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[Feature Focus] EdOptions Academy Foundational Skills Instruction

[Feature Focus] EdOptions Academy Foundational Skills Instruction

During my years as an elementary principal, I served in highly affluent districts and in districts where resources were scarce. No matter the demographics, there was one challenge that persisted: How do we support the varied needs of all the students we serve? It’s not unusual for a teacher to have students with multiple learning and academic needs in the same classroom; in fact, it is the norm. Teachers often wrestle with the questions: How do I enrich the students who have already mastered concepts? and How do I provide more time and practice to those who need additional exposure? With limited staff, limited time, and limited space, the support provided to our most vulnerable students is typically determined by available resources, and often, it isn’t enough.

As a principal and instructional leader, it was my responsibility to remove barriers and ensure that the teachers had what they needed to flourish for our students. It would have been wonderful to have access to highly qualified, certified teachers who would build relationships with students and to support teachers by focusing on the foundational skill gaps to help accelerate learning.

What is Foundational Skills Instruction?

Foundational Skills Instruction is an instructional service that provides 60-minute virtual live lessons hourly before school, during the instructional day, and after school. The lessons are organized by domain and skills, and the schedule follows a monthly cadence to provide students with multiple, reinforcing lessons over time, helping to address foundational gaps and bring students up to grade-level proficiency. Essentially, we focus on the building blocks that fill skill gaps.

The lessons are facilitated by our highly qualified and certified EdOptions Academy teachers who are experts at delivering instruction virtually. They have experience, and they have received ongoing professional learning to continue to hone their skills. With this offering, district leaders can remove the barriers of limited people, limited time, and limited space.

How does it work?

It’s simple: assess, attend, analyze

Assess student learning and identify the gaps students have in their learning compared to their grade-level standards. District teachers consistently assess student learning using formal and informal assessments as a part of the daily teaching and learning cycle. If you need help assessing student learning and identifying gaps, we can assess your students with our Exact Path adaptive diagnostic assessment.

Attend live lessons. Using their knowledge of student needs and performance, district teachers will assign their students to specific lessons addressing the necessary skills on which students need support. EdOptions Academy teachers will provide direct instruction on the needed skill using the curricular resources of Exact Path and following the instructional pedagogy: skill introduction, practice, and assessment during each lesson cycle.

Sample a reading lesson and math lesson to see what instruction is like firsthand.

Analyze student performance. Student progress on formative assessments will be available in the Exact Path platform and accessible to district stakeholders. This gives districts the information necessary to make informed instructional decisions regarding their students.

What are the benefits?

Although the need for foundational skills instruction has been around for decades, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more crucial presently. Education has further changed, and virtual learning is here to stay. This solution:

  • Augments in-class instruction with powerful 60-minute sessions focused on key foundational math and reading skills
  • Reaches students where they are, providing an opportunity to accelerate learning by building foundational skills that will fill instructional gaps
  • Combines access to high-quality certified teachers from EdOptions Academy with proven, personalized instruction from our award-winning Exact Path program
  • Is available to K–12 students anywhere there is Internet access

Foundational skills instruction is available to support your summer plans and beyond into the next academic year.

Want to learn more about the instructional services, specifically those designed to support high-impact tutoring and instruction? Check out the EdOptions Academy webpage and available instructional services -- including both Foundational Skills Instruction and our partnership with FEV Tutor.

This post was originally published March 2021 and has been updated.