As K-12 school districts face stagnant and shrinking state budgets, there’s a greater need to find creative solutions to ensure the success of every student. Like many other districts, the Columbus Municipal School District (CMSD) have continued to employ traditional teaching models, relying on textbooks to drive learning. By partnering with Fishtree, CMSD was able to implement a new K-16 Instruction and Technology Integration Model that contributed to $800,000 in savings and increased the  district’s graduation rates by 20 percent.

Their Innovative Approach

Eliminating textbooks and integrating technology into the classroom doesn’t happen overnight. The K-16 Instruction and Technology Integration Model was designed to improve the district’s teaching strategies with improved training for teachers, the introduction of new technology, and rethinking the curriculum for the future.

With Fishtree, CMSD was able to make the transition in gradual phases, so that bringing technology into the classroom could be manageable, and not disruptive, for teachers and students. It was especially important that their teachers had the support and training to focus more on their students and less on clerical or planning work, such as creating lesson plans and searching for resources.

“Leading with technology is a negative disruptor. Schools like to start with device deployment but are unsuccessful and wonder why. We led with professional development first and then technology,” said Dr. Philip Hickman, the district’s superintendent.

As a result, CMSD has come a long way in cutting their costs while delivering strong results for their school district. Fishtree’s technology offered many advantages for their district, allowing them to:

  • Help teachers save time creating course content with access to open educational resources (OER)
  • Provide tools to help teachers curate, measure, and personalize learning to support different students’ learning styles and needs
  • Capture and assess real-time analytics to optimize learning outcomes

You can read the full case study of how CMSD implemented their new K-16 Model here.