.”

 

 

 

 

 

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