St. Clair R-XIII School District, Missouri

St. Clair Superintendent Michael Murphy believes that education must adapt more quickly to today’s evolving world and teach students how to learn independently in the digital age. He sees myON as a catalyst for digital transformation, helping teachers readily and enthusiastically convert to new instructional approaches. 

"myON is a fabulous addition to our tools that help support student learning objectives related to student growth." ​

“I thought it would take more time to get where we are now because of the amount of change we were asking of our teachers, students and parents in the district,” Dr. Murphy explained. “We’ve accelerated the awareness, adoption and utilization of digital learning with myON, cutting what would take four years down to two.”

Following a summer school pilot, St. Clair embarked on a full scale, 1-to-1 initiative during the 2014-2015 school year, with tablets and laptops provided to every studentand teacher in every grade level. To help address Missouri’s Learning Standards, everyone was given access to myON. 

“Mobility is a necessity not a luxury in schools today,” Dr. Murphy emphasized. “It removes limitations to learning. Every student should have access when they need it, particularly given the diversity of their needs. No longer should students have to wait to use a computer or check out a book.”

Implementing an Aggressive, Workable Plan

The district pursued an aggressive yet workable plan of technology integration across its schools, driven by a shared educational vision and strong school culture.

Through myON, teachers are becoming more adept at using digital reading and writing strategies and students are showing significant literacy gains.

St. Clair’s implementation plan for myON begins with the youngest learners through the district’s Parents as Teachers early childhood program and partnerships with daycares and preschools in the area. “PD is available for staff, who in turn help parents understand how myON can help build that foundation for literacy at the preschool level, and how powerful that is,” Assistant Superintendent Nadine Aitch explained. Between July 2015 and May 2016, youngsters from birth to age five read 3,247 books on myON through a shared, community account.

By supporting content-area literacy across the K-12 curriculum and providing the tools to assess student learning, myON complements St. Clair’s Balanced Literacy approach. Teachers use myON to support subject-area curricular units as well as the scope and sequence of building technology skills. Data available within myON also helps St. Clair meet the state’s teacher evaluation requirements.

“Teachers need to directly align student learning objectives to grow and be intentional with the data they are collecting – and they need to be sure the instruction in their classrooms is high quality and moving students along,” Aitch said. “We don’t have room for initiatives that can’t help us there. myON is a fabulous addition to our tools that help support student learning objectives related to student growth.” 

"Mobility is a necessity not a luxury in schools today. It removes limitations to learning."

Most crucially, St. Clair empowers teachers and students to be leaders. The district uses the Leader in Me program to develop leadership and life skills, and allows sta the autonomy and exibility to try new things and leverage their expertise.

Students work with parents and teachers to set goals and monitor their own progress within myON. They know their Lexile® and reading scores and strive for higher levels individually and together with their classmates.

“Teachers and students need a growth mindset in an environment where we are trying to change the landscape of learning,” Dr. Murphy stated. “We must trust our students and teachers with the opportunity to take risks and learn from them.” 

Strengthening the home-school connection is another welcome outcome. “Parents haven’t had the opportunity prior to using myON to understand their children’s reading levels,” Aitch said. “myON gives us the tools and common language to deepen their involvement in their kids’ literacy.”

Encouraging a Growth Mindset for All

While St. Clair was in the process of completely overhauling everything from curriculum to instruction to assessment, myON helped smooth the way. Their initial success was further bolstered by the culture established within the schools.

Teachers are supported through job-embedded training and a collaborative environment. Instructional coaches at each school help teachers identify ways to incorporate myON into their teaching and adjust strategies based on their classroom needs. Instructional coaches and teachers attend select technology conferences around the country so they can see the district’s vision of learning in practice, gather new ideas and come away energized. 

St. Clair uses a highly structured and selective PLC model that focuses on data-driven instruction. Teachers examine data weekly, including reports provided within myON that indicate time spent reading, books completed and Lexile® scores for individuals and groups of students. Based on this and other data sets, teachers work together on strategies to build upon successes and address shortfalls. 

Most crucially, St. Clair empowers teachers and students to be leaders. The district uses the Leader in Me program to develop leadership and life skills, and allows staff the autonomy and flexibility to try new things and leverage their expertise.

Students work with parents and teachers to set goals and monitor their own progress within myON. They know their Lexile® and reading scores and strive for higher levels individually and together with their classmates.

“Teachers and students need a growth mindset in an environment where we are trying to change the landscape of learning,” Dr. Murphy stated. “We must trust our students and teachers with the opportunity to take risks and learn from them.”