Discovery Education Expands Partnership with Texas’ Greenville Independent School District to Support New K-5 STEM Magnet School
-Adoption of Science Digital Textbook and STEMformation Professional Development Initiative Empowers Educators to Create Innovative Learning Environments-
Silver Spring, Md. (Feb. 23, 2017) – Texas’ Greenville Independent School District (GISD) announced today an expansion of their ongoing partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. In this new phase of collaboration, Discovery Education will support the creation of modern learning environments in the district’s new K-5 STEM Magnet School. Set to open in the fall of 2017, educators at the district’s K-5 STEM Magnet School will be empowered to create a culture of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) teaching and learning with a unique combination of dynamic digital textbooks and sustained job-embedded professional development.
Discovery Education’s partnership with Greenville ISD supporting STEM education began in 2016 when theSTEMformation professional development initiative was launched in the district’s Carver, Crockett and Travis Elementary Schools. The deepening of GISD’s partnership with Discovery Education advances the district’s efforts to continuously provide students of every level an exceptional learning environment. In addition, this collaboration helps ensure that all children leave GISD with a strong educational foundation which will allow them to pursue their goals and dreams regardless of personal circumstance, economic status, or learning challenges.
As part of this expanded partnership, educators at GISD’s new K-5 STEM Magnet School will also participate in the STEMformation initative. A comprehensive, three-year system of professional development, STEMformation helps educators strengthen and sustain a culture of STEM at individual school sites and guides educators as they master STEM instructional strategies. With a focus on developing high-quality STEM lessons, creating transdisciplinary lessons and units, and vertically aligning STEM education school-wide, STEMformation provides the robust professional development, job-embedded coaching, and administrative leadership to create a center of STEM excellence.
In addition, educators at the new K-5 STEM Magnet School will also be supported by Discovery Education’s Science Techbook™ as they transform STEM teaching and learning.
An innovative digital textbook utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate (5E) model, Science Techbook includes rich, standards-aligned content such as video, audio, text, interactives with hands-on activities, and virtual labs that help educators differentiate instruction and provide a rich and engaging learning experience for all students. Embedded formative assessment opportunities help educators monitor student progress, and like all Discovery Education digital textbooks, the Science Techbook works on any device and can be implemented in any instructional setting.
The Science Techbook™ also includes a host of valuable STEM resources. STEM Project Starters encourage students to connect math, technology, and engineering to their understanding of science concepts to produce creative solutions to real world problems. In addition, the STEM In Action resources helps students connect their work to STEM careers, which promotes a clearer understanding of how skills used in school can be applied to jobs “in the real world.” Embracing a philosophy of three-dimensional learning, Discovery Education’s Science Techbooks help educators integrate digital resources into their classroom practice. The Model Lessons within the Science Techbooks reflect the interconnectedness of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) and Cross-Cutting Concepts (CCC) and illustrate what these mean in practice for educators.
“At Greenville Independent School District we believe partnerships are vital to a vibrant and exceptional educational system,” said Don Jefferies, Superintendent of the Greenville Independent School District. “We are excited to continue growing our partnership with Discovery Education, as we share a common goal of providing students a broad-based education that prepares them for life and work.”
The Discovery Education Community will also continue supporting GISD’s educators in their efforts to transform students’ learning experience with digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration.
“Discovery Education is pleased to support the work of the incredibly talented GISD team, and is excited to support the launch of the new K-5 STEM Magnet School this Fall,” said Molly Hebert Loyd, Discovery Education Partnerships Manager. “We look forward to accompanying the district’s educators and administrators on their journey to create innovative learning experiences for all students.”
For more information about Discovery Education Science Techbook, STEMformation, or other services and resources from Discovery Education visit www.discoveryeducation.com.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.
Achievement Proven to Increase with Apex Learning Tutorials
Students using Tutorials improve on postests and achieve higher scores on end-of-course exams
SEATTLE, WA—February 22, 2017 – Student achievement continues to increase with Apex Learning adaptive Tutorials, according to results from a 2015–2016 school year study. Apex Learning, known for digital curriculum that makes rigorous, standards-based content accessible to all students, reports that once again in the second annual study students using Tutorials achieved pretest to posttest gains and also achieved higher average scores on standardized end-of-course achievement tests than a comparison group of students not using Tutorials.
Across studies, the average effect of Tutorials was 2.5 times greater than the average effect of other programs designed to impact high school students’ performance on similar end-of-course achievement tests. Additionally, during the 2015-2016 school year, students achieved an average 19 percentile point gain from pretest to posttest and 20 percentile points during 2014-2015.
Designed specifically for individual state standards, Tutorials help districts raise exam scores, improve course pass rates, and increase college and career readiness. With an interactive app-like design, Tutorials quickly identify individual learning gaps and seamlessly adapt instruction for each student, adding prerequisite content as needed to support students in mastering grade-level content. Tutorials make it possible for all students to be successful the first time.
“Every day classroom teachers face the daunting task of meeting the learning needs of every student, accommodating for different proficiency levels and varying stages of academic readiness, while ensuring students stay on track,” said Cheryl Vedoe, CEO, Apex Learning. “This is a nearly impossible feat, even for the most experienced educators. Apex Learning Tutorials with adaptive remediation make it possible for teachers to personalize the learning experience for all students using a curriculum that is proven to increase student outcomes.”
To view the full report, A Study of the Impact of Apex Learning Tutorials on Student Achievement (School year 2015 – 2016), visit: https://www.apexlearning.com/efficacy-studies/study-tutorials-use-and-effectiveness.
To view the full report, A Study of Tutorials Use and Effectiveness (School year 2014-2015), visit:https://www.apexlearning.com/efficacy-studies/study-tutorials-use-and-effectiveness-0
To view a Tutorials success story from Darlington County School District in South Carolina, Middle School Students Pass Algebra I EOC Exams One Year Early, visit: https://www.apexlearning.com/resources/case-studies/middle-school-students-pass-algebra-i-eoc-one-year-early
About Apex Learning
Apex Learning puts rigorous, standard-based curriculum within reach for all students—from those struggling to those capable of acceleration—to prepare them for the next course, the next stage in their education, work and life. Schools use Apex Learning digital curriculum because it is proven that more learning happens with the powerful, actionable data that gives educators insight into student performance, and the personalization and engagement students need to succeed. During the 2015-2016 school year, there were more than three million enrollments in Apex Learning Comprehensive Courses for original credit and credit recovery and Adaptive Tutorials for intervention, remediation, and to prepare for high-stakes assessments. Headquartered in Seattle, Apex Learning is accredited by AdvancEd and its courses are approved for National Collegiate Athletic Association eligibility. For more information, visit www.apexlearning.com or call 1.800.453.1454.
Schools of Hope Survey Results: Teachers Report Strong Connections with
Students, while Relationships with Administrators and Parents are Strained
Gainesville, FL, Feb. 23, 2017 – The Schools of Hope Survey, undertaken by the non-profit Center for College & Career Readiness in partnership with MeTEOR Education, paints a mixed picture of the relationships in schools today. Nearly 80 percent of teachers feel their relationships with students are “very positive,” while 41 percent report feeling their relationships with administrators to be “strained.”
In recent years, a number of high-profile national studies have illustrated significant issues of disengagement amongst teachers. Both the Gallup Daily tracking survey and Metlife “Survey of the American Teacher” were widely reported as finding a majority of teachers to be “disengaged” and reporting historically low levels of job satisfaction and well-being.
“The Education Machine often creates tremendous cross-incentives that can strain healthy working relationships between teachers, administrators and even parents,” explains Bill Latham, CEO of MeTEOR Education. “Too often our system misplaces resources and spends relational capital, not on efforts to improve teaching and learning, but rather to prioritize summative testing results as definitive judgment on the impact their teachers are having. Education is relational, not transactional- but the incentives in the system can easily drive wedges between teachers and administrators.”
Latham believes, “The strong relationships between teacher and student have an amazing sustaining effect that counters many of the difficulties teachers regularly face. When the child and teacher are connected, amazing things happen for both.”
With more than 7,000 educators responding, the survey also revealed teachers felt only slightly more positive about their interactions with parents. The data showed only 45 percent noting “very positive” bonds with parents in their community.
In the recently-released book Humanizing the Education Machine: How to Create Schools That Turn Disengaged Kids Into Inspired Learners (Wiley, 2016) author Rex Miller and his co-author Latham, recount their national trek to find stories of success in America’s schools where relationships between all stakeholders are positively affecting student outcomes. The results were hopeful, but mixed.
“One of the central findings in our book, and underscored by the respondents to our national survey, is the need for school leaders to focus on increasing the wellness of teachers through the strength of their relationships,” said Latham. “Interestingly, the connection between teacher job satisfaction, student engagement, and mutual respect were the foundation of every hopeful success story we found. When leadership focuses on building social capital in the community, we found that even those schools that struggle the most across a host of academic, environment and rapport issues, could rise up and succeed.”
One such example of success came at Momentous Institute. “Trust has been created in our school by leading with relationships and being open to influence. We have co-created Momentous Institute and Momentous School with our stakeholders,” says Michelle Kinder, Executive Director of Momentous Institute. “We learn together as we go and we’ve found that we get it wrong as often as we get it right, but the way the team steps into the moments when we get it wrong is truly exceptional.”
The Center for College & Career Readiness will continue to survey thousands of educators throughout 2017 to gather “real time snapshots of the authentic schoolhouse.” When completed, the Schools of Hope survey will provide one of the largest samples of educator responses in modern times.
Latham and Miller are also launching a national “Educators Read Together for Kids” initiative to stimulate a broader conversation on how some of America’s most distressed schools are using innovative strategies to build positive relationships between school leaders, teachers and families. Administrators and teachers interested in learning more about the “Educators Read Together for Kids” initiative can go to https://meteoreducation.com/educators-read-together-for-kids-initiative.
About MeTEOR Education:
MeTEOR Education is a leading educational services partner working with education professionals to help them create High-impact Learning Experiences™. As one of the largest providers of learning spaces, including furnishings and interior design services, MeTEOR’s focus is the integration of best practices for teaching and learning to drive inquiry-based instruction, effective use of modern classrooms, and increased student achievement. To learn more visit:https://meteoreducation.com.
About the Center for College and Career Readiness:
The Center for College & Career Readiness (K-12) is a 501(C)3 non-profit training and research organization working with more than one-third of America’s school districts to implement College & Career Readiness standards, curriculum and instruction and to provide schools with access to the leading research, experts and consultants in College & Career Ready outcomes. The faculty works with school districts, principals, assistant principals, aspiring leaders, curriculum coaches and classroom teachers (K-12) within some of the largest and most complex districts in the United States.