Laurel, Delaware

Go Bulldogs! Delaware’s North Laurel Elementary Inspires Student Success

Educators in Laurel, DE are thrilled to see big gains in their students’ learning over the past couple years. What’s their secret? (Besides wearing red to show school pride!) Teachers and district leaders agree that Smarter Balanced instructional supports were the missing ingredient in their recipe for success. Learn how they use the Digital Library and interim assessment tools to hone in on achievement levels and tailor instruction to push student potential.

The Laurel School District

Location: Western Sussex County

School: North Laurel Elementary

Mission: Prepare All Students for Success in the 21st Century

Interview Date: May 2018

“Our kids have done awesome. We did not expect the growth that we’ve had, and I believe it’s because of what I’ve used from the Digital Library.”Gina Voges, 4th Grade Teacher

Spotlight on Strategy

How has the district helped students achieve such impressive growth? The Laurel School District has embraced the full suite of Smarter Balanced instructional tools, including Interim Assessments, Connections Playlists, and resources in the Digital Library.

  • The depth of information teachers receive from the interim assessments provides insight into the areas each student needs support.
  • Teachers reflect on what they need to return to and use the Digital Library to pinpoint lessons that will best target topics.
  • As a collaborative group, often during Personal Learning Community (PLC) time, or as a teaching team, teachers work together to develop new strategies and interventions using Connections Playlists that link achievement levels to Digital Library Resources.

Meet the Star Educators

Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction
4th Grade Teacher, North Laurel Elementary
4th Grade ELA Teacher, North Laurel Elementary
4th Grade Special Education Teacher, North Laurel Elementary

Interview Day: Behind the Scenes

  • Jamie Pastusak and Kati Hartstein (4th Grade Teachers) appear on camera together to discuss Smarter Balanced instructional tools. Jamie Pastusak and Kati Hartstein (4th Grade Teachers) appear on camera together during the Smarter Balanced interview.
  • Ashley Giska, Assistant Superintendent, explains the impact of the Digital Library, one piece of Smarter Balanced instructional tools, on teaching during an interview with Smarter Balanced's video producer. Ashley Giska, Assistant Superintendent, explains the impact of the Digital Library on instruction during an interview with Smarter Balanced’s video producer.
  • Gina Voges, 4th Grade Teacher, says the Digital Library, a Smarter Balanced Institutional Tool, provides best practices and helps teachers find creative ways to solve instructional challenges.Gina Voges, 4th Grade Teacher, says the Digital Library provides best practices and helps teachers find creative ways to solve instructional challenges.
  • Jamie Pastusak and Kati Hartstein, along with other Laurel educators, were interviewed in the North Laurel Elementary library, where they discusses Smarter Balanced Instructional Tools.Jamie Pastusak and Kati Hartstein, along with other Laurel educators, were interviewed in the North Laurel Elementary library.