African American: 18.6%
Pinellas County Schools (PCS) is one of America’s largest districts, serving students with a wide-range of backgrounds and learning challenges. To realize its vision of “100% student success” Pinellas embraced what some might consider a surprising strategy for a district with 43% of its students from low-income families: education technology.
Because so many children who lack home access to computers and wifi find themselves at a disadvantage in 21st century classrooms, Pinellas launched an ambitious “Connect for Success." The program grants laptops to Title 1 families, and partners with local internet providers to offer discounted access to their homes.Keep Reading...
Through a small summer school pilot program at a handful of its Title I schools, Pinellas tested and immediately saw the benefits of the ST Math visual learning program. “Just watching the engagement and what happened during those six weeks as the students started to show some success led us to continue and to move forward with expanding the program to the rest of our schools,” said Laurel Rotter, K-5 Mathematics Specialist at PCS.
With the Connect for Success program, the district has been able to offer challenges and incentives for students to play ST Math over school breaks, ensuring the learning continues outside of the classroom. “It’s part of the overall system of educational success,” says Rotter.
"It’s part of the overall system of educational success,"
Thanks to a grant from Hyundai, Pinellas expanded ST Math across all 80 of its schools, including its Title I campuses, its homebound program, and its exceptional education classes like the one Bryan Williams teaches at Douglas L. Jamerson Elementary Center for Mathematics and Engineering. Williams saw firsthand how ST Math transformed his students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
One third grader, he recalls, used to be frustrated and slam down his pencil when struggling with subtraction. But the visual representations and informative feedback provided by the ST Math games made the concept click in a new way. Now, Williams says, the student’s eyes light up when it’s time to get out ST Math, and he will proudly announce across the classroom, “I did it, Mr. Williams. I got 100%!”
“I have to pry it out of their hands at the end of every session. ST Math is an activity they look forward to,” Williams said.
That increased engagement also leads to better math achievement. “Because of ST Math, students have a more solid foundation of what math looks like conceptually," said Rotter. And the data backs that up: students who work their way through more of the ST Math curriculum perform better on the Florida State Assessments than those who complete less.Keep Reading...
*Based on the Florida Standards Assessment in 2015
In Pinellas, the culture of perseverance and growth mindset exhibited by students using ST Math also extends to teachers -- 160 of whom recently began a weeks-long instructional consulting course developed by MIND Research Institute and funded by Boeing.
More than 84% of teachers at the training say they often use resources outside of their textbook to teach lessons – meaning they’re thinking strategically about the content they have to teach and the best means of getting students to deeply understand them.
These @JiJiMath Goal Posters were life-changing today. So glad our amazing @my_pcs trainer introduced us to them!! I used this one to keep students on track and aiming high during lab time. #stmath https://t.co/E9YQbxdn9a pic.twitter.com/D3Oeq41iYn— Kali Kopka (@ElementaryGeek) March 1, 2018
“ST Math has added value in our curriculum providing an engaging, conceptual computer-based program that supplements the traditional text-based resources,” said Sandra Downes, Director of Elementary Mathematics.
Williams, the teacher, agrees that the program is a powerful tool in his classroom. “With ST Math, I’ve got flexibility, and the information that the program provides really does drive my instruction.”
By engaging students and empowering teachers, ST Math is helping Pinellas connect for success.