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  Preparing Kindergartners for College and Career Readiness


Blending learning in primary grades at Utica Community Schools

Imagine a kindergarten student working on second grade reading comprehension while the classmate next to her practices pre-kindergarten math skills. Both are able to work independently at their own pace because of the adaptive software on the iPads they are using. Look further, and you see 18 kindergartners working and learning independently using the technology, while six others meet with their teacher for small group instruction.

Sound like the future? Well, the future is already here in Utica Community Schools, where 4,000 kindergarten and first grade students thrive in this data-driven blending learning model every day. Watch this recorded webinar with Dr. Mary Johnston, Utica’s Executive Director of Innovation, Federal and State Programs and Curriculum, and Mrs. Catherine Einhaus, Director of Elementary Programs, as they share how they use data and personalized iPad learning to significantly increase the number of students on track for college and career readiness.

This recorded webinar will explore the successful iPad program at UCS, including the

  • Model: Hear the UCS definition of blended learning, their unique blended learning classroom model and approach to personalized learning.
  • Targeted instruction: Learn how UCS uses data to increase the quality of teacher instruction time by enabling more small group instruction.

  • Student agency: Discover how UCS enables student agency and voice to digitally monitor the students’ confidence level daily and give them input into app selection and their own learning goals.

  • Results: See the positive impact of personalized blended learning on student achievement and college and career readiness in whole group and subgroup analysis.

Ms. Johnston

Dr. Mary Johnston

Executive Director of Innovation, Federal and State Programs and Curriculum

Dr. Johnston has been a professional educator for 25 years. Currently she is the Executive Director of Innovation, Federal and State Programs and Curriculum for Utica Community Schools, where she has served for the past eight years. She works in the Teaching and Learning Department and oversees the curricular initiatives in 25 elementary buildings, 7 junior highs and 4 high schools. Mary works closely with administrators and teachers to ensure that all students are working toward college and career readiness.

Prior to working in Utica Community Schools, Mary’s experiences included serving as an elementary building principal, literacy support specialist, adjunct professor, adult education teacher and elementary classroom teacher. Mary has delivered professional development to teachers at the local, state and national levels.

Mrs. Einhaus

Mrs. Catherine Einhaus

Director of Elementary Programs

Mrs. Einhaus has been a professional educator for twenty years with Utica Community Schools in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Throughout her career, Catherine has taught first through fifth grade and elementary foreign language K-6. In addition, Catherine spent two years as an elementary principal. In 2008, Catherine was selected as a Milken Educator. Currently, she is the Director of Elementary Programs for Utica Community Schools.