Every week, EPIC Superintendent Bart Banfield explores topics related to education, learning, leadership and more. Be sure to check back each week for the latest.
Mindplay: Moving the Reading Needle
One of the great things about EPIC is that we are always reassessing what works and what doesn’t in terms of the instructional choices we offer our students and families. I am proud of the many hours of work our instructional team puts in to ensure we continue to fulfill our promise of providing a high-quality education for every student we serve. Finding new and exceptional ways to meet students where they are is a never-ending quest. That’s why when something truly exceptional comes along that fits that bill, I feel compelled to share it with everyone.
That something is Mindplay.
Part of the EPIC Essentials suite of educational software, Mindplay uses adaptive technology to assess our students’ current reading ability, meets them at their current reading level and formulates a plan to move them forward. Educators have known for some time that goals and habits are linked together. By encouraging every EPIC family with students in grades 3-8 to spend just 30 minutes a day with this incredible tool, we can move the needle on reading progress in a significant way.
How significant? Since its inception in September, we have seen a 20% increase of those students using Mindplay advancing at least one grade level in reading. That is significant. The best part about Mindplay is that it’s absolutely free to students and families. It doesn’t even impact their learning fund.
EPIC made the substantial investment in this groundbreaking software because we know that between 60% and 70% of students who come to EPIC are below grade level in reading and math. We have an obligation to do everything we can to close that gap, get students on pace, and give them every opportunity to discover the joy of reading, which, as research shows, can lead to a lifelong relationship with learning.
As the state’s largest virtual charter school, we owe it to our students and families to utilize technology that will produce the best instructional results. My promise is and continues to be to make the smartest choices when it comes to the educational offerings we provide our families. I look forward to sharing with you more good news about Mindplay and the other new and exciting things coming down the pike for EPIC.