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College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

Free JFYNet Online Academic Support offered to all secondary schools by DESE

JFYNetWorks (JFY) offers schools and districts an opportunity to provide high school students with standards-aligned online math and ELA instruction through a special initiative of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (announced in Commissioner Riley’s March 1 Weekly Update). The goal of this initiative is to help students reach grade-level skills, recover learning loss, and reduce achievement gaps. Beginning now, the program continues through the summer and the 2021-22 school year.

JFYNetWorks has been providing online academic support to schools since 2000. Our software curricula align to state standards and other district or teacher goals. Our staff work closely with teachers to assess student needs, provide standards-based instruction, and measure student progress. We provide ongoing support to teachers to monitor student activity, analyze performance data and adjust curriculum to student needs.

When the pandemic caused the shift to remote instruction, teachers and students in our JFY network of schools were able to continue conducting their classes using JFY resources without interruption. Our staff continued to work closely with teachers via email, text and video conference to track and support students’ learning, just as they had done in the classroom. In the fall, public health conditions required instruction to be remote or hybrid. Both models delivered core instruction online. The experience of the spring and summer had given us the opportunity to develop a new flexible-mode pedagogy that devolved into three basic elements:

  • Comprehensive online curricula with integrated assessments covering state and district standards and incorporating strategies for EL, SWD and other requirements;
  • Ongoing teacher training and support in methods, materials and practices of flexible mode online

Our online academic support services are available immediately at no cost to schools through the DESE program. The program includes instructional software, training and coaching for teachers, and teacher stipends for instructional time above and beyond contract hours. It will extend through the summer and the 2021-22 school year.

Free JFYNet Online Academic Support offered by DESE

Flexible Mode: The AIMS Methodology

The JFYNet evidence-based model of online instruction is summarized in the acronym AIMS: Assess, Instruct, Measure, Support. AIMS incorporates the four basic elements of effective teaching and learning. It is based on the lessons of JFY’s two decades of experience. Its data-driven student-centered flexibility supports core curriculum, benchmark assessments, and early college courses. The program accommodates all student groups, including English Learners (EL) and Students with Disabilities (SWD).

  • Assessment of each student’s skills uses online measurement tools, existing school data, and embedded adaptive functionality to diagnose learning needs. JFY staff utilize the robust reporting functions of the software to produce regular reports at the individual and class levels– an integrated formative assessment.
  • Instruction: Following assessment and data analysis, the JFYNet Learning Specialist works with the teacher to create and implement an instructional plan that fits the identified needs of the students. Assignments are based on the assessed standards and organized to help students strengthen the skills they need to reach grade- level competency. Online learning is by nature individualized and self-paced.

Online instruction with high-quality software offers flexibility in choice and utilization of materials. Instruction can be aligned to state curriculum standards, special DESE mandates, district pacing guides, course curricula, or benchmark tests such as MCAS, Accuplacer or SAT.

JFY curriculum integrates with other technology platforms. Our Learning Specialists constantly research supplementary resources to expand and enrich learning (see below). Strategies for student engagement include meeting in small groups on Google Classroom or Zoom, using Q&A functions, having students take turns reading passages and giving individual interpretations, solving a math problem in a group, and periodic checking on independent work.

  • Measurement involves utilizing all forms of assessment to monitor student activity online and follow individual progress through the curriculum as recorded in the embedded data system. Close attention to student performance enables timely intervention. JFY’s detailed analytic reports measure key variables including time on task (the amount of time a student spends in lessons), content mastery, and documented learning gains. Real-time student data enable teachers to make instructional adjustments that keep students on track. This real-time data feedback loop constitutes an ongoing formative assessment, a critical tool for guiding and differentiating instruction.
  • Support for teachers includes training, coaching, technical assistance and problem solving. It is provided via videoconferencing, email, virtual office hours and the Connected Learning section of our website. A JFY Learning Specialist is assigned to each school. They connect with teachers on a scheduled and as-needed basis to consult with and coach teachers in the practice of online learning and the analysis of student performance data to focus and individualize instruction.
Let's Get Started: Online Academic Support from JFYNet for DESE

Post-COVID Pedagogy

The key elements of the JFYNet online learning program were developed out of practice and are aligned to the needs of post-COVID pedagogy.

  • Comprehensive English and math instructional content aligned to all state standards in grades 6-12, with integrated assessments and performance data to track student progress, and specialized alignments for MCAS, SAT, Accuplacer and other ancillary needs;
  • Yearlong consulting and coaching to train and support teachers, including training webinars and tutorials, regular communication through virtual meetings, office hours and group conferences;
  • Specific strategies for high needs students, including English Learners, Special Education students and low-income students, detailed in training webinars and supported by professional development for teachers;
  • Extensive supplemental strategies including curriculum resources for science and social studies;
  • Compliance with state and district requirements for alignment to state standards and high needs accommodations, with granular student performance data to inform grading policy.
  • Academic support throughout high school from 9th grade to 12th grade college readiness. College readiness now includes early college/dual enrollment, bringing college courses directly into high school so that students can take actual college courses and earn transferable credits, accelerating degree progress and reducing cost.

When instruction returns to the classroom, many online tools and strategies will become permanent features of post-Covid pedagogy. The range and variety of content; the real-time performance measurement; the self-paced delivery that allows each student to learn at her own pace and in her own individual learning style — these properties will hold their value for teachers and students. JFY’s continuous training and support for teachers will help maintain consistency and equity across classes, schools and districts.

The most important priority now and in the future is to keep students engaged in their class work and moving ahead in the acquisition of grade-level skills from pre-high school to graduation and college and career readiness. Learning loss will make these goals more challenging. JFYNetWorks provides the expertise and resources to meet this critical challenge.

ELA Alignment: Online Academic Support from JFYNet for DESE
Math Alignment: Online Academic Support from JFYNet for DESE
Free JFYNet Online Academic Support offered by DESE
Student Teacher testimonials of JFY's online academic support

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