Success Story: Summit Learning Boosts Distinctive Schools’ Student Growth

When faculty at Distinctive Schools sought a personalized learning program to boost student achievement they turned to Summit Learning because of its focus on project-based learning and mentoring.

Part of Chicago Public Schools, Distinctive Schools is a non-profit School Management Organization encompassing four campuses of Chicago International Charter Schools (CICS) — CICS Bucktown, CICS Irving ParkCICS Prairie, and CICS West Belden. Distinctive Schools implemented the Summit Learning Program across all four campuses in the 2016-17 school year with 675 students in grades 6-8.

In just one year using the personalized learning approach, students showed growth on NWEA MAP math and reading tests. The percentage of students at or above the 50th percentile increased by seven points in math and six points in reading in 2017 compared to 2016.

The embedded case study below highlights student growth at Distinctive Schools since implementing the Summit Learning Program.

Year-over-year academic growth is just one positive effect Distinctive faculty has witnessed since implementing Summit Learning.

“Teachers are seeing kids become the owners of their own learning,” says Connie Scalzetti, instructional coach at CICS West Belden. “They’re seeing it both in the test results but also who their students are as people.”

What’s next for Distinctive Schools? Now that they’ve seen student growth in just one year, Distinctive educators desire sustained growth on state assessments throughout students’ entire education as well as the development of lifelong Habits of Success. To that end, the organization expanded Summit Learning to two additional grade levels this school year, adding more than 100 students to the program.

About the author

Summit Learning
Summit Learning is a research–based approach to education designed to drive student engagement, meaningful learning, and strong student–teacher relationships that prepare students for life after graduation. Created by teachers with experience in diverse classrooms, Summit Learning is grounded in decades of research about how children learn. With Summit Learning, students gain mastery of core subjects like math, history, English, and science, while also carefully developing the skills and habits of lifelong learners. Summit Learning is independently led and operated by the nonprofit, Gradient Learning.