The West Orange-Cove CISD Story: The Power of a Committed Partnership
Small, Suburban Texas District Improves Professional Development and Increases Student Performance
SUMMARY: In West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District (WOCCISD), 92 percent of students are designated as economically disadvantaged and affected by associated difficulties that impact learning such as changing schools due to frequent moving. Campuses were not meeting standards and were labeled low-performing until the district combined forces with Edivate, a company committed to student success.
|Name: West Orange-Cove CISD||Economically disadvantaged: 91%|
|State: TX||English language learners: 4%|
|Type: Suburban||Students with disabilities: 11%|
|Grades: Pre-K—12||White: 23%|
|Student enrollment: 2,400||Hispanic: 11%|
|Teachers: 160||African American: 61%|
|Campuses: 5||American Indian/Asian: 1%|
Education is considered the best means of breaking generational poverty cycles; however, children from low income homes often face learning obstacles. Dr. Martinez describes one common difficulty:
“Many of our students lack diverse cultural exposure outside of school opportunities so those experiences are available only through school programs and field trips, which are limited. This ultimately results in difficulty understanding concepts in which they have no familiarity or external knowledge.”
INTRODUCING AND IMPLEMENTING EDIVATE:
GETTING EVERY TEACHER COMMITTED TO THE VISION
Dr. Martinez planned a district implementation of professional learning resource Edivate. After a three year launch period, she is excited that schools have seen unprecedented improvements.
To begin the process district and campus administrators, instructional coaches, and teacher leads participated in a Personalized Learning Boot Camp—two and a half days of intensive Edivate training focused specifically on vision creation, goal setting, and customized implementation. The WOCCISD participants were pleased with the camp and found it especially valuable.
Dr. Martinez explains the carefully planned and well-received introduction to Edivate that produced district buy-in from the beginning.
“We launched it in layers over a three year process and built district involvement from the beginning. The first year, we exposed it to instructional leadership, principals, assistant principals, and the central office staff. In the second year, all of those people were allowed access, plus we added lead teachers, campus and instructional leaders, as well as new educators. For the third year, all instructors received Edivate access and had full district-wide application.
|“We wanted and got the best customer service available with support of the crew behind the resource to keep us current and maintain momentum.”
Dr. Silvia Martinez
“Usage was critical to me and I put the onus back on the company saying, ‘This is your product so help me make certain that we use it and have ways to track what is happening.’ That’s exactly what they did.
“When they offered additional services, I wanted all the help they suggested and that support has not gone away but has increased with sustained follow-up. The company also continues to expand its tools such as the Personalized Learning Boot Camp and Partner Success Managers.” (A PSM is a customer partner who personally assists school and district leadership to build impactful, continuous use of Edivate.)
District leaders can mandate specific programs when necessary however teachers are always free to select content for personal growth such as focus/objective folders and compliance credits.
“Drawing on Edivate encourages independent growth. During our November break we designated two flex days for educators to earn credits by going to a workshop or taking a college course or completing a course in Edivate. Many chose Edivate because they love the convenience of getting it done without having to register, pick up the tab, or travel. They can do it on their own schedule while addressing their own needs. Because staff involvement was important to me from the beginning, I’m delighted that our district has had such high usage. In 2015, our 300 users logged an amazing 51,000 minutes.
“With so much potential in Edivate, we had nothing to lose and everything to gain. You can’t beat that!”
Dr. Silvia Martinez (409) 882-5556
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction
West Orange-Cove Consolidated ISD
Box 1107, Orange, TX 77631