When the dynamic of an entire community shifts, the local schools have to also transform in order to effectively serve their population. League City, Texas has always been an ideal American town, surrounded by the NASA campus and many related contracting firms and students came from well educated families who hailed the value of academia, supporting Clear Creek Independent School district completely. But harder times have an effect on this area, starting in 2008 with Hurricane Ike, followed by deep government budget cuts to NASA- resulting in a more transient and diversified population of students. In the last few years, CCISD has seen the student achievement gap climb.

With a variety of school choices, students in the Clear Creek district have multiple avenues to success available to them, from strong district schools like Clear Creek High School to alternate choices of Clear Path Alternative School, Clear Stars Evening School and CCISD Summer School. In the spring of 2011, CCISD wanted to strengthen their curriculum offeringsin each of these schools in order to help shrink the achievement gap that was widening within the student body.

“We needed something to help us close our ever-increasing gaps in student achievement,” says Dr. Janis Jarvis, CCISD Coordinator for Curriculum Management and Professional Development. “We chose CompassLearning Odyssey over the other options we researched for several reasons,” says Jarvis. “We really like how interactive the program is, and how challenging the activities and quizzes are.”

CompassLearning Odyssey was implemented in the summer of 2011 as a credit recovery path for students and has now grown to meet many other student needs in the district, including special education, Advanced Placement, remediation, STAAR EOC retest prep, but mostly for credit recovery.

Teachers using Odyssey with their students see a distinct difference when compared to the software they had been using previously. Chula Bryant, who works with her students in the Recovery Lab at Clear Creek High School likes that students have full access to their completed quizzes. “I encourage them to look at their questions and answers before taking the quiz again,” she says. “We then take the highest score of their three tries.” Bryant adds, “the tutorial formatting keeps the students’ interest, the activities appeal to them, and the product is just much more user-friendly and comprehensive than the solutions we’ve used in the past.”

At both Clear Path Alternative School and CCISD summer school, many students are finding a second chance. High school looks very different from middle school and transition isn’t always what every student would like it to be. Luckily, districts like CCISD recognize that and put the support in place to guide students and allow them to have every chance to develop and achieve overall success.

About 100 students are enrolled in the Open Entry/Exit program at Clear View Education Center and most are enrolled in Odyssey, using it to retake courses or take extra credits to apply towards graduation. Teacher and Program Supervisor Justin Eubanks says “the program is easy for me to use and administer,” Eubanks says. “The students can navigate it very easily, too. It also helps boost their confidence because of the success they experience completing Odyssey coursework. The frequent quizzes give them instant feedback as to where they need to focus. Plus, sometimes they can zoom through several lessons a day, which gives them hope that they’ll actually graduate on time. I often hear shouts of joy when students complete a quiz and pass it, especially if it’s their first time taking the quiz without having to watch a tutorial. Students have earned more than 100 credits this year already.”

In all of these different locations, the staff of CCISD are encouraged to see students taking ownership of their learning and renewing their sense of motivation towards their school work. The consistent support of Odyssey throughout the district seems to have helped fortify the  teacher support system and given student understandable and attainable options for achieving their academic goals.

CompassLearning is a Getting Smart advocacy partner.

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