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The On-Grade INSTITUTE is the home of the On-Grade Student Achievement Model, a demonstrated, practical and student-centric ‘on-grade’ teaching and learning approach which improves student achievement and teacher effectiveness.
And, the INSTITUTE is the home of the On-Grade Maturity Model, the roadmap and rubric for incremental implementation of the Student Achievement Model.
We’ve organized this site to help you learn about the On-Grade Model, its substantial benefits and ease of use, and we hope you will find it informative and helpful. Please contact us with your comments and questions.
We are ready to help you:
Close learning gaps
Reduce grade retentions and dropouts
Increase student achievement and raise college readiness
Establish a professional learning environment
The On-Grade Model is a demonstrated, cost-effective and easily implemented approach any school district can apply to reach and sustain today’s high-level student achievement objectives. Focused on the classroom as the epicenter of educational operations, it enables school districts to achieve gap-free, on-grade teaching and learning for all students. Systemic by design, it effectively integrates proven quality principles and research-backed best-practices with user-friendly, web-based system management technology and real-time feedback.
The primary mission of our K-12 school systems is the effective, sequential transfer of a finite, well-defined and interrelated set knowledge and skill content to students over a 13-year grade span which prepares each of them for their post-secondary endeavors. The challenge is to achieve gap-free student proficiency of all content objectives taught by 40-plus different teachers delivering 10,000 lesson plans. Learning gaps represent a failure to achieve a successful transfer of the content; and therefore, a failure of the school system’s primary mission. Catastrophic failure is represented by retentions and drop outs. The On-Grade Model is a demonstrated approach to gap-free, on-grade teaching and learning. It systemically reduces gap formation and facilitates real-time interventions to correct any as that occur, which lessons the need for Tier 3 RtI interventions, early grade retentions and dropouts.
On-Grade Model school districts and schools are strong professional communities based on trust, respect, collaboration and shared accountability. The environment allows a great deal of teacher autonomy in pursuit of classroom instructional innovations under the guidance and approval of an involved and instructionally-focused principal. Everyone understands the system’s teaching and learning objectives and their responsibilities for achieving them. In the on-grade student-focused environment, continuous improvement is stressed, learning gaps are not accepted and gap-free student achievement is the baseline.
Clear definition of content objectives at discrete levels provides concise alignment and allows student performance to be monitored at fine-grained achievement levels. Using the On-Grade Model’s process management supports, individual student achievement can be accurately tracked and managed in real-time. This capability speeds and simplifies interventions, improving transparency and reduces operating costs.
The On-Grade Model is not a substitute for the state accountability model, but a means to achieve compliance with it. At the district level, the Model interconnects the external pressure of the state accountability system with its internal on-grade improvement processes to simultaneously drive student learning objectives and meet state accountability benchmarks. Where the state accountability system defines goals for student achievement, the On-Grade Model provides the processes, data and management controls local educators required to achieve those goals.
The On-Grade Model is systemic and leverages a new class of technology developed specifically for education systems to make it feasible for states, school districts, schools and teachers to work in a unified way to achieve and sustain student achievement objectives. Without the education community working together, broad-based high-level improvement in the classroom practice and student achievement could not be realized.
The On-Grade Model can implement any standards fully and faithfully. It complements the Common Core State Standards and Assessments process, and while it will accelerate the effective implementation of standards in the classroom, the On-Grade Model is much more than a standards implementation tool. It supports the entire teaching and learning process and uniquely preserves the creative lesson plan development for teachers allowing their use with any pedagogy.
The On-Grade Model is a continuous improvement system designed to improve student outcomes and to be used as the underlying model for education operations. This is in contrast to the typical improvement project with a short life-span, and shifting focus. The On-Grade Model is a systemic approach, not another project.
The On-Grade Model is easily implemented and scaled. Existing systems can be utilized during initial phases with good result and little or no investment. In Mississippi, the Hinds County School District has demonstrated the effectiveness of the on-grade approach within its exiting budget using quality processes and available standalone support tools.
Using the On-Grade Model, the Hinds County School District has achieved impressive student achievement gains at both of its high-minority, low-income and rural “at risk of failing” schools. In the past two years, Utica Elementary School has increased student achievement by more than 20 percent on the Mississippi Quality Distribution Index. Bolton-Edwards’ Elementary School has increased achievement by 12 percent. With the Model, Hinds County teachers and principals are getting ahead of the district’s historical learning gaps problems and doing everything possible to intervene immediately when they occur.