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New Jersey Schools Turn to Supplemental Online Instruction

A variety of New Jersey schools are deploying Study Island for the 2011-2012 year. The Web-based Study Island provides supplemental resources to help students learn subjects based on New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, tested on the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge and High School Proficiency Assessment.

Public schools in New Jersey that have recently signed on with Study Island, created by Archipelago Learning, include Long Branch Public Schools, Middle Township Public Schools, Little Silver Public Schools, Rumson School District, and Estell Manor School in Atlantic County. Private and parochial schools include St. Denis in Manasquan, St. Dominic in Brick, and Rumson Country Day School in Rumson.

Subjects offered in Study Island include: high school proficiency assessment in math, language arts, and biology/life science; core curriculum content standards in technological literacy for elementary and middle schools; first- and second-year algebra, geometry, chemistry, civics and economics, United States history and geography, and world history and geography skills mastery programs for high school; fine arts and health for elementary and middle schools; and math and reading for kindergarten and first grade.

Each program includes questions, answers, explanations, and lessons specific to New Jersey content standards. It also requires students to complete pre- and post-tests.

Features of Study Island include:

  • Traditional assessments and interactive games based on New Jersey standards;
  • Immediate feedback and automated instruction;
  • Real-time progress reports;
  • Answers to multiple-choice questions rotate positions, and the numbers in the math questions are chosen randomly;
  • Teachers can customize printable worksheets;
  • Software is Web-based, letting students and teachers log on from anywhere;
  • Digital writing portfolios;
  • College and career readiness tools;
  • Parent notification system; and
  • A professional development module for teachers with online video tutorials, lesson plans, and interactive whiteboard resources.

In March, Long Branch Public Schools bought Study Island as part of its standards-based instruction initiative and for its programs aimed at helping ELL and special education students. The district is using the system in grades 2 through 12 this school year.

"Across the state, schools have been using Study Island for several years," said Roberta Freeman, district administrator for assessment and accountability for Long Branch Public Schools. "We were hearing about the great results that other districts were having."

Woodbridge Township School District implemented Study Island in 2005-2006 in its 16 elementary schools to help students with math and language arts. The district then expanded the system to its five middle schools and to special education students in its three high schools.

"We look at each of these groups to make correlations between students' performance on the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge, and their performance in Study Island to identify areas for improvement," said Kimberly B. Hahn, principal at Ross Street School in Woodbridge.

For more information, visit studyisland.com.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at timothyjsohn@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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