Grant recipients share program-specific updates on the positive impact to students
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
“This grant shows what is possible when families, schools, and communities come together for a common mission. Authorized by the Indiana General Assembly in 2021, we were able to work directly with willing school and community partners across the state – who wanted to be a part of the solution – to help students overcome the academic impacts of the pandemic,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “We encouraged bold and innovative solutions, focused on English/language arts, math, and college and career readiness. As these local initiatives continue, it’s key to understand ‘what worked’ and ‘what did not hit the mark’ – allowing future funding to be strategically deployed and invested in ways that best support students.”
The Student Learning Recovery Grant successfully targeted and served students who were most impacted by the pandemic, as well as those who were underperforming prior to the pandemic, including racially and ethnically diverse students, economically disadvantaged students, English learners, and/or special education students. While statewide analysis is ongoing, when looking at ILEARN results alone, the department was able to see specific programs that are moving the needle for students.
Two of the community-based initiatives that were highlighted for the State Board of Education were the Indy Summer Learning Labs in Marion County and the STRIVE Program in St. Joseph County–both showing statistically significant positive results for students.
Indy Summer Learning Labs (ISLL) (Marion County)
This summer partnership between Marion County schools, The United Way of Central Indiana, and The Mind Trust provided a five-week learning experience for students in all school types, specifically focused on improving English/language arts and math outcomes in some of Marion County’s highest-need neighborhoods.
Outcomes: Participation in the ISLL during summer 2022 indicated statistically significant academic growth gains above pre-pandemic rates of learning. Students in Marion County who participated in the ISLL saw their individual academic acceleration increase greater than those who did not. Based on program-specific pre- and post-assessments, students who participated in the program saw an average score increase of 24 percentage points in English/language arts, and an average score increase of 25 percentage points in math after one summer of participation.
“The Mind Trust is proud to join United Way of Central Indiana to offer Indy Summer Learning Labs to thousands of students across Marion County,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of the Mind Trust. “Our teams are incredibly proud of the English/language arts and math learning gains students have achieved during the five-week program and the sustained academic impact participants see during the school year. We look forward to serving students for a third year this summer and expanding the program's reach in partnership with local schools and community organizations.”
STRIVE Program (St. Joseph County)
The Boys and Girls Club of St. Joseph County partnered with South Bend Community School Corporation, School City of Mishawaka, and Career and Success Academies to deploy the STRIVE Program. Through this after-school, in-person learning program, students split their time between remediation and enrichment. The program focuses on individualized literacy and math instruction, aligned to Indiana Academic Standards, and also includes an entrepreneurship program aligned to Indiana’s Employability Skills Standards.
Outcomes: Over 64% of students who participated in the STRIVE Program gained one or more grade levels in English/language arts, compared to nearly 69% of students who gained one or more grade levels in math. Of those students who made significant academic gains, 20% gained two or more grade levels in both English/language arts and math.
“House Enrolled Act 1008 gave us the opportunity to launch a critical academic recovery program and expand to serve more kids than ever in St. Joseph County through our robust after school programming,” said Jacqueline Kronk, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County. “We are working diligently to complement the great work being done in schools by providing additional interventions and enrichment. The promising results we’ve seen after year one, especially in literacy and math, not only validate that we’re doing the right thing, but motivate us to keep our foot on the gas. We need to double down on these efforts to ensure we are giving our children every opportunity to thrive.”
Created in 2021 through House Enrolled Act 1008, the Student Learning Recovery Grant Program and Fund allocated $150 million to support accelerated learning plans, with a focus on partnerships between community organizations, education service centers, higher education institutions, and K-12 schools.
IDOE continues to analyze statewide outcomes data with the goal of elevating programs that are making an impact for students and investing in their expansion. A complete statewide analysis of the impact of the Student Learning Recovery Grants is anticipated to be released this summer.
More information about the Student Learning Recovery Grant Program can be found here.