City School District of Albany, New York
About the Program
City School District of Albany was seeking to increase graduation rates, support struggling learners before they fell behind, and provide an option for credit recovery that accommodates students’ varied schedules and circumstances.
“It’s inspiring to see students who haven’t done well in a traditional class setting succeed with Apex Learning!”
Apex Learning enabled Albany to implement mastery-based learning for students to develop the deep conceptual knowledge needed for college and career success, as well as for course completion regardless of seat time.
A Six-Year Partnership Began with Credit Recovery
In 2011, Albany teamed with Apex Learning to launch a credit recovery program enabling struggling students to graduate on time. The program started with a Saturday Academy for credit recovery, and over the course of six years expanded to weekdays after school, an online learning lab during the day, AP electives, extended-day school electives, summer school, and homebound instruction.
Expanding Beyond Credit Recovery to Meet Student Needs
Many of Albany’s students face challenges outside of school. Keeping them in school was the initial priority, although the district has since expanded use of Apex Learning to meet a variety of needs. “As teachers saw the success of the credit recovery program, they became enthusiastic about using Apex Learning Courses as part of their regular classroom instruction,” says Tom Vacanti, the program’s Site Coordinator. “They appreciate Apex Learning because it makes differentiated and data-driven instruction easier and better.” Apex Learning is now a big part of the school culture, motivating students to graduate and enabling teachers to support the individual needs of their students.
Mastery-Based Learning Made Possible with High-Quality Digital Curriculum
Mastery-based learning is the foundation of the high-quality digital curriculum and personalized learning experience that Apex Learning provides. Each student progresses at their own pace, and regular assessments identify learning gaps. Students have the freedom to go back and review material as often and for as much time as needed to build a strong foundation of comprehension for the next level of learning. “The way our building is utilizing Apex Learning Courses has made all of the difference in supporting struggling students,” says Vacanti.
Graduation rate increased 10 percentage points from 52% in 2012 to 62% in 2016.
- Over 350 students earned a grade change
- 50% of graduates used Apex Learning
More Students Graduate College and Career Ready
The district is currently offering courses for credit recovery by quarter, as well as original credit courses and dual-enrollment electives. Students also enroll in extended-day school electives, homebound instruction, summer school, and Saturday/afterschool courses. These flexible, personalized learning options are all about giving students more opportunities to complete courses and graduate within four years. “It’s inspiring to see students who haven’t done well in a traditional class setting succeed with the personalized learning that Apex offers,” says Vacanti. “They have more hope about succeeding in college.”
Programs that Drive Success
Learn more about the program used by this school community to achieve results.
Digital curricula for grade 6 through adult learners help students reach graduation goals and beyond through flexible, personalized first-time credit, credit recovery, and expanded course access.
Courses & Curriculum
Pretest-driven concept recovery to help grade 6–12 students catch up and find success in the courses they’re taking and the tests they’re preparing for.
Assessments, Supplemental & Intervention