School District of Philadelphia Adds Adaptive Curriculum to List of Recommended Products for High Schools for RTI Tier 1 & 2 Support

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Nation's eighth largest school district adds Adaptive Curriculum's math and science solutions to help students deepen conceptual learning and prepare for end-of-course Keystone Exams.

With the release of the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards for mathematics, schools are seeking innovative ways to help students of diverse ability levels meet the rigorous new goals and expectations. To infuse cutting-edge technology into its standard-driven curriculum and improve student performance in math and science, the School District of Philadelphia has added Adaptive Curriculum (AC) to its list of Recommended Products for Response to Instruction and Intervention (RtII) for tier 1 and tier 2 for all high schools.

The School District of Philadelphia, the nation’s eighth largest school district, first launched Adaptive Curriculum in five of its 56 high schools in fall 2012 to help students prepare for the state’s new end-of-course Keystone Exams in Biology and Algebra I. The program is already bearing fruit, with district assessments showing improvements in classrooms using Adaptive Curriculum.

“Adaptive Curriculum is not a one-size-fits-all program,” said Donna M. Runner, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. “We can mix and match the modules and activities to meet the needs of our district. If our data show an area of weakness, we can immediately deliver content — which is aligned to the Common Core standards in math, and the Next Generation Standards for Science — to address that area. Teachers can easily move between whole group, small group, and individualized instruction to meet the needs of their students. That improves teacher effectiveness. And, my favorite part of the program is that it can be used for learning anytime and anywhere. In classrooms where the program is implemented with fidelity, we are seeing growth in student achievement.”

Abraham Lincoln High School, for example, uses Adaptive Curriculum to provide supplemental content and interventions in Algebra I and Algebra II. It is also used to help all students – including special education and English language learners -- in grade 10 Biology classes and grade 11 Chemistry classes prepare for the Biology Keystone Exam.

“Adaptive Curriculum’s active learning approach gives students a different way to learn. When I watch students working on the program, they are completely engaged and focused. Because the program is interactive and self-paced, students can work at their own levels. It’s also been very successful with our English language learners because it provides content in English and Spanish,” said Lynne Podrat, assistant principal at Lincoln High School. “On our district benchmark assessment in Biology, classes that are using Adaptive Curriculum are beating the district average. For example, on our second benchmark assessment in Biology, 47 percent of students in our honors class and 48 percent of students in our special education class achieved proficiency, compared to the district average of 41 percent for all students.”

“On our district assessments, we’re seeing the most positive results in Biology,” said Don Anticoli, principal of Lincoln High School. “What makes Adaptive Curriculum different from textbooks or other programs is that it presents concepts to students in a very three-dimensional, realistic way. It not only shows living systems but the inter-relationships between systems. This is much more effective than using a textbook or a plastic model or even doing a dissection in a lab, because it really shows students how the systems work.”

Designed for grades 5-12, Adaptive Curriculum engages digital-age learners by integrating real-world scenarios, cutting-edge graphics, animations, 3D models and interactive simulations into active, standards-based learning. Unlike textbooks or drill-and-practice programs, Adaptive Curriculum’s active learning approach motivates learners to explore, make hypotheses, manipulate items and see the impact of their decisions, thus developing and deepening their conceptual understanding.

About Adaptive Curriculum

Adaptive Curriculum’s web-based math and science solutions are used by more than 3 million students in the United States, Europe and Asia. The interactive instruction is designed for digital learners and helps schools bridge the gap between the old way and new way of learning. The results are improved, deeper comprehension, increased tests scores, and a student body ready to compete in the global economy. Adaptive Curriculum shares the vision of innovation through a partnership with Arizona State University Technology Based Learning and Research group, headquartered in SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center.

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Leslie Eicher
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