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Enhancement Program key part of re-tooled academics at VVSD

Published: Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:46 p.m. CDT
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Lisa Allen and Aniya Morgan

“Hi, my name is Aniya Morgan and I am a seventh-grader at Jane Addams Middle School. I’m in Enhancement Class with Mrs. Allen and Ms. Klan.”

Aniya is referring to the Enhancement Program at the middle school level that uses the Odyssey Program from Compass Learning as a key component of Valley View School District’s re-tooled academic support program.

New to the 2012-13 school year, enhancement classes provide additional academic support in math and language arts for students who have not yet reached the 50 percent proficiency mark on the Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment, administered to all middle school students three times a year.  

Odyssey is directly correlated to the MAP data so “Learning Path” folders are created automatically for each individual student based on his or her specific needs.   

Students in the Enhancement Program receive two, three or five class periods of instruction and practice in addition to their daily classroom instruction in mathematics and language arts each week.  

This additional focus on mastering foundational concepts and building those that students already have mastered boosts not only MAP test scores, but the confidence students feel in their ability to do well in math and language arts classes outside of the Enhancement Program.

Like Aniya, many students have made significant academic gains on the Winter MAP test.

The “typical growth” per school year for a middle school student in the area of math or language arts is “6 points.”  This means that from the fall to the spring of a given school year, we expect that the “average student” will have gains of about 6 points.  

For students in the districtwide Enhancement Program, the goal is to accelerate those gains by earning more than expected growth, thereby closing the achievement gap and moving our students closer to reaching their potential.  

Mid-year results showed that throughout VVSD, students in the Enhancement Program are making great gains.  

In order to keep up the momentum, the district is making plans to kick off a Summer Odyssey Program, much like a summer reading program you might join at the public library.  

This program will offer participants the opportunity to continue to work their way through individualized lessons and quizzes in language arts and math while offering varying levels of fun-filled rewards along the way.

The goal is to maintain or extend the growth that students have made and get a jump-start for the new school year. It will be available to middle school students of all levels.  

It has been a rewarding year for the Middle School Enhancement Program, and I am fortunate to have been a part of it. 

Lisa Allen is works with Enhancement Math and Reading at Jane Addams Middle School.

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