Lancaster County Schools Experience Higher Academic Achievement with Personalized Learning
Columbia Borough School District and the School District of Lancaster were recognized in January in a new report by the Hybrid Learning Institute (HLI) on the effectiveness of personalized learning. The “2015-16 Impact Report”reviewed academic outcomes from 30 different school districts that used “hybrid” methods of instruction last year. Both districts made significant progress in improving student achievement and growth.
During 2015-16, Lancaster launched new programs in personalized learning in 15 classrooms across three city elementary schools. In the personalized classrooms, students averaged 83% higher growth on state-aligned benchmarks compared to traditional classrooms. In third-grade math, twice as many students passed their state exams. In fourth-grade math, the rate of students scoring advanced on state exams was more than three times greater. In English, personalized learners outperformed traditional learners by 124% on state exams.
At Columbia, the district implemented personalized learning in five classrooms in the middle school. During the first year of personalization, students in seventh-grade math scored “advanced” on their state exams at a rate three times higher than students in traditional classes. Students in eighth-grade English passed their state exams at a rate 11% higher. Columbia also used personalization to improve the academic program for seventh and eighth grade learning support students.
The promising results at Lancaster and Columbia are consistent with the positive outcomes achieved by other schools implementing personalized learning across the mid-Atlantic region. The “District Storyboard” report follows the release of HLI’s “2015-16 Impact Report” which documents substantial gains in academic performance by students in personalized environments:
- Students in personalized classrooms passed their state exams at a rate 20% higher than students in traditional learning environments and achieved 98% better academic growth;
- Personalized learners excelled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) academics, beating traditional students by 38% in math and 10% in science, and;
- Personalized learners scored “advanced” on state math exams (the highest level of achievement) at a rate 52% higher than traditional students.
The HLI reported positive results in all levels of schooling. More personalized learners achieved proficiency on state exams in elementary school (+15%), middle school (+31%) and high school (+20%). They also scored advanced at much greater rates, outperforming by 24% in elementary school, by 59% in middle school and by 76% in high school.
“Personalized learning combines proven teaching methods with new technologies to create an individualized educational experience for every student,” said Kevin Dellicker, founder of HLI and President of Dellicker Strategies, authors of the reports. “Personalization does not replace traditional brick-and-mortar schools, it makes them better,” said Dellicker. The educators who embraced these new strategies and enabled their students to succeed should be very proud.
Since 2011, Dellicker Strategies has helped 134 different schools plan and implement personalized learning in hybrid and blended classroom settings. The 2015-16 reports evaluated 161 blended programs impacting 13,500 students in 58 schools. The recent studies are the largest of their kind focusing on quantifiable results of personalized instruction in mainstream schools.
SOURCE: news release