Thursday, August 25, 2016

Classworks Interviews State Superintendent of the Year

Classworks recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Freddie Williamson, Superintendent of Hoke County Schools and 2016 North Carolina Superintendent of the Year. Under Dr. Williamson’s leadership (2006 - present) Hoke County Schools has received several awards including the North Carolina Innovator in Digital Learning award and dropout rates in the district have decreased by 65%.

Congratulations on North Carolina State Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Williamson!
How long has Hoke been using Classworks?

We first purchased Classworks in 2007 close to the beginning of my Superintendency at Hoke. The district was not performing well. Classworks’ individualized instructional plan for each student was something we needed to close the achievement gap. We used Classworks for remediation for about seven years. At that time we used the Scantron assessment and then Classworks generated targeted instruction using that data.

You stopped using Classworks in 2013, why?
The state landscape for education has been undergoing quite a shift here in North Carolina. We had state resources being recommended, the change in standards and assessments, and the focus on reading by grade three. We decided to step back from all the programs we were using as we evaluated how to best serve our students and teachers.

Classworks is excited to partner with Hoke again! 

What made you take another look at Classworks for your district?
Thank you, we share your enthusiasm! There were a few things that stood out to us. First, using Classworks to help students catch up was working. We still have that need here in Hoke and Classworks was a great help to us in closing the achievement gap. The second thing we liked was that Classworks partners with the assessment we use today districtwide, Renaissance Learning’s STAR. Individualizing learning with our current assessment is a huge benefit. The third, and possibly most interesting reason is the new classroom resources you have developed since we last implemented.

Why are the classroom resources so important?
Our teachers have been asking for rigorous reading resources to support lesson planning. More importantly they needed resources to support differentiation in a student-centered math classroom. When they saw the new math activities they were hooked! Our teachers are so excited about these new aspects of the program.

So you made the decision to reactivate Classworks?
(Laughs) Well, I was certainly excited about what Classworks could do for us. But, our instructional resource decisions are made as a team. Buy-in from our principals and teachers was key if we were going to reactivate our partnership with Classworks. Sometimes it’s harder to change an existing perception than it is to look at something new. I invited principals, instructional coaches, and lead teachers to review all of the updates and changes to confirm this fit with our instructional vision as a team. The team was completely on board about re-adopting Classworks ASAP.

What differentiates Classworks from other programs?
Classworks has evolved tremendously since the first time we implemented it. We are reinvigorated by your focus on classroom resources to support teachers combined with new partnerships that enhance the individualized learning. In addition, our district is focused on integrating technology into classroom learning. Our teachers can use Classworks on all the devices we have. We are a Google district so I was pleased to hear Classworks works with Google Classroom. It’s just one more example of how you continue to improve to meet districts’ needs.

Thank you for your confidence in Classworks. We are excited to be working with your team again and look forward to supporting your continued success.
You’re welcome. Classworks is a wonderful instructional resource and we’re happy to be working together again.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Content is Key: Transform with Technology

"Devices are useless without the right education content. What are the goals we want to reach with our students?"
–Scott Sterling, You're 1:1... Now What?

Regardless of the devices available in your school, it's the quality of the content and how you use it that makes the technology transformative.

Trip Elementary successfully weaves technology into classroom learning. The key: Incorporating standards-based digital reading and math activities into their lesson plans. 

Are you a principal or administrator with a new 1:1 device initiative? Download our new white paper, You're 1:1... Now What? Ensure you've considered all the aspects of a successful 1:1. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Remarkable Growth for Kershaw County Middle Schools

Customer Spotlight

How often have you heard, “my elementary schools are doing great, but my middle schools are struggling or stagnant?” Continuing the trajectory of growth in middle school is a challenge, but not impossible. How did one South Carolina school district do it?

A Partnership for Success 
In 2014, Kershaw County Schools chose Classworks as a districtwide resource to support teachers with closing achievement gaps. The district administers the NWEA MAP assessment three times a year to measure growth and determine which students need intervention. Using MAP assessment results, Classworks delivers custom reading and math lessons matched to students’ specific needs. Kershaw teachers are able to start interventions much earlier in the year, with tremendous results!
“The district prioritized implementing research-based tools to provide insight into where students are struggling and where they excel,” says, Dr. Alisa Taylor, executive director for K12 instruction, Kershaw County Schools. “NWEA’s MAP assessment paired with Classworks Individualized Instruction provides both the data and a plan for each student’s success.”
The Proof is in the Data
Middle schools (grades 6 - 8) in the district exceeded NWEA’s Mean Growth Norms by 7.6 points in reading. Classworks users in the district with 70%+ mastery saw the most growth, 13 points higher than Mean Growth Norms in reading and 3 points higher in math. See the 6th and 7th grade results.

“I use the data from NWEA MAP and prescribed instruction from Classworks to help my students strengthen needed math skills. Working with their classroom math teacher, we use the data to implement tutoring and pullout groups. My kids are getting the time and extra help to master skills and their confidence levels are through the roof!”

Sharon Pharis, math interventionist, Leslie M. Stover Middle School

Ready to individualize learning with Classworks? Attend our 15-minute online training, Data-Driven Decisions for Individualized Learning, on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. See our training schedule. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Four Online Trainings You'll Want to Attend

Last week you got a sneak peek of some new Classworks enhancements. Attend our 15-minute online trainings to see the new features in action. Start your Classworks year ahead of the game.

ONLINE TRAINING SCHEDULE Back-to-School Changes: What You Need to Know
A brief overview of the new things you’ll see in Classworks this school year.

August 10, 2016
10:00 AM ET | Webinar Information 2:00 PM ET | Webinar Information

Data-Driven Decisions for Individualized Learning
Use the new, streamlined Individualized Learning Path (ILP) process to make sure your students are getting exactly what they need.

August 16, 2016
10:00 AM ET | Webinar Information
2:00 PM ET | Webinar Information

August 18, 2016
10:00 AM ET | Webinar Information
2:00 PM ET | Webinar Information

The New Student View: What Will My Students See Now?
The student view is a little different. Experience what your students will see when they login to Classworks.

August 23, 2016
10:00 AM ET | Webinar Information
2:00 PM | Webinar Information

August 25, 2016
10:00 AM ET | Webinar Information
2:00 PM ET | Webinar Information

Monitoring to Close Gaps and Increase Achievement
Use new, intuitive filters and views to monitor progress and inform instructional decisions. Watch our new video to get started today.  
August 30, 2016
10:00 AM ET | Webinar Information
2:00 PM ET | Webinar Information
September 1, 2016
10:00 AM ET | | Webinar Information 2:00 PM ET | Webinar Information