Online curricular resource gaining popularity

In the two years since SAS Curriculum Pathways online educational resources were made available at no charge, the number of teacher and school accounts has skyrocketed. Growing national support for educational technology has driven 134 percent growth in teacher accounts and a 525 percent jump in registered schools.

“Today’s students are the toughest crowd when it comes to education technology. Free resources only flourish if they are effective,” said Bruce Friend, Director of SAS Curriculum Pathways. “SAS Curriculum Pathways’ quality, coupled with the national push to integrate technology and engaging content into education at all levels, has powered our success.”

SAS Curriculum Pathways, used in all 50 states, provides standards-based content for middle and high schools in core academic disciplines – English, mathematics, social studies, science and Spanish. The product offers more than 1,200 academic resources, including lessons, engaging activities and interactive teaching tools, plus links to more than 4,000 academically appropriate websites.
At South Granville (NC) High School, SAS Curriculum Pathways underpins a technology-focused redesign, including laptops for all students and teachers. The goal is to graduate 100 percent of students. In just two years, 20.3 percent more students are graduating, attendance has increased and disciplinary action decreased.

“Before the redesign, kids were disengaging. Discipline referrals were through the roof, dropout rates rising, and our graduation rate wasn’t acceptable,” said Granville County Public Schools Superintendent Timothy Farley, EdD. “SAS Curriculum Pathways enables us to provide direction to teachers and focus to students. It’s not the laptops. It’s the ability of teachers to engage kids in learning, rather than just providing instruction, that’s really critical.”

Among the favorite resources are virtual labs on photosynthesis and stream ecology, social studies activities on freedom of speech in schools and the Standard Oil monopoly, and the popular Writing Reviser. The Writing Reviser is an automated writing coach providing extensive feedback on everything from verb selection to sentence construction.

While traditional public schools make up approximately 75 percent of school accounts, SAS Curriculum Pathways supports wide-ranging classroom environments, technology capabilities and learning styles. More than 150 virtual schools have accounts.

"Parents and students use the phrase 'Completing my SAS' in discussions with counselors and teachers, a testament to the product's importance in every subject,” said Caterina Trimm, Director of E-Learning and Head of Online School at Catholic Schools K-12 Virtual .

To support its customers, the SAS Curriculum Pathways team provides a variety of professional-development options – on-site sessions, self-paced courses, Web conferences and open houses. In 2010, professional development specialists worked with approximately 900 US educators. Educators interested in making the most of their SAS Curriculum Pathways subscription may consider professional development for their school or district.