Shields Elementary School in Swan Valley was one of the first adopters of the Focused Instructional Model during the 2012-2013 school year. 2nd grade teachers took a risk and implemented the FIM in their classrooms. This cohort of students increased their percent proficient scores by 23.2% in one school year (from 29.0% proficient on the 2012 state assessment to 52.2% proficient on the 2013 state assessment). The teachers and the principal were excited about the test scores but also about the way the students were changing their habits and their thinking around mathematics. The following school year, Swan Valley School District decided to spread the FIM to the remaining classrooms at Shields Elementary School and also to Havens Elementary, the other elementary school in the district. After multiple years of implementation, teachers noticed that students were more creative with their problem-solving abilities and that their perseverance and determination was permeating into different subject areas as well. Scores continued to climb and teachers and principals were thrilled that the Focused Instructional Model was helping their students grow academically, socially, and emotionally.
During the 2015-’16 school year, Swan Valley Middle School decided to implement the FIM and they saw great increases in data across all three grade levels. There was double -digit growth in percent proficiencies in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade while the state of Michigan average showed little to no increases. In Michigan, percent proficient scores drop when students reach 8th grade. At Swan Valley Middle School, 8th grade scores were about 45% above the state average.
Swan Valley continues to work with the Institute for Excellence in Education and teachers work hard to provide the best possible learning environments for their students. That first cohort of 2nd grade students are now sophomores in high school and students are excited for opportunities to showcase their skills on the upcoming SAT assessment next year.
Upgrading Math Class Series:
Difficulty #1 – Information Retention
Difficulty #2 – Targeted Intervention
Difficulty #3 – Providing Social-Emotional Learning
Difficulty #4 – Safe Learning Environments
Difficulty #5 – Effective Teacher Training
Difficulty #6 – Appropriate Differentiation
Data Deep Dive #1