District Administration June 2017 - 27

SPONSORED CASE STUDY

Moving toward more robust digital
learning in English language arts
StudySync® provides a multimedia-enhanced,
comprehensive core curriculum aligned to state standards

N

orth Hills School District in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, wanted to better engage students in grades
6 through 12 across its English language arts curriculum through a commitment to education technology.
With the move toward more rigorous digital learning,
North Hills piloted StudySync, McGraw-Hill Education's digital English language arts curriculum for grades 6 through 12,
during the 2015-16 school year in two sixth-grade classrooms.
StudySync provides a multimedia-enhanced, comprehensive core curriculum with a library of over 1,000 texts and text
excerpts. Aligned to state standards, StudySync offers reading,
writing, listening and speaking instruction, as well as differentiation resources and assessment tools to prepare students for
high-stakes tests.
Meeting student needs is paramount
Shannon Diven is a 17-year veteran of West View Elementary
School, where she teaches sixth-grade reading, math, social
studies and science. Diven's classroom piloted StudySync in
2015-16. Also a member of the North Hills pilot committee,
Diven says it was clear that students were not learning up to
their potential with the ELA platform the district had used in
the past.
"The basal series was not meeting our needs," says Diven.
"Kids were not performing at a level where they could analyze
text or literature. They were not being exposed to reading excerpts or text that was rigorous or challenging enough."

"We're committed to providing rigorous
curriculum and establishing standards
so kids can go beyond them. StudySync
has been a tremendous asset for us."

Diven can monitor student assignments, score them and provide feedback to her students in real time.
These early pilot successes prompted North Hills to implement StudySync in all sixth-grade classrooms for 2016-17 and
conduct additional pilot programs in grades 6 through 8.
"We believe strongly in digital literacy and technology to
A more engaged classroom
supplement learning," says Jeff Taylor, assistant superintenDiven saw a clear difference in her classroom when she began dent for curriculum, assessment and elementary education.
using StudySync. She says that her students are now excited "We wanted to see if we could better engage students in ELA.
about reading and are more likely to talk about texts in class.
I feel that we have."
One feature of the curriculum that has been particularly
So far, Taylor has seen real gains in Diven's class after usimpactful, according to Diven, is StudySync® TV. These high- ing StudySync. Before the pilot year, students in Diven's class
quality videos model student collaboration and discussion.
were scoring at about 69 percent on the Pennsylvania System
"They changed the climate of my classroom discussions so of School Assessment.
much, because kids don't necessarily know how to have an
"After we implemented StudySync, it was about 90 percent.
academic discussion. That needs to be taught," says Diven. "So, It's phenomenal to see that much growth in one year."
we can set up discussions to model StudySync® TV. Students
Taylor says StudySync aligns with the high expectations
prepare for their roles and are assigned certain tasks, and North Hills has for all its students.
since they know what their role is, everybody participates
"We're committed to providing rigornow. All of a sudden, they're not afraid to say, 'I think this,' or, ous curriculum and establishing stan'Maybe we should consider that.' I have no problem with par- dards so kids can go beyond them," says
ticipation now."
Taylor. "StudySync has been a tremendous
Because students submit StudySync assignments online, asset for us."
For more information, visit mheonline.com/studysync
View, comment, share this story online at DAmag.me/sync


http://www.mheonline.com/studysync http://www.mheonline.com/studysync http://www.DAmag.me/sync

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration June 2017

District Administration June 2017 - Cover1
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District Administration June 2017 - 1
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