Success Story: Scores Rise, Discipline Drops at Handley Middle School

Handley Middle School’s leadership decided to implement the Summit Learning Program in 2016 as a holistic approach to personalized learning for students.

A rural, public middle school located in Roanoke, Alabama, Handley currently serves about 530 students in grades 4-8.

After one year of Summit Learning implementation across its 6th grade classrooms, Handley measured a 63% decrease in discipline referrals with this group of students compared to the previous school year. In addition, students’ outperformed their peers nationwide on the annual ACT Aspire tests, including by 28 points in writing.

The embedded case study below highlights student growth and engagement with the Summit Learning personalized approach to teaching and learning.

In addition to increased engagement in academics, Handley students are more comfortable setting goals and are thriving as self-directed learners. Teachers are also set up for and experiencing success in reaching the whole individual.

Dr. Kim Hendon, chief learning officer for Handley, says: “With Summit, you have time to set goals. You have time to pull individual groups. You have time to talk to kids one-on-one when they need it. All of that front loading that we used to spend hours doing is already done.”

Based on student success from 2016-17, Handley will be expanding the Program to its 7th and 8th grade classes in 2017-18 for a total of 450 students in the 6-8 grades.

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.