Tracking Growth and Addressing Individual Needs in Lone Jack, Missouri

Tracking Growth and Addressing Individual Needs in Lone Jack, Missouri

Lone Jack Elementary School, Lone Jack, MO
Kathy Butler, K–12 Principal
350 Students
Grades pk-6
Exact Path
91.4% White
5.2% Hispanic
21.8% Free and Reduced Lunch
The Challenge: 

The Lone Jack School District is a small, rural district in the town of Lone Jack, located just outside of the Kansas City, Missouri, suburbs. Lone Jack is a mostly bedroom community of families who commute to jobs in the city or the suburbs, with several farming families living there as well.

The district has partnered with Edmentum for several years to provide high school students with online learning opportunities to address scheduling conflicts and credit recovery needs, as well as to support summer school and advancement. So, when Lone Jack School District needed a way to provide personalized support to all of the elementary school students, district leaders decided to expand the Edmentum partnership to include Edmentum Exact Path, a K–8 assessment-driven individualized learning program.

“We have always used some district standardized testing, K–6, that were three times a year, ‘toe-dip’ assessments,” explained Kathy Butler, K–12 principal at Lone Jack School District. “Let's see where our kids are. Let's use that data for student support teams or interventions, or that kind of thing. But, we didn't have, besides our small-group attacks, anything else that would support an individual kid where they landed. We were just looking for something that would be more supportive for all nine months that we're with our kids.”

Lone Jack Elementary was looking for a way to provide personalized support to every student so that it could better help all students grow. After successfully piloting Exact Path with students in 1st grade, Lone Jack Principal Kathy Butler decided to expand the implementation to all students in 1st through 5th grade. Now, teachers are better able to track growth and address the individual needs of its students.
How They Did it: 

Rather than starting the entire elementary school on Exact Path at once, Ms. Butler decided to begin the Lone Jack Elementary implementation by piloting the program in the fall of 2017 with just 1st grade.

“When we first began, we started with our 1st grade kiddos because it was a grade level that we felt had come in kindergarten without the skills we were hoping they would have,” Ms. Butler recalled. “And, they were still struggling with catching up to where they needed to be.
The 1st grade teachers and students really enjoyed Exact Path, especially how it made it easier for teachers to meet the needs of their students.

“My 1st grade teachers at the time reported that they liked the program, that it was easy on the adult side, and it appeared very easy to follow on the student side,” said Ms. Butler. “And, the fact that we could bridge over to parents as well and provide them with some of the reports. We just decided we wanted to expand because we felt like it was beneficial for that pilot group.”

So, the program was expanded to provide individualized learning for all students in 1st through 5th grade. Expanding the program also meant making sure that teachers were able to find time for students to use Exact Path. Rather than mandating a set date or time for usage, Ms. Butler allows teachers to have the flexibility to fit individualized learning with Exact Path into their schedules. Students begin the program by taking the adaptive diagnostic assessment, and then, they receive an individualized learning path based on the results. Teachers schedule 20- to 30-minute blocks of time several days a week for students to work on their individualized learning paths in Exact Path.

“Some of them utilize small-group or center time,” explained Ms. Butler. “Some of the classrooms use RTI time, so when they're pulling kids for their tier 2 interventions, the rest can be working on their individualized path.”

Teachers at Lone Jack Elementary have found Exact Path to be very helpful in making sure that every student receives the instruction that he or she needs to grow and improve, whether working below grade level, on grade level, or above grade level.

“I think what my teachers find the most useful is just the fact that they can drill down on a kiddo and see what skills and at what grade level they are currently working at independently,” said Ms. Butler. “I personally just like that I have kids that really need time just to do their own thing, and it supports that. Especially those kids that might need some enrichment … . We’re really trying to build support to our kids that need to be pushed further because they already have the skills their grade level is working on.”

To help get the Exact Path individualized learning program up and running and to support the implementation throughout the school year, Ms. Butler and her faculty and staff have relied on their Edmentum Consultant.

“She started us off and worked initially with my 1st grade team when we piloted,” explained Ms. Butler. “And then, she's been extremely helpful throughout our first full year, which was last school year [2017–18] … . So far, the admin support has been fantastic. Everything we've ever asked for, we've been provided. It’s been a good partnership.”

When it comes to Exact Path, I’ve been very pleased. … It’s improved our ability to address individual needs of students.
Kathy Butler, K–12 Principal

At the start of the 2018–19 academic year, Lone Jack Elementary has just finished its first full year using Exact Path, and so far, it’s helping the school move in the right direction.

“When it comes to Exact Path, I’ve been very pleased,” said Ms. Butler. “It has given us the opportunity to be able to assess but also to have a reference between assessments to track whether our kids are meeting growth goals or are working on the [content] we feel like they need to work on … . It’s improved our ability to address individual needs of students.”

“So far, the admin support has been fantastic. Everything we’ve asked for we’ve been provided. It’s been a good partnership.”
Kathy Butler, K–12 Principal
The Future: 

Now, with one year of experience using Exact Path under their belts, the faculty members at Lone Jack Elementary School are ready to deepen their implementation and integrate the program into the way teachers teach and students learn.

“We’re ready to do some more digging in,” relayed Ms. Butler. “We know that our kids know how to use it now. So, we’re hoping [our Edmentum Consultant] can help us to better use the grouping feature or the fluency probes and the reports and show us how we can better use [Exact Path] on the adult end.”

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