Case Study

Digital Curriculum Helps Increase Student Achievement

Cherokee County School District, GA

CHALLENGE

Cherokee County School District needed to find a digital learning solution to address the needs of struggling students.

GOAL

Improve graduation rate.

Select a rigorous digital curriculum that is relevant and interactive, and aligns to state standards.

SOLUTION

Implement Apex Learning® Comprehensive Courses for credit recovery, unit recovery, and targeted remediation.

RESULTS

For the 2012-2013 school year, the district graduation rate increased 5.4 percentage points over the prior year.

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Supporting Struggling Students

The experience of learning in a traditional classroom is not successful for every student. Some students don't fit the mold of the one-size-fits-all; rather, they grow impatient and suffer academically.

Selecting Apex Learning

Cherokee County School District began using Apex Learning Comprehensive Courses in 2008, choosing it for its rigorous content, use of relevant digital media, and alignment to state standards. Rigorous instruction and relevant content engaged students in active learning through interactive exercises.

Students realized they could be really successful by reading the material, doing the activities, completing the study sheets, and taking notes.

Bob Hahn

Cherokee County School District

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Implementing Credit Recovery

One of the challenges of any credit recovery program is that each student starts at a different point with a unique set of needs. In this blended learning program, Apex Learning Comprehensive Courses provided direct instruction as well as formative and summative assessment. Embedded scaffolds and supports made rigorous content accessible so all students can succeed - regardless of their level of academic readiness. This model allowed each student to focus on specific content he or she had yet to master and to move at his or her own pace.

Facilitating Blended Learning

The classroom teacher used real-time data to monitor student progress and performance and determine the best way to help each student achieve. Students were grouped by subject area while a certified infield teacher facilitated learning. Teachers provided one-to-one or small group instruction for struggling students. Students worked in class or completed their school work at home with access to their online courses from any computer with Internet access.

Apex Learning allowed teachers to individually teach students what they needed, when they needed it. Our teachers have become part mentors and part teachers. They might review a key concept with one student in one moment and turn around and motivate another student in the next.

Bob Hahn

Cherokee County School District

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Expanding Online Learning

Student achievement increased along with the graduation rate, and district leaders looked toward Apex Learning for additional solutions. For upper classmen, unit recovery was used to prevent loss of initial credit. During lunch and Saturday School, students who did not have home-computer access could come to school and complete online courses. The district expanded the credit recovery program at the regular high school, which now includes after-school, pay-by-the course Credit Connect. Apex Learning labs were heavily used on each campus for credit recovery in summer school, and online courses were used for homebound/hospital programs and students in self-contained classrooms.

Students responded really well to the Apex Learning online courses, which motivated us to expand to meet additional student needs. The bottom-line goal is to get students graduating on-time.

Bob Hahn

Cherokee County School District

Cherokee Grad Rate 5.4 percent

Success by the Numbers

2008-2013 school years

  • 13,271 students served
  • 26,109 course enrollments

 

About Cherokee County School District

Suburban district located 40 miles north of Atlanta

  • 39,000 K-12 students
  • 6 traditional high schools
  • 1 alternative high school
  • 1 evening high school