Increased Rigor, Targeted Intervention, and Meaningful Practice result in Improved School Ratings in Kingman, Arizona

Increased Rigor, Targeted Intervention, and Meaningful Practice result in Improved School Ratings in Kingman, Arizona

Kingman Unified School District #20 - AZ

Success Story


When Jeri Wolsey, assistant superintendent of Kingman United School District #20 (KUSD) in Arizona, was looking for a tool to help boost student achievement for her district, her first choice was Study Island, Edmentum’s formative assessment and practice program.

“As a teacher, I used [Study Island],” explained Mrs. Wolsey. “As a principal, I dictated that they would take Study Island grades every week. So, that school became an A. I would say that's largely due to Study Island and the effect it has when you use it consistently and with fidelity.”

The Edmentum implementation at KUSD began with Study Island during the 2011–12 school year, and in 2017, when administrators at KUSD wanted to move to an online courseware provider that provided more rigorous curriculum that addressed a range of DOK levels, the implementation expanded to include another Edmentum solution, Courseware.

“We were with [another provider] for like 20 years, but when it came to the DOK levels, they just were not there,” explained Mrs. Wolsey. “We went with [Courseware] because it offered a deeper level of understanding for students before they could be passed on.”

Then, during the 2018–19 school year, KUSD added Exact Path, Edmentum’s diagnostic assessment and individualized learning program, to provide individualized instruction and intervention to students at their specific learning level.

“We feel like [Exact Path] gave us a really good, rounded picture of where the student is supposed to be, where the student is, and where the student will be,” said Mrs. Wolsey.

To implement the programs successfully, KUSD works closely with their Edmentum consultant, Elizabeth Melendez.

“Having Elizabeth there has been amazing,” said Mrs. Wolsey. “Her professional developments are always well done; she’s pretty irreplaceable.”

“We take surveys after each professional development class, and [Elizabeth’s] always gets the highest ratings,” said Shelley Oestmann, director of federal programs and staff evaluation systems at KUSD.


KUSD is a rural district that serves an area of over 3,000 square miles in western Arizona. Some students come from suburban communities with modern technology and conveniences, while others live in isolated rural areas and may commute two hours or more per day by bus to school.

Building Proficiency and Growth at the Elementary School Level with Exact Path and Study Island

Because of the variety of student needs at each elementary campus, usage of Study Island and Exact Path varies from school to school in KUSD. All elementary special education students and English learners are required to use Exact Path for individualized instruction and to track progress and growth. On some elementary campuses, both Study Island and Exact Path are used with fidelity, with students spending time working in the programs each week. On other campuses, Study Island and Exact Path serve as intervention tools for RTI or MTSS groups. Study Island Benchmarks are used on all KUSD elementary campuses to assess each student’s mastery level and readiness for the AzMerit and AZM2 tests.

Targeted Intervention and Ongoing Practice at the Middle School Level with Exact Path and Study Island

Educators at Kingman Middle School began using Study Island and Exact Path together during the 2018–19 school year, but the 2019–20 school year is the first implementing the programs with fidelity and with full participation. All students at Kingman Middle School have a class built into their schedules in which they go to a lab to use Study Island and Exact Path. Students at Kingman Middle School rotate their use of the programs, using Study Island on certain days of the week and Exact path on other days. So far this school year, Kingman Middle School students have mastered nearly 4,300 skills in Exact Path and answered more than 260,000 Study Island questions.

Educators at White Cliffs Middle School also use Study Island, and the school has had a strong implementation for several years. So far this school year, White Cliffs Middle School students have answered nearly 412,000 Study Island questions.

 Credit Recovery and Advancement at the High School Level with Courseware

At KUSD high schools, students utilize Courseware to recover credits, to fit required courses into their busy schedules, and to take advanced or specialized courses. KUSD high school students access Courseware in the school computer lab, which is staffed by a paraeducator who makes sure that students are on task and working. Each student is assigned a teacher of record for each course who works with the student as he or she completes coursework. The teacher of record grades work and provides coaching and support when the student needs help. Two of the most popular Courseware courses in KUSD are Health and Personal Finance, which all students in Arizona are required to take to graduate. Utilizing Courseware gives students the flexibility to meet these course requirements despite scheduling conflicts. KUSD high school students also utilize Courseware to recover credit or get ahead in core subjects like English, algebra, biology, and precalculus and to take CTE and electives courses, such as Environmental Science, Spanish, Nutrition and Wellness, and Career Explorations.


Educators in KUSD have already started to see their efforts implementing Edmentum programs pay off. The 2018–19 school letter grades have demonstrated that the schools that use the programs with fidelity, get the best results.

“Our two schools, Black Mountain and Desert Willow, that use [Study Island and Exact Path] extensively saw growth on their school letter grades,” said Mrs. Oestmann.

Desert Willow Elementary School improved from a C rating for the 2017–18 school year to a B rating for the 2018–19 school year, while Black Mountain School improved from a D rating for 2017–18 to a C for 2018–19. KUSD’s other elementary schools have also seen success using the programs. The elementary school with the most Study Island usage, Manzanita Elementary School, is KUSD’s only school with an A rating.

KUSD has also seen positive impacts at the high school level. Although the transition did not come without struggle, students at both KUSD high schools are now successfully completing online courses that are much more rigorous than those they took through KUSD’s previous courseware provider.

“We had lots of complaints,” said Mrs. Wolsey. “Lots of parents on the phone with me, but we just stuck through it, and it’s been wonderful.”

“It went from being easy, and students could just take a class for an easy A per se to, now, they actually have to work and be successful and, at the end, actually have the knowledge,” relayed Mrs. Oestmann.

Edmentum Products
  • Courseware
  • Study Island
  • Exact Path
District Profile
  • 7,053 students
  • Grades K to 12
  • 25% special education
  • 73% Economically Disadvantaged
  • 2% ELLs