Success Story

Underperformance to State Recognition in Two Years

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Ned E. Williams Elementary School, Texas

About the School

550+ students, 90% economically disadvantaged

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Study Island


We know that schools are held to a high standard when comparing results, and in the case of Ned E. Williams, the school might have been slightly outperforming the general expectations, but it knew there was still work to be done to make its student population truly successful.

To reach the next level, the school needed a program that could focus on “hot spots” in background knowledge gaps that students struggle with as they move through curriculum. The key to filling those gaps was an ability to differentiate instruction, while still teaching to the state standards and preparing students for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test. Ned E. Williams knew the challenge with young students is keeping them focused on their learning, so its program needed to be engaging enough to keep the attention of its third, fourth, and fifth graders.

"My belief is that a good learning environment has meaningful and challenging instruction for all students. ... Study Island played an exceptional role in helping us disaggregate data collaboratively."

Cynthia Wise, Principal
Ned E. Williams Elementary School, Texas


“Prior to coming to this district as principal, I was an assistant principal in another district,” reported Ned E. Williams’ principal Cynthia Wise. “We started using Study Island back in 2007. It helped the children there, and I was determined that whenever I got my own school, I would use Study Island. It works, and it gets results!”

At Ned E. Williams, Study Island is used in a small-group blended learning environment that allows teachers to focus on the students’ individual skills. This is also a great method for differentiation, as the teacher is able to circulate the room and spend more one-on-one time with students who might need extra attention.

Ned E. Williams has started getting creative when it comes to formative and cumulative assessments by establishing its own Quiz Bowl, powered by STAAR-aligned questions taken directly from the Study Island program. “The students enjoy the competitive nature of these assessments,” said Wise.

Study Island has also helped inform the instruction of Wise’s teaching staff. Wise stated,“My belief is that a good learning environment has meaningful and challenging instruction for all students. I believe that effective planning is important and is at the forefront when managing the classrooms and the school….Study Island played an exceptional role in helping us disaggregate data collaboratively.”


In the past two years, since the establishment of the more rigorous STAAR testing, Ned E. Williams has experienced a rapid upswing in its schoolwide achievement data. Reading scores have jumped 11 percent, from 79 percent to 90 percent. Math scores have been even more impressive, coming in at a 19-percent increase to 95 percent. Science improvement has been more modest, increasing from 69 percent to 75 percent.

Programs that Drive Success

Learn more about the program 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.

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