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Quality Teacher & Education Act Impact & Innovation Awards 2013

IMPACT STRATEGY #1
District goals of Access and Equity and Student Achievement are addressed by Hoover’s strategy to allocate ALEKS online math licenses to every student, allowing differentiation of math instruction through individualized online learning. Every student at Hoover is impacted through the use of ALEKS. ALEKS is a web-based math program that uses programing to adapt and differentiate math topics. Last year, Hoover purchased licenses for every single student and utilized the program so that students could direct their learning while teachers used ongoing data on what students already knew, what they were ready to learn, and concepts they were struggling with. Hoover’s teachers use ALEKS as a data rich formative assessment tool to guide learning and frequently check for student understanding. The nature of the program provides students and teachers with an introduction to computerized testing that will be presented in the new Smarter Balanced assessment process. ALEKS has built in correlations to the Common Core State Standards and teachers have easy access to assessment data on a weekly and even daily basis. Teachers shared best practices and innovative ways to use data and differentiate learning. The math team and the School Site Council gathered evidence on the effectiveness of ALEKS through surveys, grades, CLA, and CST results. As teacher proficiency with ALEKS grows, our students’ proficiency in math grows as well. ALEKS also provides another avenue to practice math in Afterschool programs and at home while providing instant feedback to students. Hoover believes that using ALEKS to provide differentiated skills practice and exploration has led to an increase in problem solving and higher overall achievement. Students have meaningful practice personalized for them via ALEKS and more relevant group worthy tasks to solve in math class because the teacher has reliable data about foundational skills.

IMPACT STRATEGY #2
Hoover’s use of ALEKS also addresses the district goal of Accountability and keeping our promises to our students’ and families. Students get instant feedback on their progress in math, have the ability to direct their own learning and also have an opportunity to do so in Spanish. Many of our Latino families speak primarily Spanish at home and parents are able to help students with homework on ALEKS through a simple toggle to Spanish and the entire system is translated. This has led to higher family engagement for this subgroup and parent workshops on how to use ALEKS and help students are currently being planned this year.

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