Peirce School gets everyone online

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Peirce Elementary is sold on the Grow Network.

“It allows teachers to make decisions about their own curriculum, their own instruction, their own groupings of students,” says Paula Rossino, principal of Peirce School of International Studies in Edgewater.

“At grade-level meetings, we’ve taken a look at the strengths and weaknesses of that grade level,” she adds.

Rossino introduced her staff to Grow by arranging a meeting of 10 teachers with network staffers and devoting part of this year’s first staff development day to the new program. Middle-grade teachers got a refresher as part of a meeting about upcoming standardized tests.

Haneefa Muhammad, a 7th-grade social studies teacher, uses Grow in place of diagnostic testing. “It separates the testing areas by comprehension skills, interpreting facts, analysis of mathematical problems—that kind of thing,” she says. “We can go online and see the number of students who need practice in these skills and the number of students who are advanced in these skills.”

With that knowledge, she can work to make sure all students have the requisite reading and math skills for their social studies lessons.

Muhammad notes, for example, that she may need to teach graphing before students can analyze a country’s spending.

“It has solved so many problems,” says Muhammad.

Grow also has eased communication with parents, Rossino says. “At parent conference time, we had our computer lab open for parents to log on and to teach them how to use [the Web site],” she says. “It’s a very easy tool.”