JACKSONVILLE, FL - June 4, 2019. The School Board of Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) has approved Penda Learning Science for the 2019 - 2020 academic year, marking four consecutive years of educational partnership between Penda Learning and Duval County Public Schools. Penda Learning, a science-focused intervention tool and supplemental resource, provides DCPS students in grades 5, 8, and high school biology courses with remedial practice and enrichment via standards-based activities built on a gaming platform. By authentically engaging students in research-based pedagogy, Penda Learning science has consistently increased student outcomes. Efficacy research independently conducted by Dr. Dale Mann of Columbia University and a 2018 impact evaluation white paper written by Dr. Brenda Conway, Ed.S. shows 78% of all grade 8 students who completed as little as 5 hours on Penda Learning achieved proficiency on the Florida Science State Assessment (SSA). Other key findings from these studies show there are statistically significant relationships between a student's use of Penda Learning and their subsequent state assessment performance in science - approximately 10 percentage points differential, including economically disadvantaged students. DCPS students previously demonstrated 56% proficiency on the Grade 5 SSA, 44% on the Grade 8 SSA, and 64% on the Biology End-of-Course (EOC) exam.
How Penda Learning Works. Penda Learning custom aligns science activities to district curriculum maps, which target FL NGSSS standards. Science activities are assigned weekly to students on the teacher's behalf, without adding 'yet one more thing to do.' Platform features and functionality provide teachers with tools to easily differentiate instruction and institute Response To Intervention (RTI) Tier 2 and 3 support. Automated standards-based class mastery reports are sent to teachers weekly via email to support data-driven instruction and proactive intervention.