Falk School, Madison

Falk Elementary School was the recipient of a TEF grant – and it went straight to work to improve the quality of learning for the school’s students. The grant importantly made a direct impact by reducing the digital divide that contributes to the achievement gap found in the Madison School District.

Before the school received the grant, Falk students had limited access to technology. There was only one Google Chromebook for each approx. 8 students. As a result, teachers could only provide a limited amount of time for students to work on computers during the school day, and this made it very difficult for students to "meet their weekly minutes" quota for the district-provided Lexia program (a program designed to build foundational literacy skills).  

This all changed with the TEF grant. This gift allowed Falk to not only purchase additional Chromebooks (the ratio improved to one Chromebook for each approx. 5 students), but to also add to the curricular resources available for teachers and students. Falk students now have greater access to online learning, and classrooms use technology in purposeful ways to supplement and enhance core instruction. 

Falk test results have been very encouraging, and show that the TEF grant has contributed to the rising standardized scores of Falk students. Since obtaining the grant, the percentage of students scoring at a proficient/advanced level on MAP reading has gone up by nearly 7% (with African American students scoring at a proficient/advanced level has increased by 8%). The percent of students who met their Fall-Spring growth target on MAP Reading has increased to 58%. 

Student behavior has also improved; the frequency and severity of negative student behaviors is down from previous years, with Falk having the 5th lowest suspension rate of all district schools. 

Other great results: student attendance is up by approx. 2% for each quarter in the most recent school year. School leadership has explained that engagement opportunities provided by increased instructional technology have been a factor in the growth as a school. Another notable result of the TEF grant is quite remarkable and perhaps a bit unexpected – Falk’s staff and parents feel the climate of the school has improved, as shown by the results of the parent climate survey. The school’s climate showed the greatest improvement of all the schools in the District.