The Courage to Change: Cultivating Leadership for Digital Curriculum

By Michelle Rutherford, Director of Implementation Success

Integrating digital curriculum into the classroom requires ongoing district and school leadership support before, during, and after initial implementation. Without this, the digital curriculum program is rarely effective. To provide the necessary support, leaders must believe that the digital curriculum will help educators achieve teaching and learning goals and improve student outcomes.

Apex Learning understands that administrators are tasked with addressing multiple fundamental challenges within their schools, and that they are held accountable for every step taken to meet those challenges. That’s why we have built Success Management into our Services model — to cultivate capacity for effective leadership of successful and sustainable programs supported by digital curriculum.

Leadership Challenges and Considerations

Administrators are focused on meeting several important academic goals. These include:

  1. Increase on-time graduation rates by providing alternative paths to graduation.
  2. Increase student achievement by providing remediation and support to address learning gaps.
  3. Increase college- and career-readiness by ensuring all students graduate prepared for post-secondary coursework.
  4. Increase educational options for high-achieving students and struggling learners.

 

Digital curriculum helps schools reach these goals by supporting classroom instruction with active, student-centered learning and data-driven differentiation. Selecting the best digital curriculum provider is much more than a simple purchasing decision. School and district leaders are held accountable for their purchases by staff, parents, school boards, and even the state. Buying decisions must be backed by positive school, program, and student performance.

The decision to implement a personalized learning program supported by digital curriculum isn’t one that leaders take lightly. Among their questions, considerations, and concerns:

  • What problems, challenges, or opportunities does digital curriculum help us solve?
  • Does the district have the budget to afford digital curriculum?
  • Will the digital curriculum effectively increase student achievement and improve district outcomes?
  • Does the leadership team and stakeholders have the time and resources to successfully implement a personalized learning program supported by digital curriculum?

 

Apex Learning Success Management

If leaders haven’t bought into the potential of digital curriculum, it will be difficult to gain consensus among staff. This can jeopardize the success of the program, creating barriers to efficacy in the early stages of implementation.

Apex Learning Success Management services ensure leaders achieve the results they expect when implementing Adaptive Tutorials and Comprehensive Courses. Our suite of services assists in planning, preparing, developing, and evaluating implementation, as well as providing support after implementation to drive ongoing success.

School leaders are provided with support along the way from our Success Managers. This team of professionals — all former educators — works with districts on implementation and securing buy-in district-wide. They partner with district leaders and stakeholders to:

  • Identify key goals, priorities, policies, and procedures.
  • Explore best practices for using digital curriculum, data, and learning management tools.
  • Build operational efficiency and expand instructional and administrative expertise.
  • Assess implementation success and chart a path to further improve program results.

 

That last step is essential, because the success of a personalized learning program supported by digital curriculum requires ongoing evaluation. Once the digital curriculum has been successfully implemented, there must be time dedicated throughout the year for professional learning to equip teachers and other stakeholders with best practices for using digital curriculum.

 

Taking the appropriate steps before, during, and after the implementation of digital curriculum, as well as utilizing support services from the curriculum provider, can help district and school leaders ensure that their investment in digital curriculum improves student outcomes and achieves educational goals.