Morning Star Initiative Update: I Ready Data Points Toward Student Success Across Our Diocese

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Since the 2020-2021 school year, the parish and regional elementary schools of the Diocese of Rockville Centre have utilized i-Ready to support student learning.  i-Ready is a growth monitoring tool that encourages student autonomy and empowers teachers to support students across all levels of learning, whether students are excelling or struggling in any number of topics.

Each year, students take three diagnostics (Fall, Winter, and Spring), which establishes a baseline and collects data.  These touchpoints inform principals and teachers of exactly where each student is proficient, as well as where they may need support, in Reading and Math.

This year, the elementary schools are focusing on student motivation, as well as training teachers to use all of the powerful tools and data reports that the i-Ready program has to offer.  Students also interact with a Personalized Learning Plan throughout the year, which provides supplemental learning opportunities aligned to each student’s individual ability level based on Diagnostic performance.  Each student has a goal of passing two of their automatically assigned lessons per week for both Math and Reading.  Teachers can then monitor progress and set new goals for students after each Diagnostic.  Throughout the year, each student meets individually with their teacher for data chats to discuss their progress.

Overall, students across the Diocese of Rockville Centre have performed well and have shown growth on Diagnostics over the past two-and-a-half years, especially in comparison to historical norms.  As Superintendent of Schools, Mrs. Pamela Sanders notes, “our students continue to show growth due to the personalized instruction provided by i-Ready.”  The number of students in the Diocese that are considered proficient in grade-level Math content is nearly identical to pre-COVID National Norms.  Also of note is the fact that the current national percentage of students struggling with Math content (those considered two or more grade levels behind) is over double that of students in the Diocese.  When it comes to reading, the difference is even more stark.  The number of Diocesan students proficient in Reading as noted in the Fall 2022 Diagnostic is twelve percent higher than pre-COVID National Norms. As in Math, half as many Diocesan students are struggling with grade-level Reading material compared to current National performance data.

Mr. Brian Colomban, Assistant Superintendent for Academics and Data, oversees the implementation and use of i-Ready throughout the Diocese.  When asked about the success of the i-Ready program Diocesan wide, he said, “I’m so proud of how far we’ve come as a Diocese over the past two-plus years in terms of our implementation of the i-Ready program.  Principals, teachers, and students have really dived into the process.  Once you really see what the i-Ready program has to offer, you start to understand how great a tool it is as far as gathering data and supplementing the learning already happening in the classroom.”

The impact of i-Ready has been noticeable within the school communities as well.  According to Ms. Diane Anderson, Principal of Sts. Philip and James School in St. James, “i-Ready has allowed our students in grade kindergarten through eight to work on individual skills in math and reading.  This has been helpful in math where the students’ abilities may vary greatly.  Students who require more practice can receive it, while others may work on advanced material.  I-Ready personalized instruction has made a significant impact on our students’ reading and comprehension skills.  Students have a sense of pride when they complete each lesson, and we are all looking forward to seeing the growth that is made between each diagnostic.”

Teacher Kevin Hansen from Trinity Regional School noted that, “i-Ready has allowed me to maximize my instruction time in the classroom.  I can assign lessons that will help to further strengthen the mathematical foundations of my students while still teaching grade level standards and beyond.  I-Ready has also allowed me to catch transfer students up at a faster rate and better advance high-performing students by giving them lessons above grade level.”

Valerie Schwamborn, a teacher at St. John Paul II Regional School in Riverhead, who is also a parent, shared that, “i-Ready has helped my daughter gain more independence and confidence in her abilities.  The focused “My Path” lessons helped her to improve in areas where she was struggling.  I loved watching her progress and seeing her face when she did well with a lesson.  It is also helpful to see her diagnostic results and where she falls with regards to her grade level norms.

After the New Year, all schools will participate in two professional development days between January and March.  I-Ready consultants will walk principals and teachers through their data from Diagnostic II (in late January) and help them plan ahead using i-Ready’s plethora of resources.

Our Diocesan Math Coach, Mrs. Bethany Murano, middle school math teacher at St. Edward the Confessor School in Syosset, will be going out into the field to observe classes and give on-the-spot feedback to principals and math teachers across grade levels.  She will also be providing virtual office hours and professional development opportunities throughout the year.  Recently, Mrs. Murano led a professional development session for principals where she walked them through the use of one of i-Ready’s math data reports.  Principals also practiced suggested math activities that can support student needs as shown in the math data provided by i-Ready.

Though proficiency in grade level content is of great importance, the Department of Education and schools are most interested in student growth from Fall to Winter as evidenced by Diagnostic II.  The principals and teachers will be able to use this data to continue to support their students. We’re excited to continue using i-Ready to advance student learning across the Diocese!

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