Corvallis High School
School Representative: Jason Wirt – Principal
Date EdReady Montana Program Implemented: 5/1/2013 (one of the initial pilot sites in Montana)
Grade Levels of Students Utilizing EdREady MT: 9-12
Corvallis Background Info:
Corvallis High School, a Class A high school located in Montana’s picturesque Ravalli County, has been working with and utilizing the EdReady Montana program since its pilot stage in early 2013. Recently EdReady Montana’s Program Manager, Dr. Ryan Schrenk, spoke with Jason Wirt, Corvallis High School Principal, regarding Corvallis’ current use of the program. Corvallis High is the first school featured by EdReady Montana to begin to show and tell the story of how students, educators and schools in the state of Montana benefit from the program.
Q: Please describe how the EdReady Montana program is being utilized at your school.
Considerations: Grade levels, Remediation, Acceleration, Intervention, Skill Building, Classroom Supplement
Corvallis High School is using the EdReady Montana program in two ways. First, is the ‘Back on Track’ program, where this fall 20 pre-algebra level students are placed into two blocks of classes with a team of two teachers and the assistance of a special education teacher. This allows the teachers to rotate each day during the 90 minute block. In the program students rotate between two stations: 1) EdReady on Chromebooks, and 2) direct instruction with the teacher. We have added a whole group session at the end of class time to review homework expectations. All 20 students completed pre-algebra by winter break! This put them ‘back on track’ to complete algebra 1 by the end of the school year.
The second way in which Corvallis High School utilizes the EdReady program is as a supplement to our dual credit courses in pre-calculus, algebra II and calculus, which are offered in conjunction with the University of Montana (UM). As a condition of course credit, students must pass the ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces) placement test at the appropriate course level. EdReady goals were established based on data collected during the past 2 summers to achieve similar improvements on the ALEKS for incoming freshmen at UM. Students use EdReady on Chromebooks for 20 minutes every other day, during the block schedule. Last year we had difficulties with students not reaching their ALEKS score, but with EdReady’s help, we expect results will be different this year.
Q: How are you integrating the EdReady Montana program into daily lesson plans?
Considerations: Homework vs. In-Class use, Graded vs. Non-Graded, Special Classroom Arrangements or Lab Scheduling, etc.
We use EdReady in-class almost exclusively at all levels. In pre-algebra, students are graded on time in the system and improvement of EdReady goal scores.
In the dual credit courses, EdReady is a non-graded supplement to the coursework that helps students prepare for the ALEKS test.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of the program?
Our favorite aspect of EdReady is how engaged our students are now compared with past semesters. There have been no behavior referrals from our algebra class this year so far, and students seem more motivated to complete their work.
Parents questioned the ‘Back on Track’ program in the beginning, mostly due to the requirement of taking two blocks of math. Eventually, they bought into the idea due to how EdReady helps make the program successful and allows the teachers to work with smaller groups as well as on specific problems with students. We were even able to invite students and their parents to celebrate the completion of pre-algebra at the 15 week mark of the course, rather than the initial 18 week goal! This gives them more time to work toward completing algebra 1 by the end of the school year. Moving forward, we are on the lookout for struggling algebra students to include in the program during the second semester.
The team-teaching approach to pre-algebra is a focused part of our math professional learning community to address.
Q: What, or who, has made implementation at your school successful?
The entire math department and a special education teacher (5 teachers) are all working together to help address the unique needs of our pre-algebra students and make the program successful.
Q: How have your students reacted to the program?
Students enjoy working in the EdReady system and will often utilize time after tests to use the system to study. Pre-calculus students have even requested more time in the system to study.
Q: What are you most proud of in your implementation, or what has surprised you most about utilizing the program?
I’m proud of our staff, who care enough about kids and student learning, to come up with this innovative approach. We have students finishing pre-algebra in 15 weeks where it has taken 36 weeks in the past. Every student passed pre-algebra this semester, so I’m also proud of the students for putting in the work it takes to learn the concepts and work at a faster pace.
I’ve not had one negative comment about this new approach and it’s refreshing to have that sort of reception for a new and innovative program.
Q: What advice does your school have for other schools, programs, administrators or teachers looking to implement the program?
For other principals, I advise them to allow teachers to come up with these sorts of programs and ideas. The problem of pre-algebra students not passing math in high school was not being addressed as well as we thought it could be, and this solution seems to be changing that equation. Getting pre-algebra students through three years of math is a huge challenge. We hope we’ve found a solution that will make that possible as these students move through our school with the integration of our great teachers and EdReady Montana to help address specific individual needs.
School Contact Information
Address: 1045 Main Street, Corvallis, MT 59828
Phone Number: 406-961-3201×101