Congratulations, Heart Students and Tutors! 96% Meet Growth Goals
June 19, 2015
By Emily Elliott, Executive Director
With school wrapping up and students away for the summer, we want to reflect on and celebrate what has been accomplished by Heart’s 236 students, with the help of their tutors, this year.
Students are enrolled in Heart based on the recommendation of their teachers. Typically, these students are one to two years below grade level in math and are missing foundational math concepts (counting, more vs. less, base-ten, place value).
These concepts form the building blocks of understanding how numbers work. Research shows that gaps in any one of these concepts can prevent student growth and cause them to fall further and further behind. Gaps in these foundational concepts become especially apparent in higher levels of math. They can ultimately be gatekeepers to high school graduation, post-secondary education, and employment.
At the beginning of the year, each Heart student goes through a 30-minute, one-on-one, research-based assessment – “count this… explain this… compare this…” – diagnosing which specific building block concepts are weak or missing. Students take the same assessment at the end of the year.
At the beginning of the year, Heart students showed mastery in 678 building block skills, collectively, or 32% of the building block skills needed, based on grade level standards. At the end of the year, after 4,248 hours of volunteer-delivered, one-on-one instruction, Heart students showed mastery in 1,311 building block skills, or 63% of the total needed – an increase of 31% towards closing the gap for meeting grade level standards.
If a student can show growth in two or more of the building block skills, meaningful growth has been accomplished, according to our advisors at UNC Charlotte and in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Elementary Math Department. This is our program goal.
This past year, 96% of Heart students met this program goal, growing in two or more building block concept areas. On average, students grew in 4.3 concept areas.
Newfound skills, combined with the boost in confidence that comes from having a personal tutor, can be an extremely powerful formula. Heart students, tutors, and staff measure and celebrate the growth throughout the year. The icing on the cake comes in May with an excited text from a third grade teacher – “EOG scores are in! My Heart students did amazingly!” or from a student herself, telling her tutor at fifth grade graduation – “I passed!”
Thank you to each and every one of the 265 volunteers who came week after week to act as cheerleaders and guides, making a tremendous difference to our inspiring students who are finding out they are not “bad” at math after all.
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