Like many highly effective instructional programs, Cumberland Valley School District (CVSD) in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania focuses on the use of data to help drive instructional decisions.
When spring 2020 state assessments were canceled along with 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.
This need for this data was a key factor leading the expansion of Exact Path, Edmentum’s individualized learning and intervention program, in the district. Exact Path data supported math placement decisions, IEPs, and individual student goal setting based on assessment results.
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.
As educators shared their experiences and successes of the program, regular use of Exact Path expanded to all grade 6 through Algebra I math students. 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. Teachers use Exact Path diagnostic and learning path data to determine which standards warrant direct instruction and which standards all or most students have already mastered.
At a time when other data was not available to educators, Exact Path’s diagnostic data provided CVSD math teacehrs with information they could use to place students in the appropriate classes for the next year. And on an ongoing basis, Exact Path assessment and learning path data allow 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.
The success of the Exact Path implementation in CVSD is evidenced by the benefits that the district has realized through using the program including having ready data they can rely on for making instructional decisions.
Another success that CVSD has had 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.’”