Exemplars is an Effective Resource to Address Instructional Learning Gaps in Math


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Wilton Public Schools, headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut, is a school district of four school campuses spanning Pre-K to 12th grades, with a total student enrollment of 3,843.


At Wilton Public Schools, developing a district-wide initiative to address learning loss in mathematics caused by pandemic-related educational shifts was the goal. Leaders realized students would need strategic support to bridge learning gaps upon return to in-person instruction. After recognizing a need for a platform that develops students’ problem-solving, communication, and collaboration skills, a preference for a rigorous, resource-rich, and innovative learning program arose.


Exemplars performance tasks that require students to approach and solve real-world-problems with multiple solution paths were the perfect resource for Wilton Public Schools to use as the springboard for an intensive tutoring program. In addition, leaders appreciated the flexible and creative thinking students practiced as they worked through a wide variety of tasks, making, and transferring connections of new found math skills inside and outside of the classroom.

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The Challenge

Leaders at Wilton Public Schools recognized that learning gaps during remote instruction would result in students performing below grade-level expectations in mathematics. Wilton Public Schools desired a resource that would be an accessible lift for teachers to incorporate alongside a tutoring program to supplement instruction for students that did not receive supplemental instructional services during distance learning and whose performance on assessments determined a need for additional support.

Choosing Exemplars

Wilton Public Schools developed a 10-week tutoring program as an initial triage for students transitioning back to in-person instruction.  Understanding that teachers didn’t have the time or capacity to internalize a complicated platform, it was imperative they found an effective resource consisting of a solid curriculum base with a prescribed program that would be acessible for instructors to learn and utilize. Exemplars content-rich digital math Library, combined with a flexible and transferable way for students to problem solve and critically think, provided Wilton Public Schools with the perfect platform to augment their tutoring program.  Students of all levels showed excitement when solving Exemplars rigorous problems and even engaged at a higher level while collaborating in small group settings as they analyzed their various approaches to understanding, unpacking, and solving problems.

The Outcome

Ten weeks after using Exemplars, teachers saw significant improvement in student learning outcomes, filling the learning loss gaps caused by a change in instructional methods during remote learning.  Teachers quickly learned how to incorporate Exemplars into their program. Students began to uncover their pathways to solve Exemplars performance tasks, collaborating to brainstorm and lead group discussions around possible solutions to the complex problems.  As a result, students at Wilton Public Schools grew to be more comfortable with thinking creatively and justifying their problem-solving decisions.  Teachers were so impressed with the positive growth students in the tutoring program experienced that they began to use Exemplars with all students at all ability levels.

Exemplars provide a more flexible and transferable way for kids to problem solve and critically think!

Nina Sealund
Fourth-grade teacher

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School Profile:

Population Density: Suburban*
Size: 1,920 K–5 Enrollment*
Math Proficiency: 75%*
Free & Reduced Lunch: 2%*
*Source: Niche.com