Does Your Intervention Model Prioritize Four Recognized Acceleration Strategies?
We know that students who experience learning acceleration struggle less and learn more. Research that has circulated in recent years comparing learning acceleration to the long-held remediation model confirms this. But understanding the research and implementing effective strategies to make it successful for students are two very different things.
In a recent article from The 74, key strategies for driving acceleration success were put to the test. The review looks closely at a study by the Center of Reinventing Public Education, which evaluated how 100 large and urban districts utilize four different learning acceleration strategies.
Let’s take a closer look at all four evidence-based policies and explore how your school or district can incorporate them in the classroom.
1. Use Data to Diagnose Needs
Call it a diagnostic or call it a benchmark—reopening school plans have determined that a trusted measure for understanding what students know and don’t know is paramount. An evidence-based measure, one that is both valid and reliable, should be an integral first step in building your comprehensive intervention plan. How many students are tracking far below grade level? Who should receive targeted intervention services? What style of services are needed—small-group? Pull-out? After-school? These are just a few of the questions a diagnostic can help answer.
Edmentum Exact Path’s adaptive diagnostic assessments determine students’ individual strengths, needs, and academic readiness within a vertical K–12 learning progression across reading, language arts, and math. Educators receive not only a scale score following each administration but also growth measures, normed percentiles, and grade-level proficiency classifications to make informed decisions throughout the school year as to what services students should receive.
2. Small-Group Instruction
The magic that happens in a small-group session makes it both a popular strategy and one celebrated in learning acceleration plans. Inside of small groups, educators access the capability of delivering a focused lesson for a specific set of needs while gleaning feedback that can be used in the moment to clarify and enrich understanding. Pulling it off and keeping the rest of your classroom buzzing in learning harmony is not an easy feat. Additionally, accessing the ongoing data you need to build effective small groups week after week takes time.
Exact Path can both inform who receives small-group support and ensure that the learning your other students are doing while small-groups are in session is much more than just busywork. Inside of the program, each student receives a unique learning path of high-quality digital curriculum. Students will navigate lessons, apply new concepts, and receive as-needed remediation or celebratory trophies to keep learning on track. Educators receive real-time data as students demonstrate mastery on new skills and standards so that building small groups is informed by the very latest data.
According to The 74, “Nearly 8 in 10 large and urban districts (78 [percent]) said they planned to offer tutoring during 2021–22—16 more than the year before.” This likely isn’t much of a surprise, though, given the recent buzz around tutoring, accompanied by a resurgence of data on its effectiveness. When specially trained tutors utilize effective curriculum every day or almost every day in what is known as a “high-dosage” tutoring model, students experience the greatest amount of success.
Edmentum offers two powerful tutoring options to yield high-impact results. Through our partnership with FEV Tutor, students can connect with a dedicated, qualified online tutor for live, one-to-one tutoring for tailored instruction or coursework support. Additionally, Foundational Skills Instruction is a powerful service that provides 60-minute virtual live lessons hourly before school, during the instructional day, and after school utilizing Exact Path curriculum. Together, these flexible options ensure that schools and districts are achieving their tutoring needs.
4. Extended Learning
Significant gaps in unfinished learning from the pandemic have elevated conversations about extended (or expanded) learning time (ELT) as a key strategy for acceleration. Many districts employed this approach by reutilizing nonacademic class periods, adding summer programs, or even lengthening the school day or school year. Of course, this strategy does require making staffing investments, as well as decisions about scheduling and potentially partnering with community organizations and providers. Additionally, research confirms that one critical factor to effectiveness of ELT is the curriculum used. It should be aligned, individualized, and high quality to deliver superior results.
Exact Path is built on rigorous learning-science research, with six learning design principles sitting squarely at the foundation of its learning methodology. The program is tailored to each student’s instructional readiness utilizing efficient assessment for placement. Embedded in each instructional module, students will find deliberate practice and immediate feedback accompanied by explicit instruction and scaffolding. When it comes to making ELT count, Exact Path’s evidence-based overall approach checks every box.
It continues to become abundantly clear that the need for learning acceleration will be in play for years to come. Evidence-based strategies that confirm its potential success, like the four detailed above, are helping move the needle on student learning.