Facilitated by Cherry Creek School District staff, Marvin W Foote Youth Services Center is a maximum-security establishment designed to hold youth who are preadjudicated and awaiting disposition on their charges. Serving an average of 40 to 60 juveniles at any given time, students range in age from 10 to 18 years old and can be in the facility for as little as an hour or up to two years.

Marvin W Foote Youth Services Center

Challenge

When Elizabeth Brown first began teaching at the center in 1997, students were enrolled in courses based on their current age and grade level. Personalizing learning for such a diverse group of students with vastly different backgrounds and academic achievement levels can be extremely challenging. Ms. Brown found that the one-size-fits-all model did not address learning gaps and perpetuated the cycle of academic failure for many of her students. 

New Initiatives

The teachers at the center go to great lengths to foster a safe environment for their students, as many enter the facility with a deep mistrust of adults. According to Ms. Brown, assessing and addressing their individual needs helps to rebuild that trust. Personalized learning also allows the students to experience a measure of academic success, sometimes for the first time, and builds their confidence with the eventual goal of filling in their learning gaps and equipping them for success when they leave the center.

Intervention

Prescriptive learning paths are created based on their current levels of mastery. In this way, content can be pulled across various grade levels to target specific standards and learning gaps. Through the creation of custom English Language Arts courses using Odysseyware’s course customization tool, and with the ability to use Odysseyware’s Credit Recovery Mode, students’ achievement levels are now assessed within the first seven days of enrollment at the center.

Alternative Programs

Students are able to accrue credit during their time at the center through the standards-aligned program, and high school students can utilize Odysseyware’s GED test-prep course to help them succeed in passing the high school equivalency test.

Results

26.8% post-test increase as a result of personalized learning experiences through technology-based curriculum, up from the average pre-test score of 58.7%. 

DISTRICT
Cherry Creek School District

LOCATION
Englewood, CO

STUDENT POPULATION
  • 48% White
  • 32% Black
  • 17% Hispanic
  • 2% Asian
  • 1% Other

Image: 
Students at Marvin W. Foote break the cycle with a 26.8% post-test increase as a result of personalized learning experiences through technology-based curriculum