Located west of Houston, Spring Branch Independent School District serves 35,000 students. In 2015, members of the district leadership team recognized academic gaps in both math and reading across the district that impacted students’ post-secondary readiness. Campus and district leaders attribute this lack of readiness to academic gaps that compound throughout the K–12 years and low levels of academic ownership and agency.

“When you talk to an elementary student and they can actually tell you, ‘This is What I’m doing. This is why I am doing it. I know what to do next.’ — that’s what it’s truly about.”

— Roy Moore, Principal at Nottingham Elementary School, Spring Branch ISD

With CA Group’s support, Spring Branch launched their student-centered blended learning pilots to increase data transparency and encourage purposeful student choice so that students could simultaneously close math and reading gaps and develop the agency needed to drive their own learning. At each of the sites that CA Group supported, the teams are focused on improving data culture practices, increasing agency through ownership and goal setting, and instituting planning practices to ensure students have access to rigorous, deeper learning opportunities. The elementary pilot classrooms use data to increase frequency of flexible instructional groupings, rigorous personalized station activities and goal setting conversations to help student close academic gaps and develop agency. At the middle school, teachers in pilot classrooms focus on refining their assessment practices so they have a holistic picture of where each student is and can share that data with students. Learning modalities include strategic flexible instructional groupings, self-directed assignments through individualized work stations and online programs.

The district’s personalized learning pilots are designed to facilitate a shift from one-size-fits-all instruction toward student-centered, personalized learning and develop student agency that will serve learners long after they graduate.