Our story starts in the School District of Philadelphia. As part of an under funded and all but forgotten public school system, teachers in the SDP were forced to find creative ways to teach their students. Most of the time, we had to do this without books, paper or pencils. In a typical Philadelphia classroom, there are many academic levels ranging from above grade level to 2 grades below level. With limited resources we started using Khan Academy for two reasons; it's free and, most importantly, it works. Khan Academy allowed us to individualize instruction. We use incentives to motivate students to actually use the program. That's when the magic happens. The more the student's used the program the more personalized their education became.
In 2016, with the SDP at a standstill with teachers, we moved the program to Centennial School District. It started with a pilot at Willow Dale Elementary school. The results spoke for themselves. The math PSSA scores showed tremendous progress within the pilot group. The growth in SPP score also reflected that achievement.
With all the success at Willow Dale, Centennial asked us to take our system to all elementary grades throughout the district. It started with an ESL camp in the summer to acclimate as many students as possible to Khan Academy before the school year started. Khan Academy offers their program in 26 languages. We altered our system to be used with over 200 languages.
There are over 3,000 elementary students in the Centennial School District. With a lot of hard work, we were able to set up our entire district before the students even walked through the door.
During the start of this school year we have been able to personally log-on every 2nd-5th grade student in the school district. In the first quarter, students have logged over 250,000 minutes on Khan Academy. We also entered our elementary schools in Khan Academy's first national academic competition called LearnStorm. LearnStorm is a 6 week growth mindset competition to start the school year and get your students back on the learning track. Not only did we win, we placed two schools in the top 25 out of over 15,000 schools. See the passion and excitement in the video below.