Two years ago, Northwestern Consolidated School District (NWCSD) in central Indiana embarked on a radical move toward blended learning: using Study Island, Plato Courseware, and EdOptions Academy to power its new 1:1 technology initiative.
The success the district has experienced since this transformation has led to many awards. Most recently, they have been named the latest recipient of Edmentum’s Rock Star School award!
NWCSD had a bold vision three years ago to leverage technology in an effort to help every school in the district achieve an A rating from the state. In just two school years, the district has realized that goal. All three NWCSD schools, and the district as a whole, earned A grades from the Indiana Department of Education in 2013–14. Triton Central Middle School was recognized as a national School to Watch® by the Indiana Middle Level Education Association (IMLEA), and Triton Central High School was designated a Four Star School by the Indiana Department of Education.
NWSCD Superintendent Dr. Shane Robbins and Triton Central Alternative School Teacher Bryan Graham share some of their insights from the district’s inspiring transformation.
Blended learning can be a challenge to implement. What helped you hit the ground running?
Dr. Robbins: After we went 1:1, we turned to Edmentum to provide tools and digital resources for all of our teachers and students… Plato [Courseware] has given Triton Central High School the ability to become a true blended learning environment where differentiation and creativity become normal best practices in the classroom. The varied resources available have assisted our teachers in maximizing the usage of our 1:1 computing environment.
Tell us about eLearning days, where lessons can still be taught online via mobile devices with Edmentum products even if students are homebound due to inclement weather.
Mr. Graham: Programs like Study Island and Plato [Courseware] have both been outstanding when it comes to eLearning days. It’s like having an instructor there with you at home! The teachers can go online, assign, and then monitor where the students are relating to the lessons.
Dr. Robbins: On our first eLearning day, we watched to see what would happen in the system. It turned out that the students accomplished far more than what we were expecting—and even more than in most regular school days.
What role do you feel Edmentum has played in your district going from a C grade to an A grade in two years?
Dr. Robbins: We firmly believe our abilities to provide our students with instant feedback and increased engagement—things we receive from Edmentum—have been instrumental in our academic growth.
For more on how Northwestern Consolidated turned its schools around, check out the whole success story. You can also take a look at our resource on Comprehensive Bad Weather Solutions to learn more about how Edmentum can help your school or district implement an eLearning days strategy!