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Insights In Action

Improving Learning Outcomes with Targeted Curricular Intervention

Mt. Bethel Christian Academy

The Question

Is it possible to intervene in curriculum scope and sequence in targeted ways to improve learning outcomes?

The Problem

Mt. Bethel Christian Academy wanted to identify areas where students were not performing up to expectations, and then make tweaks to curriculum scope and sequence that would improve student learning outcomes in those areas.

The Method

Jim Callis (Head of School) and Lisa Kelly (Data Analyst and Program Director for Pathways) identified an expected level of performance for their students compared to the independent school benchmark norm in each of the CTP subtest domains. Though their students performed well in many areas, their color-coded dashboard revealed certain consistent areas of underperformance, defined as being below the independent school norm by 5 points or more. Carrying out the same analysis retrospectively on data from previous years indicated that some of these areas of underperformance were consistent over time. These were defined as areas needing attention.

The Plan

Lisa Kelly and the department heads met with each teacher to review their data analysis reports. These reports contained information on current test results, a summary of each skill from the CTP Content Standards manual, and specific examples of how to target the two assigned skills. As a result of these discussions, each teacher in grades 3 through 8 was assigned two specific areas for greater attention. Ms. Kelly notes that “We were very careful not to ask anyone to teach to the test, as that is not our school philosophy. However, we were also very conscious that we have some skill gaps at each grade level that weren’t being addressed by our current curriculum and/or the scope and sequence we were following, so we wanted to be sure there was some deliberate reinforcement of the assigned skills.”

The Result

The process was repeated the following year (2016-2017), with data reports showing progress from the previous year and with new goals being set. Using the Student Summary Reports, teachers could see how their goals mapped to the incoming student population. Student scores continued to improve in the assigned areas. There was also increased communication and cooperation among teachers in different grade levels who shared the same goals and among teams of teachers in the same grade level where goals overlapped. Results from 2017-2018 showed continued improvement after three years of this program.
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About the School

Mt. Bethel Christian Academy is a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School located in Marietta, Georgia. Special thanks to Lisa Kelly, Data Analyst and Program Director for Pathways, for sharing her schools’ story. If you would like to learn more about this story, please email Lisa Kelly directly.

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