The #1 Curriculum and Assessment Partner for Educators

3 Ways Our North Carolina Educators are Preparing for EOG and EOC Assessments

3 Ways Our North Carolina Educators are Preparing for EOG and EOC Assessments

At Edmentum, our technology is only one part of how we support educators. Our goal is to go beyond only providing logins and point-and-click resources—it’s to support you as you get your program implementations off the ground; as you expand into new grade levels, subjects, and uncharted territory; and as you review the performance data and measure the return on your investment. I am Sarah Starr, your North Carolina education consultant, and my job is to make sure that the technology you’ve purchased is supporting teaching and learning in the ways that meet your goals.

This 2018–19 school year has included innovative and incredible stories of schools and districts working to ensure that students achieve standards proficiency and proper preparation for North Carolina EOG and EOC assessments at the end of the year. For many of the educators I work with, a popular tool that helps them do that is Study Island, Edmentum’s K–12 practice and formative assessment program,. Today, I’d like to share three different sites using this program, who happen to also be in three very different stages of their implementation journeys.

Person County Schools in Roxboro, North Carolina

At Northern Middle School and Southern Middle School in Person County School District, I have been able to lead some professional development (PD) with a handful of middle school teachers to explore meaningful approaches to differentiated instruction, which have included implementing a station-rotation model. While this can feel challenging to implement with 11- to 14-year-olds, it largely follows the same structure as what you might expect to find in an elementary school. Educators in this district are just getting started this spring, but I’ve already received positive feedback and seen teachers testing out new practices, even this close to the end of the school year.

For this implementation, teachers are encouraged to use the grouping feature in Exact Path, Edmentum’s K–12 adaptive assessment and individualized instruction solution, to help sort students into similar-ability groups according to skill or state standard. From there, the teacher leads a small group; other students work on a Study Island grade-level specific assignment; another small group closes skill gaps in personalized learning paths inside of Exact Path; and a final group completes a just-in-time, focused Exact Path assignment. At this point, it’s safe to say that educators are still testing the waters, but I’m excited to see what happens next!

Nash Central Middle School of Nash-Rocky Mount School District in Nashville, North Carolina

Nash Central Middle School is an example of a new Study Island implementation, in which it took no time at all for teachers and students to start digging in and finding value. This school began using the program at the start of the 2018–19 spring semester to increase standards proficiency for students. There were pockets of educators who had used the program several years previously, many of whom were excited to use it again, and they helped champion the spread of this powerful program implementation.

Key to their implementation was answering the following two questions: “What are the best ways for us to implement this?” and “What ways can we incentivize this?” To date, administrators have not been heavy-handed regarding enforcing usage, but instead, teachers are choosing to create assignments based on grade level and state standards at an increasing rate. Since the beginning of March, students have already earned more than 9,000 Blue Ribbons (Study Island’s built-in reward system for quantifying standards mastery)!

Scotland County Schools in Laurinburg, North Carolina

Finally, let’s take a closer look at a district that’s been using Study Island for many years. In this district, I schedule a monthly session with the curriculum facilitators at the middle and high school levels, during which, either virtually or in person, I would take around an hour and a half to dig into a key focus area of their choice. Recent topics have included digging deep into reporting and exploring the new Challenge and Race modes of Group Sessions. This PD framework has worked exceptionally well for this district in helping keep the program fresh and continually enriching understanding of just how much Study Island can do. When curriculum facilitators go back to their schools, they push out those key learnings to the teachers they work with via PLC (professional learning community) meetings, and that collaboration helps shape the next need or topic in ongoing sessions. This is such a great example of a district shaping a PD model that can support rich return on its investment.

As testing days inch nearer and another school year comes to a close, it’s a rewarding challenge to seek out additional ways to help educators and students leverage our programs to meet their unique goals. I can’t wait to see what other innovative approaches are taken to help students meet grade-level expectations!

Interested in learning more about Study Island for North Carolina? Check out the available programs Edmentum offers for North Carolina educators!