A New Approach to Measure Student Success

Justin Wagner, Superintendent of Woodbine School District

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When you put good people in an inadequate system, the system wins every time.

It's time we recognize the traditional K-12 education model in America - one that's remain unchanged for decades - no longer serves our students like it should. It's an inadequate system that needs to be disrupted, and superintendent Justin Wagner and his team at Woodbine School District decided to take action to change it.

Hear how they built a new model centered around involved, relevant and personalized learning. One that focuses on student voice and choice and gets the parents involved. One that's seen tremendous success in student engagement as they're finally being taught in a manner that best works for them.

In this episode, you'll not only hear the story of how Woodbine School District created this new plan, but also discover how the model resulted in some incredible outcomes, like:

  • 167% drop in behavior referrals from the 21-22 school year to the 22-23 school year according to the Statewide Conditions for Learning survey.
  • Over 1/3 of students K-4th grade are 50 academic days or more ahead of their peers on reading, writing, language and math.
  • This year the WCSD, according to the Statewide report, hit a record enrollment increase.
  • The WCSD staff was named as One of the Best Places to Work in Iowa.

3 Big Takeaways from this episode:

  1. K-12 education must be personalized: K-12 education can't be a one-size-fits-all approach. The lack of personalization in our system is leaving behind those kids who learn in different ways. As Justin reminds us, kids are smart, just not in the language we're teaching them. We need to reach students in the way they learn best, and then measure their learning accordingly. Hear how Woodbine and the Ignite Pathways program has given students voice and choice in how they learn while still being aligned to state standards.
  2. New metrics for success - student enrollment, academics, and behaviors: How do we know Woodbine's model works? Look at the stats above. The district has seen more students coming to the district (Iowa has open enrollment), a rise in academic achievement, and a massive decrease in student behaviors. The moral of the story? When students' needs are met, they're more engaged in their learning, they stick and stay, and they actually understand the knowledge and can apply it in the real world.
  3. Ignite Pathways is a personalized approach to Career and Technical Education: Learn about Ignite Pathways, where middle school, high school and adult students can earn their core credits in math, science, etc. through career-relevant, personalized learning experiences in areas like agriculture, industrial maintenance, health sciences, technology and more. From career exploration to skill-building, the Ignite Pathways approach is all about competency-based learning.

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