Success Story

Maximizing Instructional Time with Adaptive Learning

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Demorest Elementary School, Georgia

About the School

513 students, Grade pre-K-5, 61% economically disadvantaged, 16% students with disabilities, 19% ELL

Edmentum Products

Exact Path, Study Island


Demorest Elementary School, located 76 miles northeast of Atlanta in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a Title I school regularly recognized as “beating the odds.” Guided by a district mission to help all students achieve success, Dr. Connie Yearwood, in her 8th year as school principal, looks to identify resources to help teachers use the best research-based strategies without adding something else to their plates. As a firm believer that you can’t just “do Tier I instruction louder” to meet the varied needs of children, she was in search of programs that would do more than just help students achieve one year’s growth and instead truly maximize her students’ potential to be successful.

“It’s not just words we say; it’s rules we live by,” said Dr. Yearwood. “My vision here has been that if children can read and read well, they can learn to do anything.”

Aiming to close achievement gaps and differentiate instruction, educators at Demorest Elementary School partnered with Edmentum to bring adaptive learning, formative assessment, and foundational literacy programs to its students. The school’s success leveraging Edmentum’s online programs continues to elevate and transform teaching practices, ultimately leading to a districtwide elementary rollout in the 2018–19 school year.

“The diagnostic pieces in Exact Path and the benchmarking for Study Island helps teachers make instructional decisions that are based on student achievement data directly related to the content and skills that they are accountable for teaching.”

Dr. Connie Yearwood, Principal
Demorest Elementary School, Georgia


Educators at Demorest Elementary have been longtime fans of Study Island, Edmentum’s K–12 practice and formative assessment program, with more than eight years of usage under their belts. It was this partnership that led Dr. Yearwood to become interested in trying out Exact Path when it was first launched in January 2017. As a pilot program adopter during early research and development stages, one teacher per grade level implemented the program across reading, language arts, and math.

Fast forward a year and a half later to the 2018–19 school year, and all elementary schools in the Habersham County School District have implemented Exact Path across 1st and 2nd grade.

“We've historically been a school that's done a really good job of analyzing student data to know the deficiencies and weaknesses that our students have but finding a just-right resource to help us close the gaps has oftentimes been very difficult,” remarked Dr. Yearwood. “Well, Edmentum provides that for us and to have the diagnostic pieces in Exact Path and the benchmarking for Study Island, helps teachers make instructional decisions that are based on student achievement data directly related to the content and skills that they are accountable for teaching.”

Gathering and utilizing assessment data is just one way that educators are making the most out of Edmentum programs. All students at Demorest Elementary have access to individual Chromebooks while at school, and therefore, technology is regularly embedded into instruction. Through a combination of whole-group learning and a station-rotation model, students use the programs daily. In any given math or reading block, onlookers might see a teacher begin with a whole-group mini lesson before students transition to their Chromebooks to work independently on their Exact Path learning paths or Study Island practice topics. During independent work time, the teacher is conferencing with students individually, pulling small groups according to specific skill ability, and formatively assessing student progress.


The success at Demorest Elementary led to the entire district adopting Exact Path in 2018 throughout all 1st and 2nd grade classrooms. Maximizing instructional time is reflected in the diagnostic assessment results that the entire district saw in the 2018–19 school year. Across the district in reading, the number of students working on below grade level content has dropped 9% between diagnostic 1 and diagnostic 2. Conversely, students working on grade level or above grade level content has increased 4% and 7%, respectively. A similar story can be told for math diagnostic scores across the district, where students working on below grade level curriculum has dropped by 11%, and students working on above grade level curriculum has increased by the same amount, 11%. Finally, in language arts, students working below grade level has dropped 8%, and those numbers have been picked up in the remaining categories—on and above grade level with 2% and 6% gains, respectively.

In the midst of all of this success, Dr. Yearwood has also appreciated how Exact Path skills are aligned to Study Island practice topics, and the tie between two programs made it easy for teachers to quickly take action and connect instruction with practice.

“Nothing, nothing, nothing will ever take the place of a teacher in a classroom,” explained Dr. Yearwood. “But when she has quality resources and it's streamlined and she sees those resources as being valuable, then you enhance the teacher in the classroom. When we equip her with the tools that she needs in order to have the best professional practice she can have, then how can our students do anything but be successful?”

Programs that Drive Success

Learn more about the programs used by this school community to achieve results.

Study Island

Study Island

Industry-leading K–12 [state]-standards-aligned practice, test prep, and assessments to advance grade-level proficiency in math, ELA, science, and social studies and build testing confidence for all learners.

Assessments, Supplemental & Intervention

Exact Path 1

Exact Path

Diagnostic-driven learning paths and powerful teaching tools to scale interventions K–12 in math, reading, and language arts and empower educators to reach all students through personalized instruction.

Assessments, Supplemental & Intervention