Evaluation Report 2014-15 School Year Executive Summary

Evaluation Report for 2014-2015 School Year

Executive Summary


School2Home is an innovative statewide program designed to close both the Achievement Gap

and the Digital Divide by integrating the use of computing and broadband technologies into

teaching and learning at low-performing middle schools throughout California. By focusing on

these schools, School2Home reaches students who are statistically less likely to perform well in

school and more likely to lack access to digital tools than their peers in high-performing schools.

School2Home is sponsored and managed by the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF)

and is implemented in collaboration with local district and school leadership. School2Home

provides a systemic approach to improve education that builds on principal leadership with

teacher professional development to infuse technology into the classroom as well as increase

parent engagement in low-income communities where parents often do not have the ability to be

involved in the school-life of their children and do not have high-speed Internet access at home.

Problem and Significance

Research has shown that increased parent involvement is largely a function of the extent to which

administrators and teachers know how to involve parents and how to provide families with easy

access to student information with an improved understanding about instruction and assessment.

Therefore, effective family and community engagement requires a two-pronged approach to

partnering with districts and schools: (a) training and coaching of principals and teachers to

involve parents effectively and consistently in supporting student learning and engagement in

school; and (b) direct digital literacy training with follow-up for parents on how to collaborate with

teachers, find instructionally-relevant online resources, access student assessment information,

and utilize technology applications in support of their child’s learning.

Approach and Goals

School2Home is the only initiative in California with a major focus on such extensive parent

engagement coupled to the use of educational technology to turn around low-performing schools.

An exceptional aspect of School2Home is the focus on using current and emerging technology as

a tool for augmenting and enabling increased parent involvement with their child’s education.

Linking parent and community engagement with technology tools in the learning environment is

an essential strategy for turning around low-performing schools. The primary goals are:

 To increase student achievement at low-performing middle schools in California to help close

the Achievement Gap.

 To increase the adoption of computing skills and broadband service by the families of

underserved middle school students to help close the Digital Divide.

Significant Results to Date

School2Home implementation expanded to 4 new sites for a total of 11 schools in 2014-2015: 4

schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD); 2 schools in Oakland Unified School

District (OUSD); 3 schools in Riverside Unified School District (RUSD); 1 in West Contra Costa

Unified School District (WCCUSD) and 1 in Winters Joint Unified School District (WJUSD).

Among the 11 schools, approximately 260 teachers and 5,500 students and families participated.

The schools serve students of families with high levels of poverty and from diverse ethnic

populations. All schools have been in Program Improvement status for at least 5 years.

Expanded Use of Technology by Students for Learning

Responses from 2,228 students to the 2015 annual School2Home Student Survey showed the

following improvements since 2011-2012:

• 85% increased computer and Internet access at home to support learning, up from 73%.

• 84% use the technology for writing assignments, up from 60%.

• 90% access the Internet for research related to schoolwork, up from 68%.

Increased Home Access to the Internet

Responses to the annual School2Home Parent Survey (361 English and 186 Spanish) showed:

• School2Home is narrowing the gap for home Internet access between English and Spanishspeaking

   families, from 36 percentage points in 2012 down to 7 percentage points in 2015.

• Spanish-speaking parents showed a 75% increase in home broadband adoption since 2012.

• Broadband adoption grew for English-speaking families from 83% to 91% (8-point increase)

   and for Spanish-speaking families from 71% to 84% (7-point increase) over last year.

• 90% of the Spanish-speaking parents and 75% of English-speaking parents have increased

   communication about student performance and supporting their child’s learning at home.

• 93% of Spanish-speaking parents (82% English-speaking parents) are now able to and

   frequently use technology to access their child’s grades, test results and attendance.

Improved Student Performance

• Stevenson (LAUSD) has out-performed similar schools for 2 years and has made greater

gains than similar schools since 2012. Stevenson School2Home students consistently outperform

non-participating students on reading Lexile scores.

• University Heights (RUSD) baseline CAASPP scores exceed the county and statewide scores

for clear, purposeful writing and are comparable for effective communication skills. In 2012, it

was underperforming comparable schools in the district, the county and state.

• Chemawa and Central (RUSD) baseline CAASPP scores exceed demographically-similar

schools in the county and the state.

School administrators noticed differences in students. For example, “The students were far more

comfortable with SBAC. This year, they are pretty serious about how they are taking the test.” A

principal whose school launched School2Home this year stated, “We are doing this to give our

kids an advantage they would not have had. That's the payoff.” A teacher observed,

“School2Home has helped our school implement technology into its curriculum in a more

organized and productive manner.” And another teacher observed, “Parents who received S2H

training feel empowered to guide their children effectively about digital citizenship and safety.”

School2Home is a Cost-Effective Investment

Implementation costs for School2Home are about $1,000 per student. This is in contrast to other

middle school turn-around programs funded through federal School Improvement Grants (SIG)

which average $1,710 per student (Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education

Sciences). Once School2Home is fully implemented in all grades in a school and the culture of

using technology is “rooted” to engage parents and drive improvement in academic achievement,

School2Home is sustainable from existing school resources. Further, this true partnership with

local districts and schools to optimize parent engagement results in the computing devices being

used daily in classrooms by teachers and students, valued by families, and conscientiously cared

for to minimize loss (usually no more than for actual textbooks). Thus, School2Home is a very

cost-effective investment to help close both the Achievement Gap and Digital Divide.

School2Home Supports Implementation of Common Core Standards

California’s implementation of the Common Core Standards includes participation in the

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), a national initiative involving students

taking academic assessments online with results available to parents. This requires that

students have access to computing devices and that all schools (and all classrooms) are

broadband-enabled with the kind of framework provided by School2Home. An important

opportunity as a result of SBAC is teaching parents how to get to and interpret student

assessment data, grades, assignments, and other information about their child online.

School2Home is the platform for accomplishing that objective. Finally, the rapid increase in

parent and child access to and use of mobile technologies connected to the Internet adds more

opportunities for involvement of parents in schools with the support and training offered by

CETF and School2Home.

School2Home evaluation is conducted by independent professional evaluators Education Support Systems.

The complete Evaluation Report is available upon request and online (www.School2Home).

Please see file below for printing purposes.