Education Elements and Yuma Elementary School District One Partner on Personalized Learning

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Education Elements will support Yuma Elementary School District's total transformation to personalized learning and their integration of technology and instruction.

Our initiative will have the power to accelerate and extend learning and to open ourselves up to accepting a new definition of true potential

Yuma Elementary School District One in Yuma, Ariz. just completed an intensive design process to create new instructional models that will enable the district to meet the needs of its 9,000 students through personalized learning. The work was supported by Education Elements, an organization that unlocks the potential of any teacher to personalize learning for every student.

On November 4, 2014, local voters passed the Renew District One Bond, which included over 4.8 million dollars set aside for Yuma District One’s full implementation of personalized learning. This district has been a long-time advocate and strong supporter of technology in the classroom. The passing of the bond created more opportunity to strengthen personalized learning district-wide, including the purchase of the necessary student and teacher devices.

Personalized learning occurs when students' needs and learning goals influence the pedagogy, pace, path, and depth of their learning. Personalized learning has become more prevalent over the past few years as a result of increased funding from foundations and federal grants in addition to reported increases in student achievement and engagement.

According to Darwin Stiffler, Superintendent of Yuma Elementary School District, “Successfully reaching each student is the fundamental core to our organization’s mission. Although we have made notable strides in education as a District, our initiative for personalized learning will be the catalyst that catapults our student learning to a whole new, necessary level. It is our goal that personalized learning will marshal increased student engagement, bolster differentiated instruction, and foster an environment of increased communication between students, educators, and parents. This initiative will not only enhance each student’s educational experience, but will intentionally add the tools necessary for our educators to be better equipped for a 21st century education.”

The initiative has significant support in the district among leaders, teachers, students and parents. “While many school districts are wrestling with the best means to integrate ‘all this technology’ into the classrooms, it is refreshing to be a part of Yuma District One's path toward full transformation. Clearly, we now acknowledge that we are on the threshold of major change and irreversible movement. The growth we have made so far has already paved the way and readied our commitment. Our initiative will have the power to accelerate and extend learning and to open ourselves up to accepting a new definition of true potential,” said Deb Drysdale, Principal, G. W. Carver Elementary School.

While working on passing the bond and in the months and weeks following, Dr. Stiffler met with other superintendents doing similar work and determined that the success of the initiative would be dependent on the partnerships the district developed to support the transformation. “In our pursuit to find the ideal collaborative partner to successfully guide and move forward with our district-wide personalized learning, our District was looking for several key attributes: expertise, successful strategic leadership, and comprehensive services. Ed Elements stood out as an organization that embodied the necessary criteria and was aligned with our District’s direction and mission,” Dr. Stiffler said.

Education Elements CEO and Founder, Anthony Kim, commented, “Yuma District One has a bold plan to change teaching and learning and boost outcomes. We are looking forward to helping them achieve their goals.”

Yuma School District has also been selected to present at the Education Elements National Personalized Learning Summit on May 7th in San Jose, CA. The district serves as a model for districts across the country that are ready to make big changes to support student learning.

About Education Elements
Education Elements partners with school districts to help them unlock the potential of any teacher to personalize learning for every student. Through its consulting services, Education Elements partners with districts to design and implement high quality and high fidelity personalized learning. Its platform, Highlight, provides single sign-on for students and gives teachers actionable data they can use daily. Districts that work with Education Elements get results. Last year districts saw a 154% increase in reading scores and 125% growth in math.    This year Education Elements will touch over 50,000 students and 5000 teachers. Learn more:

About Yuma Elementary School District One
Yuma Elementary School District One is the largest elementary school district in Yuma County, with a population of 9,000 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The district is home to twelve elementary and five middle schools. District One has been successful in maintaining a “B” rating by the Arizona Department of Education. Its mission continues to be a commitment to providing a comprehensive education for all students through relevant, rigorous curriculum and instructional excellence.

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Amy Jenkins
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