In a culture of continuous improvement, many types of data – including demographics, program outcomes, performance indicators, and student outcomes – are used to provide affiliates with feedback and to identify best practices. Training and professional development are provided to affiliate directors and program leaders to improve program planning, design, implementation, and evaluation.
How does Horizons assess student performance?
1) We use STAR Early Literacy (Pre-K through grade 1), STAR Reading (grades 2 through 8), and STAR Math (grades 3 through 8) to measure student performance in literacy and math. We do pre-testing before the summer session starts and use that to optimize curriculum and support for each child. We do post-testing in the last week of the summer session to assess student progress and improve future program design. We’ve worked with Renaissance Learning to establish data processing guidelines and generate custom reports from each assessment.
2) Faculty, academic leaders, reading specialists, and executive directors also contribute feedback and outcome data annually through reports and surveys. In addition, Horizons students and family members participate in a qualitative survey. A centralized student, staff, and program database allows for real-time and same-time access of information for affiliates and Horizons National.
STAR Assessments and Results
These assessments have consistently demonstrated impressive gains for all Horizons students. On average, Horizons students improve 8-12 weeks in reading and math skills over the six-week summer period. Those gains, when added to the “summer slide” our students thus avoid, leave our students 5-6 months ahead of where they would have been without Horizons.