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Data shows dual-teaching model helped Dayton Public Schools reach pre-pandemic academic achievement scores

Pete "comedy_nose"
Flickr/Creative Commons

Dayton Public School’s latest internal testing scores show the district is returning to pre-pandemic levels of academic achievement. The largest gains were seen  in kindergarten through third grade.

Scores were improved by reducing class sizes and implementing the dual-teaching model. Under this model, each classroom contains one teacher who specializes in math and another who specializes in literacy.

The class is split into two groups and each teacher simultaneously teaches their speciality to each of the groups. After each lesson the groups switch. Dual teaching was only used in first, second, and third grades, but class size reduction was used in all age groups.

The district brought in one hundred new first through third grade teachers to ensure that the dual teaching model could be made possible. Professional development sessions were offered weekly throughout the school year to help teachers implement the academic recovery efforts.

Math specialists were hired for fourth through sixth grades and a new mandatory reading class was implemented for grades seventh through tenth.

The district received 140 million dollars in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund to hire and train teachers. These funding efforts were put in place to combat the pandemic’s effects on education and academic achievement. The money will be distributed in three rounds over a five year time frame.

Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli says the district plans to continue these methods.

“We're going to stay the course,” Lolli said. “We're going to keep pushing through and closing that achievement gap.”

Lolli also said that small group instruction will continue to play a pivotal role in boosting academic achievement across all grade levels in the district.

“In small groups teachers can listen and make corrections immediately,” said Lolli. “When you’re able to teach ten to eleven students at a time instead of twenty to twenty-four it’s easier to make education more specialized and specific to individual academic needs.”