Case Study: Imagine Language & Literacy in Meriden, CT—Return on Investment
In Meriden, Connecticut, district administrators purposefully implemented digital literacy tools to address instruction needs within the school district. Initially, the district adopted Imagine Language & Literacy to support English learners’ acquisition of language and literacy skills necessary for school success. After noting the impact of the program on students’ performance, district administrators expanded the district’s implementation to include schools with larger populations of students at-risk for failure.
By year three, the district determined that Imagine Language & Literacy should be offered to all students, not as an intervention, but as an integral part of the district’s approach to English Language Arts (ELA) Instruction for all students.
Today, Imagine Language & Literacy is part of the district’s core ELA Instruction. Students in the district’s elementary schools use Imagine Language & Literacy during station rotations for independent learning time. Because the program is adaptive, when students use Imagine Language & Literacy they receive instruction that is appropriate for their instructional levels, whether they are advanced students needing accelerated learning, students at grade level who benefit from targeted practice, or students who need support to acquire grade level skills.
Growth and Dividends
The district’s approach has paid off in numerous ways. According to Dr. Mark Benigni, during the time that Meriden school district has implemented Imagine Language & Literacy, test scores have improved. Between 2015 and 2018, the number of students achieving the highest level of proficiency on the SBA increased from 448 to 616. In 2015, 66% of third-grade students scored as proficient on the SBA. In 2018, 78% of third graders were proficient.
“The district really looked at, ‘How do we improve engagement? How do we improve the opportunities for students to learn at a pace that’s more rigorous and more differentiated?’ And they made a decision to go all in with technology—and it worked,” said Daniel Crispino, Principal at John Barry Elementary in Meriden Public Schools (MPS). “Imagine Learning has allowed us to personalize the learning for students, to allow them to work at their own grade level and their own pace.”
The dedicated approach to improving English language arts instruction for all students has also impacted school culture. Dr. Benigni indicated that students’ sense of belonging, motivation and growth mind set have improved (as measured by district administered surveys), attendance has increased at elementary schools, family members are expressing higher satisfaction with school climate, and disciplinary problems have been reduced.
The Pay Off
Dr. Benigni attributes the district’s success to this coordinated, committed approach for improving English language arts instruction for all students. “We were already using Imagine Learning to work with our bilingual students and we were getting great results. [We thought,] ‘Why not use Imagine Learning with a larger group of students? Let’s launch this district-wide in our elementary schools,’” explained Benigni. “At level four on SBA, we’ve seen a 35% increase in student’s achieving the highest standard on the smarter balance assessment. It’s also challenging and expanding the learning of our highest performers. It’s truly working for all students in MPS.”
“Imagine Learning touches the five key components of literacy,” said Heidi Driscoll, Literacy Coach for Meriden Schools. “It’s the academic vocabulary that it provides for our intermediate students. It’s the figurative language that it goes over so that we know that all of our learners are getting what they need.”
Dr. Benigni’s efforts to integrate technology with teacher-led instruction have proven integral to achieving district goals.
“Students today are twenty-first century learners and we need to understand that’s how they’re going to learn and access information,” shared Aimee Boisvert, fourth-grade teacher at John Barry School. “So, I think as teachers and educators in this profession it’s our job and responsibility to keep up with that because this is how they’re going to learn and how the future is going to learn by using technology.”
Imagine Learning is proud to partner with the Meriden School District to help students achieve success.