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It takes more than technology to improve student outcomes and school culture

MSD Warren found that by working with Ed Elements to take personalized learning beyond a technology implementation, they could achieve the results they had been seeking.


of students met or exceeded projected growth in math


of students met or exceeded projected growth in reading


of teachers say they feel comfortable innovating and taking risks with their instruction to personalized learning

Metropolitan School District of Warren Township, IN

The Metropolitan School District of Warren Township (MSD Warren) is an urban school district located on the east side of Indianapolis. MSD Warren serves approximately 12,300 students across 18 PK-12 school sites. In 2012, MSD Warren Township was the only Indiana district and one of only 16 districts in the United States to win the highly-competitive federally-funded Race to the Top grant awards. MSD Warren received a total of $28.5M to fund three key initiatives: personalized learning opportunities, alternative pathways to graduation, and culturally relevant PBIS and parent involvement strategies.

The Challenge

To support their Race to the Top goals, Warren went 1:1 with Chromebooks and implemented new technology in their classrooms. Despite some initial success implementing their plans, Warren struggled with how to successfully use their technology to personalize instruction for students. While they had a well-thought-out technology rollout plan, they had a less-developed plan for selecting the digital content needed to support personalized learning. They also had not fully thought through and communicated their belief system for personalized learning, including answers to questions such as “What supports do teachers need to implement personalized learning?” or “What problem(s) are we trying to solve with technology?” or “How will personalized learning fit into the district framework of continuous improvement?”

How We Helped

MSD Warren brought in Education Elements in May 2015 to ensure that technology was being used to truly personalize learning for students. Through Education Elements' workshops and support, MSD Warren clarified their vision for personalized learning: “We are all learners who deserve personalized learning experiences to become leaders who have the skills to be successful in life and create solutions for a better tomorrow.”

Additionally, the Education Elements and Warren teams worked together to determine a rollout strategy that made sense for schools. They used an analogy to signify that there were people at different ends of the same pool: some were “all in” while others were “dipping their toes in the water."

The Results

MSD Warren has seen promising results on recent NWEA MAP assessments. In 2016-2017, 56% of Warren students met or exceeded individual projected growth in math and 57% met or exceeded individual projected growth in reading.

Warren has seen behavior problems decrease. From 2013 to 2016 the rate of expulsions dropped 77%. Teachers report that throughout the shift to personalized learning they have felt strongly supported by their district and school leaders, as well as Education Elements. Over two-thirds of teachers (67%) say they feel comfortable innovating and taking risks with their instruction to personalize learning. 

“Education Elements was able to provide a significant amount of resources and they were able to connect us with other people going through the same learning process as us."

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