Investing in Innovation Fund (i3)

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Colorado 2010 Development Grant Abstract


Grantee:

Saint Vrain Valley School District

PR Award Number:

U396C100641

Project Title:

Saint Vrain Valley SD i3 Project

Project Director:

Regina Renaldi
303-682-7211

Amount of Award:

$3,608,880

Length of Award:

5 years

Absolute Priority:

AP4: Persistently Low-Performing Schools

List of Partners (with states for each):

IBM (CO)
RidgeviewTel (CO)

Project Website:

http://blogs.stvrain.k12.co.us/i3

Description of Project:

The St. Vrain Valley School District is implementing a plan for addressing Absolute Priority 4 through a multifaceted strategy to target the unmet needs of at-risk students — specifically, Hispanic students and English language learners (ELLs) at Skyline High School and its feeder schools. The strategy provides students with a sequence of focused interventions to reduce the achievement gap. The district has designed a system to help elementary students build a literacy foundation through the use of literacy supports and an augmented school year and to help middle school students build stronger mathematics skills through math labs and an augmented school year. The focus at the high school level is on a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) certification track. The program incorporates data-driven decision making and information technology integration through its Digital Learning Collaborative, which is accessible throughout the K-12 system of targeted schools.

The St. Vrain Valley School District i3 Project encourages and facilitates the evaluation, analysis and use of student achievement and student growth data by teachers to inform decision making and to improve student achievement; student growth; and teacher, principal, school and district performance and productivity. The program provides necessary classroom information technology tools, professional development, time, peer mentorship and collaborative supports for 24 teachers. It annually provides 400 elementary students with a 35-half-day-augmented school year for literacy and English language development, provides 550 middle school students with an enriched mathematics Response to Intervention (RtI) program and an augmented school year for mathematics, and provides 400 high school students (after four cohorts have entered the program) with an alternative path to graduation through a STEM certificate program. The goal is to sustain, replicate and disseminate the program throughout the district and in other learning communities.

Collaboration with RidgeviewTel, a local broadband Internet provider, and IBM will further support this initiative by providing the technology and international connections to grow it. Currently, program organizers are working with IBM partners to design an additional opportunity for students to experience a STEM-focused academy called Camp Innovation. This summer program will provide 150 students in grades 1-4 the opportunity to engage in exploring smarter planet initiatives. Students will work collaboratively with an IBM team at the IBM Boulder facility to design innovative solutions by accessing IBM’s global resources. The team is developing a plan for international dissemination of the results, with a focus on replication.

Description of Evaluation:

A regression discontinuity design will be used. Assigned to the treatment group are Skyline High School and its K-8 feeder schools, whose preprogram cutoff scores reflect poor proficiency in reading, mathematics and science. The remaining district high schools and K-8 feeder schools are assigned to the comparison group.

The evaluation questions are (1) Will improving the language arts achievement gap in elementary school result in improved math performance in middle school, thereby improving science performance in high school STEM programs?, and (2) Will closing the achievement gap result in decreasing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates and college enrollment rates for Hispanic and ELL students?

Project Evaluator:

Dr. Elise Pas
703-875-0701

Organization:

EPI International


 
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Last Modified: 03/22/2011