Ida Jew Academies: A Case Study

School Profile

Ida Jew Academies offers 3 academy options to promote student creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

Its diverse student body comprises 605 students in grades K-8.

2016 Demographic Data

Language Arts Curriculum Implementation

Adoption

In 2014, the Mount Pleasant School District established a literacy partnership with EL Education through the Teacher Potential Project to implement EL Education’s Grades 6-8 ELA Curriculum. 

Professional Development

To support teachers with a rapid and impactful implementation of the curriculum, teachers and school leaders participated in six institutes, twenty-two days of teacher coaching, and six days of leader coaching over two school years. Coaching was delivered both onsite and online via video-based coaching. The institutes and coaching targeted three areas of professional development:

  • Building knowledge of the curriculum’s design and structure
  • Enhancing teacher understanding of curriculum topics
  • Unpacking literacy instructional practices embedded into the daily lesson plans

In particular, teachers learned new strategies and protocols for managing active learning, teaching close reading of complex text, teaching argument writing using evidence, and facilitating rich student academic discussions through strategic questioning.

“I appreciate this open-minded and accountable approach to implementing a new curriculum, with a focus on teacher support and meaningful feedback.” Ida Jew teacher

Positive Impacts

Teachers at Ida Jew reported that the EL Education institutes and coaching helped them implement the curriculum successfully in their classrooms and that the curriculum enabled them to improve their craft. “Learning to teach this curriculum is a lot of work,” said one teacher, “but these lessons are more coherent than what I was doing. When I was writing lessons, I would do poetry here and a short story there. The EL Education curriculum has put all my best ideas together. It has organized my teaching.” Another noted, “I am excited to begin lessons that foster discussion and student collaboration through projects and close reading. As a novice last year I was struggling, but now I feel prepared and excited to teach.” 

Results

Comparison to State Proficiency Data

After two years of implementing EL Education’s ELA curriculum, 6th-8th grade students at Ida Jew Academies outperformed their peers across the state by 19.7 percent points on the Smarter Balanced (SBAC) ELA assessment. 

The percentage of students meeting or exceeding grade level literacy benchmarks increased from 46.3% in 2014-2015 to 67.7% in 2015-2016, a 21.4 percentage point improvement. As a comparison, statewide proficiency increased by 4.3 percentage points. The percentage of Ida Jew students not meeting or nearly meeting grade level literacy benchmarks decreased from 53.7% in 2014-2015 to 32.3% in 2015-2016. 

Achievement Data

Percentage of students Proficient and above on the Smarter Balanced (SBAC) ELA Assessment in grades 6–8 (Overall)

Subgroup Performance

EL Education’s curriculum and instructional practices reflect EL Education’s commitment to equity for students from historically disadvantaged communities and for English language learners (ELLs). Post-implementation results from Ida Jew Academies reflect dramatic gains in ELA proficiency for students eligible for free or reduced-price meals and for ELLs. Students eligible for free or reduced-price meals reaching proficiency in ELA improved by 21.6 percentage points from 2014-2015 to 2015-2016, while ELL students reaching proficiency in ELA improved by 26.4 percentage points over the same period. 

ELA Proficiency Change for Subgroups 

Ida Jew Academies

2014-2015

2015-2016

Change (percentage points)

Eligible for free/reduced-price meals 

45.7%

67.3%

+21.6

English language learners

26.7%

53.1%

+26.4

State

2014-2015

2015-2016

Change (percentage points)

Eligible for free/reduced-price meals 

30.7%

34.7%

4.0+

English language learners 

6.1%

7.5%

1.4+

Ida Jew Academies

State

Eligible for free/reduced-price meals 

2014-2015

2014-2015

45.7%

2015-2016

2015-2016

67.3%

Change (percentage points)

Change (percentage points)

+21.6

Ida Jew Academies

State

English language learners

2014-2015

2014-2015

26.7%

2015-2016

2015-2016

53.1%

Change (percentage points)

Change (percentage points)

+26.4

Ida Jew Academies

State

Eligible for free/reduced-price meals 

2014-2015

2014-2015

30.7%

2015-2016

2015-2016

34.7%

Change (percentage points)

Change (percentage points)

4.0+

Ida Jew Academies

State

English language learners 

2014-2015

2014-2015

6.1%

2015-2016

2015-2016

7.5%

Change (percentage points)

Change (percentage points)

1.4+

Professional Development Evaluation Survey Results

Following training through EL Education’s Teacher Potential Project, 100% of the 10 teachers participating in the training agreed or strongly agreed with the following statements:

  • I understand how to implement my state ELA standards better because of this institute.
  • This institute provided me with strategies I will put into practice in my classroom.
  • This institute provided me with ideas on how to improve my teaching. 



EL Education provides schools and districts with professional development, coaching, and resources to support three types of partnership: 

  • School network partners: Schools that implement EL Education’s school model and its unique approach to curriculum, instruction, culture and character, assessment, and leadership.
  • Literacy partners: Districts and schools that adopt EL Education’s K-8 Language Arts Curriculum and work with EL Education to support its implementation and impact.
  • Professional services: Districts and schools that seek targeted professional development and coaching on EL Education’s core practices.
Download the PDF
Download the PDF of the Ida Jew Academies case study here.