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Accelerating Student Achievement Pilot (ASAP) Update - February 10, 2009

February 10, 2009

Accelerating Student Achievement Pilot (ASAP) is a Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency (AEA) service delivery restructuring effort to improve teaching and learning. ASAP is a partnership strategy aligning Mississippi Bend AEA resources to the school’s efforts to improve teaching and learning. ASAP, conceptually, is aligned Mississippi Bend AEA services delivered through the Iowa Professional Development Model within a structured instructional decision-making environment supplemented by a system of learning supports. An Mississippi Bend AEA service facilitator, a new role, works closely with the principal in the ASAP sites to ensure Mississippi Bend AEA services are aligned to the school’s teaching and learning needs. The pilot project has demonstrated initial success.

The initial indicators that are being used to measure the success of the pilot are: a) alignment of Mississippi Bend AEA resources; b) effective professional development; c) organized instructional decision-making; and d) system of learning supports. The ultimate measure of success is valid and accelerated student performance gains. It was decided early on that ASAP would initiate the pilot as a small scale effort working with a few teachers. The year-one ASAP evidence indicated a positive impact on student performance. The next step is to expand ASAP as a building-wide Mississippi Bend AEA service delivery system and test its ability to impact larger-scale improvement efforts. It was important to develop the new Mississippi Bend AEA and school partnership within a small scale context before facing the challenges of involving more teachers, additional Mississippi Bend AEA staff, and a multitude of school improvement initiatives. ASAP’s incremental implementation approach allows: a) the Mississippi Bend AEA time to build capacity to deliver services differently; and b) the school time to become comfortable with the new service delivery system.

The initial ASAP sites (2007-2008) were: Bettendorf High School, Durant Elementary, McKinley Elementary (Davenport), North Scott Junior High School, Wilton High School, and Wood Intermediate School (Davenport). The following school year (2008-2009) five more sites began participating: Bellevue Middle School, Clinton High School, Delwood Elementary School, J. B. Young Intermediate School (Davenport), and Northeast Elementary School. It was decided to engage the new 2008 sites in additional orientation activities. Principals and Mississippi Bend AEA service facilitators feedback from year one suggested early ASAP communication gaps among teachers hindered start-up activities. An early benefit of the additional orientation activities has been an opportunity for ASAP sites to move to larger scale projects during the initial start-up year.

For further information about the Accelerating Student Achievement Pilot (ASAP) please contact: Dr. Edward Gronlund, Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency, (563) 344-6315 or egronlund@aea9.k12.ia.us.

 

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