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Bridging the Achievement Gap With a School-to-Home Connection

by Kevin Sharpe on October 17, 2017

By extending blended learning from school to home, Oak Grove Elementary School in Florida nearly tripled the number of elementary students reading at grade level in just six months by emphasizing a growth mindset and adopting a blended learning approach with Istation Reading.

With over 90 percent of students living in poverty and more than half of families not speaking English, neither Oak Grove nor its students’ parents were easily able to support reading at home. Administrators made it their mission to get parents interested in using Istation’s computer-adaptive instruction at home.So they set out to see how many families would commit.

In the first year, about 30 percent of Oak Grove’s families used Istation at home. The following year, the school expanded the program and saw more than 665 students log in to Istation off campus, accumulating more than one million minutes of adaptive, interactive instruction. The number of students reading at grade level grew 15 percent in just six months.

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For families without a computer or Internet at home, Oak Grove worked with local Boys and Girls Clubs, daycare centers, libraries, and after-school programs to provide access to Istation off campus. Additionally, the school began opening its own computer labs at 7 a.m. for families to come in early and use Istation. Campus leadership noticed that students were starting out a little higher every year and then climbing even higher.

Oak Grove implemented Istation’s blended learning essentials with initiatives and incentives designed to drive fidelity. From goal setting and progress monitoring to data-driven conferences with parents using Istation’s personalized data profiles, school leaders have seen 100 percent buy-in from the staff. They’ve also seen a noticeable increase in enthusiasm from struggling readers. Even parents are now more engaged in what their kids are doing and learning and are interested in learning more about what to expect as their children learn to read.

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Topics: Close the Achievement Gap, Success Stories

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