Jamie Candee, SVP Sales and Marketing at Edmentum, continues her blog series on real world challenges in the classroom.
Today I’m headed to the heart of the sunshine state - Kissimmee, Florida - to tell you about an inspirational educator who I’ve come to know very well. Beth Rattie, Director of High School Education and Alternative Programs in the Osceola County School District, and I met in 2008 when she began her partnership with Edmentum. Beth leads a challenging department within her district serving a combination of English-Language Learners and low income students.
When Osceola first implemented Plato Courseware their graduation rate was 67%, one of the lowest in the state. Initially, the school board was hesitant about investing in the program, but early results were too impressive to pass up. Now in their fifth year of using Plato Courseware they have raised their graduation rate over 15%. In talking with her about the program recently, Beth raves “our board members, parents, community and the students of course are very, very happy.”
Beth and her incredible staff utilize Plato Courseware to serve over 1,000 students each school year who are behind in credits, have a low GPA or are over age for their grade placement. Students love working on the content. Beth describes, “The courses are interactive, they’re colorful, they’re bright.” Not only are students given individualized attention, but they are also able to work at their own pace. “They’re not doing the same thing the person next to them is doing; it’s just personal for them.” Another very important part of the program her staff ensures is that they celebrate their student successes.
Osceola expanded their Edmentum partnership last year to offer our Edmentum Test Packs benchmarking and assessments product. They first piloted the tool in a particularly low performing science program in the one of the district’s middle schools. With this implementation, students were assessed on the state’s science standards and prescribed personalized learning plans based on their individual performance. Passing rate on the state test increased by over 25%. As a result this program has now been implemented in all middle schools in the district for the 2012 – 2013 school year. Additionally, our solutions are used throughout the district in evening programs, summer school and a local career center offering first time credit to over 300 students.
Beth has personally seen Plato Courseware successfully help more than 4,000 students. She tells us about one particular student in a recent testimonial video, included to the right of this post.
As portrayed in the video, Beth and her team’s dedication helps each and every student be successful. This makes me truly appreciate being able to play a part in providing real solutions to educators like Beth who make a difference in classrooms every day.