Beavercreek Schools' First Round Straight A Grant Award
Individualizing instruction for K-8 students through the use of technology
An interview with Susan Hayward, Ph.D., Beavercreek City Schools Assistant Superintendent.
Q: How did Beavercreek Schools use its first round Straight A grant?
A: The $3.866 million grant was used to implement a program that individualizes instruction for kindergarten through 8th grade students through the use of technology. It was used to purchase iPads and cases for every K-8 student, and these iPads are loaded with software that assesses each student's knowledge base and achievement in math and English Language Arts. The iPads also include personalized content that is aligned with Common Core and state standards to support students' individual academic growth and achievement.
The program complements classroom instruction to ensure that students' individual learning needs are met in a fun and engaging way.
Q: How does the program work?
A: Because each child's learning needs are different, the program is designed to complement classroom instruction to ensure that students receive content that is geared to their level.
All K-8 students will take baseline assessments in math and English Language Arts three times yearly (fall, winter and spring). The data from these assessments will be uploaded to a secure learning platform. Teachers will use this data to create goals for each student and eSpark, an educational technology firm, will develop a personalized curriculum for each student based on the data. Students will then complete learning quests on their iPad based on the strengths and weaknesses identified in their assessments, and will be monitored and supported by their teachers (see below):
Q: Who is paying for this program?
A: The Straight A Fund grant allowed the district to purchase iPads and heavy-duty cases for every K-8 student and teacher, along with the necessary upgrades to its technology infrastructure. The grant also allows the district to partner with eSpark, an educational technology firm, to develop personalized curriculum for each student, and to provide teachers with training and technical support.
Q: What kinds of results did you see from the pilot program?
A: We believe the program had a significant impact on individual student growth and achievement. See results here.
Q: I'm interested in more background on the program. Where can I find it?
A: More details about Beavercreek's first-round Straight A Fund grant and what it is designed to achieve with K-8 students can be found via the following links:
Questions and Answers re: iPad Use: Updated Q&ASuite of Apps District is Using on iPads: List of AppsPowerPoint presentation: Program Summary - Round 1
News release: Beavercreek Schools to receive $3.8 million Straight A grant
Analyses from the 2014-2015 School Year
The complete "Beavercreek & eSpark: End of Year NWEA Analyses" for the 2014-2015 school year provides detailed information. See results here.
K-8 Straight A Fund Grant Results
With our K-8 Straight A Fund initiative, we set out to use technology as a means to individualize instruction. Our goal: support students' individual academic growth and achievement with personalized instruction. Learn more about how it works.
The initiative was rolled out to all K-8 classrooms in September 2014. To measure student success, we use data from NWEA MAP, which is a rigorous and respected assessment. Using NWEA three times a year (fall, winter, and spring) allows us to benchmark not just student growth within our district, but also with other students across the nation.
Within four months, we started seeing tremendous results. Our students grew an average of 6 percentile points on the NWEA MAP, outpacing their peers nationwide.
A complete "Beavercreek & eSpark: End of Year NWEA Analyses" for the 2014-2015 school year provides detailed information about the results of the first year of implementation. See results here.
What does this look like at an individual level? Read about how our iPad initiative is helping Samuel, Addison, Sophia, Jacqueline, and Victoria meet and even exceed their academic goals.
In November 2014, the district made two presentations on the results at Capitol Conference, an annual statewide conference for public schools. And in December 2014, districts from across the state visited Coy Middle School and Trebein Elementary School to see the program in action.
In February of 2015, Beavercreek City Schools was one of 40 school districts from across the state that were invited to present at the Straight A Day in the Ohio Statehouse. In addition to making a presentation to the Straight A Fund Governing Board, Superintendent McGlothlin was asked to address all attendees about the initiative and its results. Superintendent William McGlothlin, Ed.D.; Assistant Superintendent Susan Hayward, Ph.D., and five students also managed a booth throughout the conference, answering questions from legislators and other school districts.