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Southeastern (IN) School District

/Academy Interventions

Download PDF version of this articleSince 2006, Southeastern School District in rural Walton, Indiana, has seen first-hand the results of their “culture of success” philosophy – appearances in both football and baseball championship games, two state softball titles and three state marching band titles will do that.

At Galveston Elementary School, Principal Trudie Hedrick’s goal is to continue to foster the “culture of success” that has been instilled throughout the district. Their approach to success in the classroom comes through the use of several different tools, including: “leveling” (grouping students in several grades together to work on the same subject), one-on-one sessions with the students to help them reach their maximum potential and by using AutoSkill’s Academy of READING and the Academy of MATH. Each of the students is able to use the innovative software in their computer labs from 3-5 days a week. During the lab time, the students are in a general study island, with a portion of the two computer labs set up using the Academy of READING and Academy of MATH.

“Our students just LOVE AutoSkill! The colorful and interactive software has helped to greatly improve the students’ confidence
in their basic learning abilities.”
Trudie Hedrick, Principal

“The students just LOVE the AutoSkill programs,” Hedrick said. “It is more interactive and colorful than typical computer work and has helped to greatly improve the students’ confidence in their basic learning abilities. Our teachers have received such positive feedback and we are really excited to see the dramatic improvements in testing scores.”

Based on extensive research and proven in thousands of elementary, middle and high schools across the country, the award-winning AutoSkill software delivers a powerful intervention software solution that helps students achieve rapid, permanent gains in reading and math. The methodology incorporates instructional and behavioral principles to address skills development and learner motivation. This is the school’s first year using AutoSkill and Hedrick has every intention to continue using the product. Through the software’s individual assessment capability, the program delivers a dynamic individualized training experience for each student.

“It allows our teachers to help the students focus in their true deficiencies and helps us to tailor the lessons to their specific needs,” Hedrick said. “We aspire to help our students find success by learning in areas that they have faltered in the past. Once they know that they can achieve their learning goal the first time, it becomes easier for them to duplicate that success the next time.”

Across the district at Thompson Elementary, remedial instructor Bonnie Moore began using the Academy of MATH in December 2009 and is responsible for approximately 70 remedial students between the 2nd and 5th grade. The Academy of MATH develops computational fluency in math foundation skills in eight areas that align to NCTM standards. Using a unique intervention approach, the program delivers an adaptive, individualized training experience for each student.

“We use the program tools to test the students at the beginning of the term to see where they are and this is so helpful in setting the individual students’ learning goals,” Moore explained. “The students really seem to prefer learning and working on the computer and the puzzle work is a favorite with my students.”

The training stream is automatically assigned based on a placement test that provides a snapshot of each student’s math abilities relative to their grade. The program’s adaptive intervention engine adjusts to students’ responses, accelerating training when mastery is demonstrated or reviewing concepts when needed, providing a truly individualized instruction path.

“Because they are remedial students, they tend to compare themselves with other kids, in terms of how fast and well they are learning their grade subjects, but using the individual lessons in the Academy of MATH allows them to focus on their own work and not worry about keeping up with other students,” Moore said. “They can learn at their own pace without pressure.”

Moore was surprised and thrilled when she realized that within five short months, she had students who had advanced one full grade, some as many as two grades. The result of Southeastern School District’s “culture of success” philosophy is for each student to feel that they have the potential to actually reach their highest levels of achievement. The Academy of MATH gives these students the pathway to fast and impressive learning results. Moore has enthusiastically petitioned her administrator for continued use of the products for the next school year.

The creators of the Academy of READING and Academy of MATH know that successful reading and math intervention programs require more than just great software. With little time and even fewer resources, busy educators need to quickly integrate technology into the classroom, help students become productive immediately and generate rapid results.