Howard Middle School, residing in the Bibb County School District of Macon, GA, was named a Focus School due to the large achievement gap between the highest achieving and lowest achieving subgroups.  The school district implemented a blended learning approach which consisted of direct instruction coupled (one-on-one or small groups no more than 10 students) with online learning. In an effort to increase the most-at-risk students’ math skills and close the achievement gap at Howard, the district’s Title I Office selected Ascend Math because the program identifies the student’s strengths and needs and tailors instruction specifically to their deficiencies.

Ascend Math is used exclusively with FLP (Flexible Learning Program) students, during connections throughout the school day. The at-risk students in the program attended FLP five days a week during the time period allotted for connections.

“Howard Middle School was an overwhelming choice to receive the 2015 Ascend Math Gold Medal,” said Kevin Briley, CEO of Ascend Education.  “The students and educators at Howard Middle School have really excelled in math,” said Kevin Briley, CEO of Ascend Education.

The Gold Medal Award was established in 2010 to honor the schools or districts that best demonstrate a dedication to ensuring that all students become successful at math. Howard Middle School used Ascend Math as a key component of their blended learning approach to math intervention.

At the beginning of the school year, 58% of Howard Middle FLP students tested below the 4th grade level in math. By April, only 15% remained. Only 9% of students tested at grade level 5 or above at the start of the year. By April, that number increased to 64%. Howard Middle was removed from the Focus School designation in August 2015.

“The achievements by our students have been amazing! Each and every student in the FLP program strived each day to increase his or her math skills,” said Dr. Sharon Daniel, FLP teacher. “My students made me proud to be a part of FLP.”

A Gold Medal Award Banquet in honor of Howard Middle School was held on Thursday, Nov. 19th during the NCTM Regional Conference at Merchants Restaurant in Nashville, TN.

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