DC School Transitions to Blended Learning Model with STEM Focus Using Adaptive Curriculum
This fall, a chronically low-performing middle school in Washington DC will implement a blended learning model that emphasizes STEM learning. Adaptive Curriculum, a web-based, concept mastery solution, is at the core of the math & science learning.
Scottsdale, Ariz. -- May 25, 2012 -- Adaptive Curriculum (AC), a web-based concept mastery solution that strengthens math and science performance by helping students build a deep understanding of core concepts and skills, has been selected as a key content provider for a new blended learning model that will be implemented at Kramer Middle School in the 2012-13 school year. Part of District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), Kramer is undergoing a comprehensive transformation that will center around curricula delivered through a 50-50 combination of traditional face-to-face instruction and online courses.
The new blended learning approach is the brainchild of Principal Kwame Simmons who was brought to Kramer in 2010 to help the school achieve the goals laid out in DCPS' new five-year strategic plan, "A Capital Commitment." According to Simmons, the model is designed to improve college readiness through 21st century skills, intensify a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instruction, and keep students engaged through technology and a robust curriculum.
"We conducted a great deal of research on school improvement models, curriculum, instructional delivery, and technology," said Simmons. "Adaptive Curriculum immediately rose to the top as a solution we knew would help us achieve our goals. Their deep conceptual learning approach is based on an active learning pedagogy that provides the content, resources and strategies to help teachers engage students, dispel common misconceptions, and emphasize real-world connections in math and science. It's exactly the approach we need to engage and motivate our students and take them to the next level."
Designed for grades 6-12, Adaptive Curriculum engages digital-age learners by integrating 3D models, cutting-edge graphics and interactive simulations into active, standards-based learning. Unlike textbooks or drill-and-practice programs, Adaptive Curriculum's active learning approach motivates learners to explore, make hypotheses, manipulate items and see the impact of their decisions, thus developing and deepening their conceptual understanding. By linking content, technology and the latest research in lesson design and effective instruction, Adaptive Curriculum is transforming math and science achievement in U.S. classrooms and around the world.
A persistently low performing school, Kramer was selected by DCPS to receive additional help through a School Improvement Grant and Race to the Top funds. In Simmons first year at the school students' overall math proficiency on DCPS' Comprehensive Assessment System test rose from 18 percent in 2010 to 29 percent in 2011.
The one-year proficiency increase is particularly noteworthy since 87 percent of Kramer's students are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches and 28 percent have a special education designation. Simmons projects that through the new technology-rich online model, math proficiency will increase to 43 percent in 2012.
"Based on what the research shows, I strongly believe that this new blended learning model will help us reach and even exceed our goals," said Simmons. "This model speaks to students because of the technology, of course, but it combines that with the guidance of a caring and qualified teacher. For the teachers, it will help automate various tasks and provide more time to focus on what they do best -- guide, direct and mentor their students."
Teachers at Kramer Middle School will begin training on Adaptive Curriculum's conceptual learning program next month, with implementation to begin in the 2012-13 school year. In addition, the company's programs will be implemented in three other DCPS sites: McFarland Middle School, Johnson Middle School and Shaw Middle School.
About Adaptive Curriculum
Designed for grades 6-12, Adaptive Curriculum's web-based math and science solutions are used by more than 3 million students in the United States, Europe and Asia. Across the world, experts in math, science and online learning theory contribute to the content and design of the interactive activities to deliver effective instruction that improves performance on high-stakes tests and enhances college and career readiness.
Adaptive Curriculum is part of Sebit Inc., a global eLearning company and leader in digital curriculum innovation. For more information please call 1-888-999-9319 or visit www.adaptivecurriculum.com.
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