Texas Public School District Seeks ELA Tool to Better Reach Students

Texas Public School District Seeks ELA Tool to Better Reach Students

This district is looking for a supplemental ELA tool to help support a blended learning initiative in an in-class station rotation model or in an after school, before school, or tutoring block.

State: Texas Number of Students: 41,061
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 27.6%
Grade Level: PK-12 English Language Learners: 10.2%

School Context

This large school district in Texas, serving over 41,000 students. For this particular need they are focusing on one campus to pilot a blended learning initiative. On this campus, they serve around 600 students, are a Title I school, and have about 41% economically disadvantaged students. They have extremely strong parent support despite a somewhat transient population.

State of Technology

They have a multifaceted pain point. Due to a moderately transient population without the skills needed to be successful paired with some recent teacher turnover, along with harder to reach ELL and special education students, they feel they have not been able to reach all students with their current approach and need software support to better reach students at their current levels.

They currently use a workshop model and station model to teach students. Small group instruction is working to reach students. Though differentiation becomes harder and harder to accomplish due to the varied needs and skill levels of students. While they only now have small group instruction a couple times a week, they are hoping to be able to structure a new model to accommodate small groups everyday.

Tech Needs & Requirements

They have curriculum writers that determine pace and sequence, but they would like to be able to have a software solution help fill skill gaps and accelerate students faster and with more personalization. They are planning on implementing this in 20 minute blocks of time whether in class, before school, or during tutoring. They envision a classroom where students are reading on their own (for upper levels), but during this particular station, they are working on reading comprehension and fluency skills. They are not looking for a reading program but something that meets students where they are. The tool should be able to set to an individual student's reading level, automatically if possible through a diagnostic. Ideally the tool adjusts the content to accommodate for the reading level and any gains in skill achievement, but if not, the teachers are willing to adjust when necessary. They are ultimately looking for something very engaging, possibly gamified. The tool should be adjustable or adaptive, creating more personalized path for each student. Teachers, however, would like to be able to override the path. If possible, they would like to be able to add links to outside resources, but can do that within the LMS if need be.The tool should have a variety of ways for students to interact with the content, not just multiple choice. The tool should provide students with feedback if they miss a question. This could look like helper text, link to a scaffold, or even something that explain why the student may have missed the question. If there is scaffolding like a vocabulary helper, hints, visuals, or read aloud for LEP and special education students, that would be a nice to have. The district would like for the tool to offer a variety of reporting options. They would like a teacher dashboard so that teachers could quickly and accurately address student progress. All questions should be aligned with TEKS standards.

They want students to see where they are in progress are but not be able to control the sequence or path.

Teachers will be leading students through stations. Teachers will work with small groups to help students tackle difficult texts and practice close reading skills. Teachers will use this tool to inform instruction and hopefully to fill learning gaps for all students.

The tool must provide a way to level set the reading for maximum personalization. The tool must have formative assessments built in to track skill improvement. The tool must report on progress. Also, the tool must be TEKS aligned and device agnostic. This tool should be device agnostic, but they have Dell Laptops in the classroom. Data should be sortable by standard/objective, by student, and by class. The tool must be able to export data to CSV, PDF and multiple file types. Students should be able to see progress toward goals, by standards. Administrators should have a similar view to teachers, but be able to also look at data by teacher and grade level, and usage reporting would be nice. The tool must integrate with Clever and ItsLearning.

*Content From 2016

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