Adapting learning for every student at BayTech
At BayTech Charter School, middle and high school students get a personalized education enhanced through technology. The school implemented IXL Math, IXL English language arts, IXL Social Studies, and IXL Spanish to provide high school students and above-level middle school students with opportunities to “advance from where they are” and accelerate mastery of the skills they will need for higher education.
The Challenge: Meeting Needs Across the Academic Spectrum
BayTech is among Oakland’s oldest and most established independent charter schools, serving 350 students in grades 6-12. Their population is largely minority and low-income, with five languages spoken on campus and 20% of students qualifying for special education (SPED) services. Their mission is to provide a high-quality education utilizing adaptive technologies to prepare students for college and career.
Dr. Seth Feldman, the superintendent, explains, “We use assistive technology to make learning personalized for every student. When you have a classroom where some students are working four grade levels below, and others are working four grade levels ahead, you need adaptive tools that will meet the needs of students across both ends of the spectrum, as well as in the middle.” They use a library of digital resources to meet individual needs.
Dr. Feldman says, “We don’t like to say that any of our students are behind. What’s important is that each student is advancing from where they are. We look for technology tools that allow them to do that.”
The school already had a program in place for math and English language arts at the middle school, but it aged out at the 8th-grade level. That meant that advanced middle school students had no place left to go once they demonstrated mastery of the 8th-grade standards.
The school also needed something for the high school that would meet the needs of all students and present material in an age-appropriate manner. IXL gave their students the individualized skill instruction and practice they needed to accelerate learning, prepare for the ACT or SAT, and get ready for higher education.
Empowering Students—On Campus and At Home
The school now uses IXL Math and English language arts for all high school students and for middle school students who have completed all of the available coursework in their middle school program. They also use IXL Social Studies and Spanish at the high school level at the request of teachers.
Ryan Hughes, the principal for the high school, especially appreciates the higher level of IXL Math. “IXL provides appropriate instruction for every single student at their instructional level. It was the only program we found that allowed them to go all the way up to higher-level calculus in math,” he says.
Parents have embraced IXL as a core part of the technology-enhanced learning experience at BayTech. Ryan says, “Parents know what their kids are learning. They are very happy with the individualized learning their kids receive here.”
Parent satisfaction with their technology-enabled approach to learning has led to an 85% student retention rate (enviable in their highly mobile community) and a waiting list at every grade. But their most important metric is this: a 100% graduation rate!
A copy of the full case study is available for download here.