What Do ESSA Evidence Requirements Mean to Local Schools?

Posted on Apr 25, 2018

The Impact of Evidence of Effectiveness on Local Schools

This article is Part 2 of our ESSA: Evidence of Effectiveness series. Make sure to check out Part 1 : Understanding the Difference between Research-based and Evidence-based.

As we shift our focus from research-based to evidence-based, we raise the bar on the level of rigorous support schools need to adopt, support, and scale instructional programming across the classrooms and schools in their district or state. First came approval of state ESSA plans, and now the next phase of identifying and implementing Evidence of Effectiveness is underway.

But what does that mean? What roles do the State Education Agency (SEA) and the Local Education Agency (LEA) play in establishing and demonstrating evidence? What’s expected of each? And, more importantly, what is at stake in terms of accountability?

Like always...

STEM: Trending for a Promising Future!

Posted on Apr 24, 2018

Odysseyware Always Changing, Always Improving

Our Always Changing, Always Improving series provides insight to our ongoing commitment to Odysseyware educators and our learners, to demonstrate our dedication to providing innovative, up-to-date, and relevant curriculum and learning opportunities for students, and support tools for students, teachers, and schools alike. We are committed to keeping our curriculum and instructional technology ‘refreshed’ for today’s schools in a dynamic digital environment.

STEM (and STEAM) play a critical role in not just our schools, but our global society as a whole.

When we empower kids with the opportunities to be engaged in a well-rounded curriculum , and learn the interconnectedness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, we provide a well laid path to national advancement in keeping our nation a leader in a global marketplace.

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What is the difference between Evidence and Research?

Posted on Apr 19, 2018

ESSA-Evidence of Effectiveness-Research-vs-Evidence

This article is Part 1 of our ESSA: Evidence of Effectiveness series. Part 2 (Understanding the different tiers of Evidence of Effectiveness) is coming soon.

I know what you could be thinking: tomato/tamato, right?

For so long we, as educators, have used the words evidence and research somewhat interchangeably. Sure, we know there’s a difference. But often when we reviewed curriculum in our classrooms, set-up pilots, and ultimately decided on an instructional purchase, we sought out ‘research-based’ options to guide our choices and decisions – and assumed strong research-based curriculum meant strong evidence of effectiveness.

But does it?

Do research-based programs still have a place in our classrooms? Do they still have merit? And, more importantly, do they still hold a stake in the...

Why We Desperately Need Social Emotional Learning to Support Our Students

Posted on Apr 10, 2018

Social Emotional Learning Supports Our Students

The struggle is real: Being a teenager (and pre-teen) is hard.

Think back to when you were a teenager. Do remember the battle of trying to figure out who you were (the self-discovery stage) and how you felt like no one around you could understand you (i.e., adults just don’t get it)? Then there’s the issue of the onset of acne, the invasion of the hormone body snatchers, and just being self-conscious about your body in general. Many of us were in the battle of trying to convince peers of how braces and glasses were cool . The overall awkwardness alone was enough to make you feel like you could die from embarrassing moments.

And these were just the personal struggles.

What about the struggles at school? The many different teachers, the challenges of learning new skills and concepts (especially when some subjects didn’t ‘...

Decrease Dropout Rates with Online Learning

Posted on Apr 6, 2018

Decrease Dropout Rates with Online Learning

Ensuring high school completion is not just a school or regional priority. It's a national priority.

Although the overall high school completion rates have increased over the past century, schools still face the challenge of how to prevent students from deciding to leave. The most challenging aspect when determining prevention strategies is the fact that there is not a singular precedent for determining what that ‘red flag,’ deciding factor is. This is largely due to many factors that determine why a student may elect to not complete school.

While the number of low-grad-rate high schools has declined considerably over the past decade, the number is still high in some states. With the new Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) graduation requirements going into effect, many districts are faced with asking themselves the tough questions surrounding accountability for...

The Silent Disruptor: Chronic Absenteeism Quietly Undermines Student Success

Posted on Apr 4, 2018

Chronic absenteeism undermines student success

A staggering 7 million students across the nation miss so much school that they are considered academically at risk.

No matter what grade you are affiliated with – and whether you’re a teacher, administrator, or superintendent – chronic absenteeism affects you.

Much like graduation (and dropout) rates, chronic absenteeism is not confined to a single state or geographic region. And while subgroups of students are disproportionality affected, chronic absenteeism is not confined to one population of students either.

This is a topic that affects people across the spectrum: from student to state.

What is Chronic Absenteeism?

The word “chronic absence” was coined in 2008 by Hedy Chang, who published research on whether or not missing school in early grades correlated to low reading proficiency by the end of third grade. Hedy needed...

5 Barriers to Summer School Solved with Odysseyware

Posted on Mar 27, 2018

5 Barriers to Summer School Solved with Odysseyware

Let’s face it; the mere mention of summer school can send some students – and some teachers – running down the hall to escape!

As a former teacher who taught summer school (and summer camp) every summer, I understand the conflicting feeling of knowing the importance of Summer School and the positive effects for everyone involved, yet simultaneously feeling a little overwhelmed thinking about the resources that go along with planning and implementation. I also know my principal always had a hard time finding teachers who had the availability to take on the full-time commitment. Finding and leveraging resources to put together a great summer school program can be daunting.

But what if I could help you rethink your summer school plan?

What if instead of spending time and extra money researching, or creating group or personalized curriculum for...