The third item in our list of things on which Lakeside Christian School focuses in order to prepare students for college is this:
best- practice instruction.
Best practice, as you may know, is using proven, research-based methods to achieve a desired result. These will vary, naturally, depending on the goal. Because Lakeside Christian School desires to prepare each student for college and career, that means in this case, best- practice instruction is using the methods that are proven to help ready students for life after high school.
Here is what Lakeside Christian School does, and one of our best practices that is producing results:
Closed-Loop Instructional Process
Technology can be integrated into instruction to track outcomes student by student, to create what is known as a “Closed-Loop” Instructional Process. This is done in elementary language arts. In the first week, each student is tested through “benchmark” assessments. Through prior grade level standards, students are tested to determine individual standards mastered or not mastered. At that point, students are placed into small groups based on similarities: those who are working above grade level, on grade level, and those with some un-mastered skills both up to a year below grade level and beyond a year below grade level. After this, teachers provide targeted daily instructions to the small groups in order to bring mastery to the standards found in prior tests. Every 8 weeks, students are re-tested, re-grouped, and the process begins again. This closes the loop. Therefore this practice is a fluid thing, allowing students to move into appropriate groups throughout the year and receive the specialized instruction they need in order to close academic gaps and succeed.
How do we know this works? What makes this a best practice? Here’s what happens when technology provides the instructor specific feedback used to provide specific instruction to each student (in just one school year):
The school year began with 63% of elementary students scoring on or above grade level.
The school year ended with 85% of elementary students scoring on or above grade level.
The school year began with 37% of elementary students with un-mastered skills below grade level.
The school year ended with 15% of elementary students with un-mastered skills below grade level, and those had closed all prior gaps in just months.
All of this aligns with our purpose statement, which indicates that we wish to “prosper or community.” As our website details, 55% of all 4th grade students in the nation have developed learning gaps of un-mastered skills from prior grades. If this is ignored, this leads to 80% of all 8th grade students’ success inhibited in high school and scores that impact college entrance.
Lakeside Christian School will not ignore this problem. We invest both money and time in this process: the technology and consistent staff. We know that this instructional process is necessary for our students’ success in high school and beyond; we have a responsibility to provide that for them. Additionally, it’s our mandate as Christians to improve our community, and this is achieved as we improve our educational process and through the proclamation of God’s Word.
If you’d like to know more about this process or any other best- practices used at Lakeside Christian School, call today to schedule a free tour.