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Tech Savvy and Literate Students

Midway Elementary School is a K-6 school in the Highline School District. There are 18 elementary schools in the district. It has a population of 640 students with approximately 44% ELL population, 90% Free and Reduced Meal Program, 54% Latino and less than 10% white.

The Challenge

Being able to personalize learning for the varying learning styles and levels of students is challenging. They have worked to identify supplemental and intervention resources to provide students with targeted instructional support. During this challenge, they began to discover the power of technology tools and data-based small group instruction.

The Solution

Midway worked with the Highline Public Schools district in identifying and vetting technology tools to provide more personalized pathways. We began with one math program and implemented this school wide in addition to daily core curriculum. In our successful implementation, we discovered the impact and power of using adaptive tools that aligned with our core instruction and more targeted areas of need. We began creating our own model and used our building funds to bring in more programs specific to our instructional goals at Midway. This helped us to enhance and refine a multi-tiered support model to identify the right teaching tools and resources. It provided a model that would reach students at the intensive to enrichment level.

After numerous site visits to different schools and organizations such as KIPP, Alliance and national conferences, we developed our own blended learning instructional model. We also worked to develop professional development for our teaching staff that included an alignment to our district teacher evaluation system based on Charlotte Danielson’s framework. This instructional accountability helped to build relevance around the teacher and student role when technology was being implemented.

This year, we were given the opportunity to pilot a 1:1 model for our 3rd through 6th grade students using Google chromebooks. This provided teachers with more access to devices, which gave more flexibility to their blended learning model. We are fortunate that out district’s strategic plan has a specific goal around technology: “All students will graduate tech savvy and tech literate.”

The pilot also included free wireless access through a cellular chip in each chromebook. Students and parents were trained on how to use devices at home, and for the first time, we were ensured that each intermediate student had his or her own device and access to the internet to bring their classwork into their homes.

Additional Resources

From Midway Elementary:

From the U.S. Department of Education:

Point of Contact

Highline Public Schools
Mark Finstrom: CTO