New Online Tool Mitigates Learning Loss
Mike Seals - June 16, 2020 10:45 pm
Hofmeister invests in online tool to mitigate learning loss at no costs to schools
OKLAHOMA CITY (June 16, 2020) – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister announced today that an online tool is being offered to all Oklahoma school districts for free to help students catch up after potential learning loss because of COVID-19. Exact Path creates a personalized learning plan that aligns with the Oklahoma Academic Standards and features intuitive training for teachers.
The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) is using a portion of the agency’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to provide the digital platform at no costs to districts. The ESSER funds are part of the federal Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“As they plan for next school year, teachers are confronting a twofold learning loss – the familiar ‘summer slide’ and losses resulting from school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Hofmeister. “Exact Path will help teachers address learning gaps for each student on an individual basis.”
The online tool from Edmentum combines adaptive diagnostics with individualized instruction and learning paths for kindergarten through 12th–grade students. Once Exact Path determines a student’s level of knowledge, a personalized pathway is created to ensure the student reaches academic growth goals in English language arts, math and reading.
Jamie Candee, chief executive officer of Edmentum, said the company has worked for decades to support teaching and learning programs in Oklahoma.
“It’s an honor to partner alongside the exceptional educational leadership at the Oklahoma State Department of Education to provide individualized learning tools for every student across the state,” she said. “As schools and districts navigate through traditional, distance and blended learning options that put student and educator safety first, we’re focused on ensuring Oklahoma educators can efficiently mitigate learning gaps and accelerate growth for all, no matter which learning model they choose.”
Exact Path may be used in any learning environment, whether in the classroom, a blended learning scenario or during distance learning. Almost 60 Oklahoma districts already use Exact Path, including Bartlesville Public Schools.
“We originally intended to use Exact Path to help students fill in learning gaps, but we’ve discovered that it also works really well for students who are ahead of the curriculum,” said Jason Langham, executive director of secondary schools and special services for Bartlesville Public Schools.
A district may begin implementation as soon as it decides to opt in, Hofmeister said.
“We hope educators will consider using Exact Path this summer to get a jump start on reclaiming lost ground,” she said. “It will provide an invaluable return to learning before schools open their doors in the fall.”
In addition, OSDE has also partnered with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) to reach students with Exact Path. OKDHS will work with qualifying childcare providers through technology grants to implement Exact Path in facilities throughout the remaining months of summer and into the school year, ensuring that students don’t fall behind in spite of the pandemic.
“Partnering with OSDE on this initiative is a great example of teamwork on the state level that benefits Oklahoma children,” said OKDHS Director Justin Brown. “But what’s even more important is that kids continue to get the education they deserve, even when they are away from school due to unexpected circumstances. This platform will help lift up our state’s children and give them an opportunity to thrive.”
Technology grant applications are available at ourOKDHS.org.