ISTE 2016: Idaho School Receives Math Instruction Grant from ORIGO Education

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West Ada School District awarded grant to provide new math resources

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We know that great leaps in learning require strong pedagogy.

ORIGO Education, the creator of the world-class mathematics curriculum Stepping Stones, is proud to announce that it’s awarding more than $6,000 in grants to West Ada School District located in West Ada, Idaho.

Awarded as a Matching Assistance Grant, the funding will be used to support students and teachers at River Valley Elementary School with additional ORIGO classroom resources for improving mathematics achievement and instruction. The award aligns with the district’s mission to be a model for improving mathematics teaching in underserved communities.

“The majority of mathematics related grants awarded, these days, are allocated for technology implementation,” says Mary Ann Ranells, superintendent of West Ada School District. “This presents challenges for schools that are looking to complement their current curriculum with additional classroom resources and materials We are grateful for ORIGO giving us this opportunity to enhance mathematics instruction and achievement at River Valley.”

To be eligible for Matching Assistance Grant, school districts must showcase a strategic plan and a serious commitment to improving math education and test scores. Grant recipients must also demonstrate a serious commitment to improving educational outcomes in mathematics instruction, pedagogy, testing and student engagement. Lastly, districts must be able to match the grant with outside funds. The River Valley Parent Teacher Association, in West Ada has generously committed to providing a matching contribution of $6,600.

“Stepping Stones has helped take our school from one identified under Elementary and Secondary Education Act as ‘in need of improvement’ to being the second highest school in our district for percentage of students reaching their growth targets on the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) and Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) math assessment,” says Ashley McDowell, a fifth-grade math and science teacher at River Valley Elementary School. “We believe that by further implementing Stepping Stones to fidelity will help our students continue to improve under the state standards.”

West Ada School District is one of three grant recipients of ORIGO Education’s 2016 Grant Initiative program. Other recipients include Hillsborough County Public Schools, in Tampa, Florida; and Fulton County Schools, in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2016, ORIGO has given away more than $40,000 worth of resources to help hundreds of students and teachers improve mathematical achievement.

“We know that great leaps in learning require strong pedagogy,” said James Burnett, president of ORIGO Education. “We’re honored to have the opportunity to work with and reward school districts that are constantly striving to improve math instruction for both their students and teachers. Learning should be a lifelong endeavor and our grant winners are examples of districts that value that philosophy.”

The Matching Assistance Grant will be presented to McDowell during the ISTE Conference & Expo on Tuesday, June 28 at 6 p.m. at Centennial Ballroom F in the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center (650 15th St, Denver, CO 80202). For more information about ORIGO Education, visit

About ORIGO Education
ORIGO Education covers all facets of elementary mathematics education, from traditional printed products to digital interactive resources and professional learning. ORIGO’s web-based curriculum, Stepping Stones, is a comprehensive, core mathematics curriculum for grades K–5. The technology-rich program blends online resources with traditional printed materials, resulting in a classroom that is engaged and provides differentiated learning. Professional development videos are embedded within the online program, giving teachers the confidence and knowledge they need to be successful. For more information about Stepping Stones, visit

About West Ada School District

West Ada is Idaho’s largest school district, with more than 36,000 students and 52 schools. The student’s in West Ada regularly out-perform state averages by 10 percentage points on the Idaho Standards and Achievement Test (ISAT), Idaho’s standardized measure of student achievement.

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