Elementary staff continues efforts for diverse learning | NevadaAppeal.com

Elementary staff continues efforts for diverse learning

E.C. Best Elementary teachers, from left, Monica Mayfield, Kaycee Golden, David Gertson, Principal Keith Boone, and Heidi Barnes, presented to the Board of Trustees regarding their use of Edgenuity Path Finders and FOSS Science Kits at the Dec.13 meeting.
Debra Shyne/Courtesy Photo |

Teachers throughout Churchill County School District are experimenting with programs and opportunities to enhance student education, as fulfilling learning diversity is one of the major goals within the district.

E.C. Best is one of Fallon’s elementary schools approaching a new program to enhance learning environments and testing skills, and taking a course of action when they receive student performance results.

The program, Edgenuity Path Blazer, is a test platform for students and also another way for teachers to obtain real time data three ties a year on student growth.

Schools districtwide are already using the program aimed for certain grades, as E.C. Best started it in August.

“It’s all about giving exposure to students,” said David Gertson, third grade teacher at E.C. Best. “This helps with exposure and we’re going to see their results increase.”

The program is somewhat relatable to blended learning, as it allows students to go at their own pace and match learning levels.

But the selling point of the program, Gertson said, is it collaborates with the NWEA, formerly Northwest Evaluation Association, which the district uses for student testing and results.

This makes a significant difference to all teachers, Gertson said.

“It’s the real time tracking data that benefits not only classroom teachers but also special ed,” he said.

The elementary school also has been using FOSS Science Kits, a box filled with needed materials for students to conduct science projects.

Although the elementary school has been using the kits for at least three years, Kaycee Golden said she’s seen student engagement improve in classrooms, such as her second grade class.

The kits also are used in Lyon and Washoe counties.

“Students love science because it’s hands on,” she said. “Even if a substitute is in, they’re able to teach a science class and it also incorporates reading, writing, and math.”

Along with Gertson and Golden, E.C. Best teachers and Principal Keith Boone delivered an introductory presentation of the Edgenuity program and science kits to the Churchill County School Board of Trustees at the Dec. 13 meeting.

Gertson said trustees were on board to continue to invest in both programs at the elementary school.

“I’ve gone through a lot of programs and I think this one is great so far,” he said. “We want to build a base of knowledge for all students and be open to different ways of teachings. Even if it helps just one student, it’s worth it.”