Pilot Program Providing ‘High-Level’ Academic Support

This semester, we are piloting an academic intervention collaborative in two partner Saint Louis Public Schools (SLPS) as an extension of our academic tutoring. The schools are governed by the Consortium Partnership Network (CPN), which was developed by SLPS in 2018 for the purpose of managing the lowest performing schools in the district.

“The CPN has greater flexibility to design new strategies and allocate resources to achieve rapid growth in learning,” says John Pimmel, Little Bit’s Director of Partnerships and Strategic Planning. “They’ve engaged Little Bit to convene this collaborative around rigorous academic support, focused on math and reading, because we believe that with high levels of support, students can reach their potential.”

The pilot involves pairing up students in the two elementary schools with tutors from Saint Louis University’s Ignatian Service program and providing students with the DreamBox and Reading Plus digital remediation platforms. DreamBox is designed for K-8th grade students, Reading Plus for 3rd-12th grade students. Both include rigorous and interactive lessons that intelligently adapt to students’ abilities.

“This means the lessons increase in difficulty as the software detects the student is progressing,” says Pimmel, adding that DreamBox and Reading Plus are the only two education technology solutions rated “Strong” by the Every Student Succeeds Act, a law committed to equal opportunity for all students.

Pimmel says data will be collected and analyzed – both in real-time and long-term – on the effectiveness of the collaborative in improving student self-esteem and performance. “Our hope is that it will become the flagship for a new type of intervention model.”