Dansville Schools go all-in with SpringMath
When administrators at Dansville Schools in Dansville, Michigan, first heard Dr. Amanda VanDerHeyden, researcher and education consultant, speak about math intervention, they were struck by her research and ideas for combatting the math skills crisis. So, when Dr. VanDerHeyden’s ideas came to fruition in the form of SpringMath, Dansville Schools jumped at the chance to participate.
“We heard through the grapevine that a program had been developed and we couldn’t wait to get started,” said Amy Hodgson, Dansville Schools Superintendent. “It’s not typical for us to jump into something mid-year, but we understood and trusted Amanda’s background and felt this would be a great fit for our students.”
The district went all-in with SpringMath, implementing the solution in all classes in grades K-8 for the first year, and added high school during the second semester of year two.
“We’ve always struggled with math. Not just at Dansville, but in the entire state of Michigan. We had a group of K-12 teachers who worked very hard to develop curriculum that would foster and grow basic skills. Their hearts were in the right place, but there wasn’t any data to back it up. Were kids actually proficient in math or were they just proficient on the day of the test? SpringMath changed that.”
- Amy Hodgson, Superintendent Dansville Schools
It’s in their DNA
SpringMath has become “part of their district’s DNA,” and is leveraged by teachers daily — even on field trip and special dress-up days.
SpringMath provides the data that administrators and teachers need to help students become proficient in math at both classroom and individual levels. The platform also provides timely feedback regarding students’ progress, so educators can provide specific intervention until students reach mastery.
“A special education teacher was giving one of our students Tier 3 intervention at the time of our SpringMath pilot. The data showed he’d reached mastery on a particular skill, but the teacher wasn’t sure. When we looked at his screening data the following fall, it showed he had retained mastery even over the summer! It meant so much to the student and the teacher and helped provide a lot of credibility about the power of the tool.”
- Amy Hodgson, Superintendent Dansville Schools
Every day means every day
In the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Dansville schools into remote learning with one day’s notice. Despite being a pencil-and-paper-driven program, usage of SpringMath continued. The expectation had been set: SpringMath is done every day — even online — to avoid gaps and increase proficiency. With this in mind, teachers printed SpringMath packets for students to take home, and most importantly, students followed through with the protocol from home.
“Because it’s done every day, SpringMath becomes routine for the kids. We were told that they were actually explaining it to their parents,” said Hodgson. “Doing SpringMath at home was easier for the kids than we expected. There was some adapting needed, but the resources provided made it something we could continue virtually and we’re glad we did.”
Dansville welcomed most of its K-6 students back to the classroom for the 2020-2021 school year. But, with the pandemic still raging, Dansville had to prepare to take SpringMath virtual once again. COVID-19 precautions pushed them to get creative for completing math screening — an important step to show proficiency and areas of improvement. They safely screened nearly every K-8 student — even if that meant sitting outside in a lawn chair to do it.
Our math interventionists also continued to find ways to provide individual intervention for the students who needed it most all year — even for students who remained virtual all year. Several students were able to move out of individual intervention during this pandemic learning year, which has been very encouraging.
The nearly 25% of K-6 students who chose a virtual learning option also continued with SpringMath. Teachers provided remote students with weekly, printed packets, which were required to be completed daily, just as they would have been in the classroom.
Consistent application yields consistent progress
With support from SpringMath, Dansville is truly accelerating math achievement for every student. Despite the impact of the pandemic on teaching and learning, growth has continued, as demonstrated in the chart below comparing second grade assessment scores in 2019-20 and 2020-21.
Set them up for success
Dansville’s administrators believe so strongly in SpringMath’s efficacy that it’s become a required part of the district’s core mathematics curriculum — with each teacher working with the district team and consulting with SpringMath folks to determine how to sustain and refine effective implementation.
Regardless of the learning model — in person or virtual — the district’s educators believe in SpringMath’s ability to help all students succeed.
“I believe every district in our nation should be using SpringMath — and not just because it’s a good program. It’s because I believe that we have a moral imperative to give this gift to our students, the gift that they can do math,” added Hodgson. “Teachers are able to identify issues, are given the right resources to address them, and can see skills build year after year. This will give children a significant advantage in life, which is what we all want.”