Success Story

Middle School Students Pass Algebra I EOC Exam One Year Early

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Darlington Middle School, South Carolina

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2,500+ students

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Darlington Middle School wanted to accelerate middle school students by offering eighth graders a course that covers the content of Mathematics 8 and Algebra I in the span of one year. This would prepare students to take the Algebra I end-of-course (EOC) exam in eighth grade, one year ahead of their cohort. This allows students to enter high school at a tenth-grade math level.

“With Tutorials, my students have no trouble seeing the practical application of what they’re learning. Tutorials not only enable my students to master the material at an accelerated pace, they connect abstract math concepts to the real world.” 

Jamie Conner, Eighth Grade Math and Algebra Teacher
Darlington Middle School, South Carolina


Jaime Conner teaches an advanced math course for eighth-grade students wishing to accelerate their learning as they transition to high school. The course covers two years of material (Mathematics 8 and Algebra I) within the span of one year, and concludes with the Algebra I end-of-course exam. “Fifty minutes of class time is not enough, Conner explains, “for my students to master that amount of material and keep up with the pace of the instruction.”

To make the most efficient use of classroom and homework time, Conner integrates the corresponding modules of the Apex Learning Tutorials for Mathematics 8 and Algebra I into her direct instruction and assigns the modules for the homework grade. This approach promotes accelerated content mastery, enables self-directed study, and provides Conner with real-time data to inform her instructional approach each day.

Promoting Self-Directed Learning with Diverse Technology

Because Tutorials are designed for use on a wide range of devices, Conner takes advantage of the school’s technology resources to promote self-directed study in the classroom. Conner regularly checks out a mix of laptops, netbooks, and tablets, and even allows students to use their personal smartphones to access their Tutorials. “People might walk past my classroom to find students buried in their tablet or phone and worry that my students are wasting class time,” says Conner, “but the reality is that those students are signed in to Apex Learning and working harder than ever to master the material.” Conner notes that the rigor of the curriculum coupled with the freedom to self-direct study efforts from any device is a recipe for success for her students.

Engaging Learners through Real-World Connections

Tutorials ground instruction in real-world examples so students can relate to the subject matter. This is particularly relevant in mathematics. “Tutorials not only enable my students to master the material at an accelerated pace, they connect abstract math concepts to the real world,” states Conner. “A great example is how Tutorials explain quadratic calculations in terms of football passes. With Tutorials, my students have no trouble seeing the practical application of what they’re learning.”


At the end of Conner’s accelerated math course, students take the Algebra I end-of-course exam, one year ahead of their cohort, and aim to enter high school at a tenth-grade level in math. During her first year of teaching, her students achieved an impressive 100 percent passing rate on the Algebra I end-of-course exam, with 85 percent earning a score of 85 or better.

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