Success Story: Closing Achievement Gaps in Math and Reading

When Aspen Valley Prep, a K-8 school in Fresno, California, started experimenting with personalized learning in some classrooms, faculty saw immediate benefits for their diverse student body. But what the charter school lacked was a cohesive program that integrated personalized learning plans with a robust curriculum and mentoring.

To solve that, Aspen Valley Prep implemented the Summit Learning Program with its middle school students in the 2016-17 school year.

After one year with Summit Learning, Aspen Valley Prep’s 6th-8th graders showed growth in both math and reading on California’s Smarter Balanced test (CAASPP). The school is also closing the achievement gap by bringing students far behind grade level closer to grade level expectations.

“We’ve never seen a program able to make this big of a leap in a single year,” says Hilary Downs, the school’s director of Summit Learning.

The embedded case study below highlights student growth at Aspen Valley Prep since implementing the Summit Learning Program.

In addition to impressive student growth, teachers like Abel Ruiz report boosted confidence and motivation in their classrooms.

This school year, Aspen Valley Prep expanded the Summit Learning Program to its 4th and 5th grade classes for a total of 200 students across campus.

About the author

Katie McNeil
Katie is a storyteller at Summit Public Schools, shining a spotlight on inspirational stories from the Summit Learning community. She started her career in journalism, covering K-12 education in the Bronx. Katie won a feature writing award from the Education Writers Association for her higher ed coverage in Utah. Before arriving at Summit, she earned a master's degree in educational technology from Teachers College, Columbia University and a New York State teaching certification.