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Case Studies

From intervention to universal growth

May 17, 2016


Results at a Glance

After using DreamBox Learning Math in their math intervention programs for one year, NWEA MAP® scores across the board have improved in DeKalb Central School District. Additionally, district interventionists report that growth is occurring for all of their students. DreamBox, combined with quality Tier 1 instruction and small-group instruction, is credited for increasing students’ comprehension of math.

Fast Facts

  • Grades: K–8
  • Enrollment: 3,800
  • Free and reduced lunch: 40%

DreamBox Implementation

  • Small group and one-to-one instruction
  • Math intervention in grades K-5

We use DreamBox to drive our one-on-one instruction and lesson plans so we can focus on kids who have huge gaps in their learning. We are able to see where each student is in their learning and where they need additional support, which makes our intervention a lot more powerful for our students.

Anna Wiley

Math Intervention Teacher, DeKalb Central School District


Close Learning Gaps with At-Risk Students and Promote Overall District Growth in Math

DeKalb Central School District administrators identified that a percentage of their students required math intervention when results on the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress Plus (ISTEP+) showed less than ideal performance in mathematics. Furthermore, MAP data revealed that even the 75 to 80 percent of students performing at or above grade level demonstrated learning gaps that prevented them from mastering more challenging concepts.

With the goal of pinpointing the root of the problematic gaps, district and school administrators embarked on a path to increase learning outcomes. It wasn’t an easy task and would require a long-term solution that would universally help students across all grade levels.


Use formative data to provide targeted intervention

After careful review, a collective group of district leaders decided to implement a math intervention program, which consists of providing one-on-one support for students performing in their grade’s lowest quartile, in addition to their classroom instruction. DreamBox Learning Math was selected as a core component of the intervention program because of its ability to identify and close learning gaps by providing rigorous curriculum aligned to the readiness of individual students.

Rather than providing predefined learning progressions, DreamBox uses formative data to deliver specific feedback and scaffolding based on each student’s actions and strategies taken in the moment of learning. This level of adapting promotes developing missed skills, students have become even more successful, resulting in conceptual understanding across grade levels and math topics. By identifying and learning growth for students at all abilities—from those requiring math intervention to those performing at or above grade level.

Excited by her students’ success, Math Intervention Teacher Anna Wiley appreciates that DreamBox supports her in meeting the needs of students. The program surfaces student learning data in a format that makes it easy to identify their learning hurdles and drive both small-group and individual instruction tailored to student needs.


Increased NWEA MAP Scores

After using DreamBox Learning Math as part of their math intervention programs for one year, NWEA scores across the board have improved in DeKalb Central School District. Additionally, district interventionists report that growth is occurring for all of their students. This increase in math comprehension is credited to DreamBox usage, quality Tier 1 instruction, and small-group instruction.

“Because of our concerted effort to use DreamBox as part of our Intervention Program, we are closing the gaps in learning,” says Julia Tipton, Curriculum and Instruction Specialist. With unanimously positive results in the intervention program, DeKalb Central School District now uses DreamBox Learning across all K–5 classes in the district’s four elementary schools.

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