Tucked in the northeast corner of Indiana, Fort Wayne Community Schools serve the most students of any district in the state – 29,000. It’s also a hugely diverse district, with a student population that reflects hundreds of years of immigration into America. The district works hard to help those students get a head start on their lives as they dream of becoming doctors, teachers, engineers, electricians – wherever they wish to go.
Fort Wayne Community Schools adopted DreamBox in 2018 as a tool to drive increased performance in math. DreamBox now is used by about 15,000 K-5 students in 31 elementary schools. It’s part of a substantial investment the district has made in its students’ crucial early years in education. Students who completed 5 or more lessons per week saw 1.63 grade levels of growth (SY 2019 – 2020).
Prior to DreamBox, Fort Wayne lacked a consistent approach to teaching math across the district. Textbook choices often reflected a teacher’s personal taste of familiarity with a title. That was fine – up to a point.
And even the best math books had drawbacks. “The problem was that textbooks tend to be very procedural, says Jamie Shenk, K-5 Math Curriculum Coordinator for the district. “We were looking for something that also focused on conceptual understanding, and that would support our other instruction.”
That’s when DreamBox came in. DreamBox provides students with the opportunity to learn concepts and construct their own knowledge and understanding in a way that honors their unique prior knowledge and skills, and empowers them to become independent thinkers, strategists, and authentic “doers”.