Data-Powered Math Success During In-Person, Virtual, and Hybrid Learning in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Data-Powered Math Success During In-Person, Virtual, and Hybrid Learning in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Cumberland Valley School District - Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Stacey Knerr
Math Department Supervisor
9,436 students in the district
Grades 6 - 9
Exact Path
21% economically disadvantaged
11% special education
4% English language learners
4% military connected
The Challenge: 

One strategy that many highly effective instructional programs have in common is the usage of data to help drive instructional decisions. This is especially true of Cumberland Valley School District (CVSD) in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. In fact, using data was a key factor that led to the expansion of the use of Exact Path, Edmentum’s individualized learning and intervention program, in the district.

Stacey Knerr, math department supervisor at CVSD, and her colleagues first implemented Exact Path as the online learning component of a guided math program in a small number of 6th-grade classrooms.

“[Exact Path] was able to show us where those gaps were, and it was able to assign those [skills] through the learning path so that [the students] could make progress,” Ms. Knerr explained.

The math department at Cumberland Valley School District first implemented Exact Path as the online learning component of a guided math program in a small number of 6th-grade classrooms. As educators shared their experiences and successes of the program with their colleagues, the implementation grew, and it is now used by all students taking math from grade 6 through Algebra I. In addition to providing data to support math placement decisions, IEPs, and individual student goal setting, Exact Path is giving students in the district an individualized learning experience in which they can address their learning gaps and achieve growth.
How They Did it: 

Soon after the pilot, CVSD teachers began using Exact Path outside of the guided math program. Teachers shared their ideas and successes with each other, which led to organic growth in usage and adoption. Eventually, all middle school students were using Exact Path every other day during their study hall class periods in addition to using it in math class.

Exact Path’s diagnostic and learning path data reporting allows teachers to set concrete, achievable growth goals with their students, and it has become a key discussion point in parent conferences. The school psychologists at CVSD also use Exact Path as an additional data point to inform Individualized Education Programs (IEP) and special services testing decisions.

Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

When CVSD transitioned to virtual learning in March of 2020 due to the pandemic, teachers used Exact Path as a tool to keep students learning. Some teachers created assignments for their students to review concepts that had already been taught or to introduce new skills, while others simply created an Exact Path Challenge to keep students engaged.

For summer learning, rather than provide students with the usual printed packets to work on to combat the summer slide, Ms. Knerr launched a summer challenge encouraging students to work on their Exact Path learning paths for at least 30 minutes per week. For each week that students completed 30 minutes, they received one entry into a raffle to win gift cards.

Once school resumed for the 2020–21 school year, Exact Path data proved once again to be incredibly useful. Because spring 2020 state assessments were canceled, as well as the math placement test that was usually given to 5th grade students at the end of the school year, CVSD was missing key data points needed to make middle school math placement decisions. So, students were placed based on prior grades, and then the district used Exact Path fall assessment data to confirm or adjust placements. Educators also used the data to help parents understand math placement decisions and to reassure parents that those placements were the best fit for their child.

To give students the opportunity to learn on campus during the 2020–21 school year and adhere to social-distancing requirements, CVSD implemented hybrid learning, with students attending school in person two days a week for live instruction and then working on asynchronous assignments three days a week. One of the math activities that students complete on asynchronous learning days is working in Exact Path; students work on assignments created by their teacher and on their individualized learning paths to address skill gaps or accelerate learning. Students enrolled in the district’s fully virtual program also use Exact Path.

Because students are receiving less direct instruction in the hybrid-learning model than during a traditional school year, educators have had to trim some content and focus on the key standards and skills that are critical to future math success. The key standards are determined by vertical teams working together to identify the most important concepts. Then, teachers use Exact Path diagnostic and learning path data to determine which of those standards warrant direct instruction and which standards all or most students have already mastered.

I think the biggest benefit is having the data at our fingertips and being able to use it. It makes so much sense. And the data we get is far richer than any other program that I can pull.
Stacey Knerr
Math Department Supervisor
Success: 

The success of the Exact Path implementation in CVSD is evidenced by the benefits that the district has realized through using the program.

“I think the biggest benefit is having the data at our fingertips and being able to use it,” said Ms. Knerr. “It makes so much sense. And the data we get is far richer than any other program that I can pull.”

Another success that CVSD has experienced through using Exact Path is the progress students are making. Ms. Knerr shared an anecdote to illustrate Exact Path’s impact:

I happened to be in a 7th-grade classroom when I walked in as the teacher was just finishing conferencing with a student during a study hall period. And the student goes, ‘I moved that far in just the last couple of weeks?’ Because this was a student who came in with gaps and holes, I think as far back as 2nd grade—and they were now almost caught up to grade level. And, just to see the pride and beaming in the student’s eyes, it was like, ‘This is worth it.’

[Exact Path] was able to show us where those gaps were, and it was able to assign those [skills] through the learning path so that [the students] could make progress.
Stacey Knerr
Math Department Supervisor
The Future: 

Although plans and details for the upcoming school year are still forthcoming, Exact Path will remain a part of the math instructional program at Cumberland Valley School District.

“It keeps the students motivated and [helps them] realize where they are in the big picture,” said Ms. Knerr. “Just seeing the students' success with it, is leaps and bounds better than where we were.”

For more infomation:

Contact 800.447.5286 or visit www.edmentum.com to learn more about Edmentum's online learning solutions.