Compass Learning Classroom Heroes | Classroom Hero – Chantelle Szczech-Jones

Chantelle Szczech-Jones

7th Grade Math Instructor

Tesla Education Opportunity School

Colorado Springs School District 11

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Nominated By: Compass Learning Implementation Manager Annie Evans

Tesla Education Opportunity School, an alternative program for 6th through 8th graders, has qualified for Title I every year for the past seven years. Most of its students are on free or reduced lunch, have had past attendance issues, and are at least three to four years behind grade level in math.


The district purchased a CompassLearning Odyssey instructional package that did not include K–3 lessons, so Szczech-Jones spent a great deal of time creating lessons and folders for her 7th grade students who were working below a 4th grade level.


“Since all of my students need math intervention, I required all of them to do 90 minutes of Odyssey math work per week,” explains Szczech-Jones. “Half of Monday and Friday are scheduled for Compass Learning in students’ core math classes. During this time students were expected to work in the NWEA folders that corresponded to their individual MAP scores. This ensured students experienced success, because they were allowed to work at their skill level rather than their grade level. The students in the intervention class worked on lessons that helped prepare them for the next chapter in math class. These students would get more practice on the skills needed to understand the new information. Another way I used Odyssey is for studying and test preparation. I would assign folders before tests, in order to provide opportunities for students to learn how to check for their own understanding.


“I noticed that the students using Odyssey were much more involved with the lessons than with other types of intervention,” concludes Szczech-Jones. “I believe that the kid-friendly approach to the lessons helped students stay on-task longer. I also noticed students frequently talking to the computer while they worked, showing total engagement. Additionally, they demonstrated an improvement in their understanding of the vocabulary. And, being able to build assessments that create learning paths tailored to each individual student has helped to close the achievement gap and foster a new sense of excitement for math.”


Szczech-Jones says critical factors to her success have been a combination of the professional development provided by CompassLearning Impact Teacher Academy, as well as administrative support and adequate technology provided by her district. “The professional development was extremely helpful in showing me the variety of ways Compass Learning can be used to enhance the core curriculum,” she explains. “Through professional development, I was able to create pre/post assessments for the units in the core curriculum, track progress through a variety of reports and quizzes, and create study guides for all students to use. The administrative support and the abundant technology (students had a laptop cart available for their use) allowed me to use the program with my students whenever necessary. I was able to create a lesson for a student who was still struggling, and that student was able to work on the lessons immediately, rather than having to wait for the next opportunity to access a computer.”