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How Progress Learning Supports Montgomery, Alabama Public Schools

Montgomery Public Schools in Alabama is making waves in education with its innovative use of Progress Learning. They use our program for assessments, to supplement their instruction, and to create tailored pathways for their students. Recently, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Sonya Floyd, the Math Specialist for K-5th grades, to talk about how Progress Learning is supporting teaching and learning in their district.


The primary way Montgomery Public Schools uses Progress Learning is to create interim assessments. As Sonya explains, “Based on our curriculum guides, [the district] designs assessments for the standards that are taught weekly, biweekly, as well as monthly and nine weeks.”

Sonya particularly enjoys the rigor of the questions. “I believe that the rigor is there for the students, especially when we take the interim assessments.” This rigor ensures that students are exposed to higher-order thinking, allowing them to feel better prepared for state testing. “We sometimes see the difference in what the classroom instruction has and what Progress Learning has which really helps us to build because we’re getting closer and closer to proficiency for the ACAP assessment,” says Sonya.

Some teachers use Progress Learning assessments — including the pre- and post-assessments — to spiral review in preparation for state testing. “For math in particular, we’re looking at those standards and the teachers are able to go back and reflect and scaffold or spiral those assessments prior to the actual ACAP assessment.”

Flexibility and Collaboration

Both district administrators and teachers have the flexibility to create and share assessments in Progress Learning. Montgomery Public Schools makes sure to make the most of this feature. “We start at the district office level with our curriculum guides to make sure that we’re looking at our data and seeing how we should make adjustments in our instruction across the district,” says Sonya. “We also have individual schools who make the assessments in order to support their buildings, and they share those assessments with other schools.”

With this capability, teachers have the freedom to create assessments that are tailored to their specific classroom needs. “The teachers have that priority to say, ‘Hey, I made this assessment, but this is where we are. We didn’t complete all of the standards within the pacing, so we’re just going to build or design this assessment.’”

This flexibility allows for greater collaboration between educators across schools. “For Elementary math coaches, there are some conversations that can take place when they’re in their coaching community, just looking at, ‘Hey, how did you do on your last assessment?’ And they’re able to kind of compare and really look at those assessments and support their students and teachers.” With the help of Progress Learning’s assessments, teachers at Montgomery Public Schools can engage in meaningful conversations, share best practices, and collectively support student learning.

100% CoS-Aligned Instructional Resources

In addition to assessments, Progress Learning offers a wealth of instructional resources that are 100% aligned with Alabama Course of Study. “One of the things that we found that we really love about Progress Learning is that it has looked at Alabama state standards, especially for math, and has made sure that the standards align to the Alabama state standards,” says Sonya.

These resources have been a massive help in supplementing the district’s instruction and providing more variety in their material. As Sonya explains, “One of the things that we try to do is make sure that our teachers have a variety of resources that they can use. The textbook we use as our Tier 1 instruction but sometimes those questions may not specifically look like assessment questions or students just need more practice in a different format. And so teachers assign Progress Learning to their students.”  

According to Sonya, what sets Progress Learning apart is the amount and variety of questions per standard. “We love how Progress Learning allows multiple different types of questions for that particular standard. Also the scaffolding of the DOK levels,” she says. In addition, the bell ringers “come in handy” because “if students are not understanding, they have multiple questions.”

Tailored Pathways

One of the most impactful features of Progress Learning is its ability to support diverse student pathways with our Study Plans. Sonya admits that she didn’t actually know about this feature at first, just the assessments. But now that she and the district are aware of it, she says it’s become instrumental in intervention, enrichment, and small group instruction in their schools. “We have some schools that are using it and allowing students to dive deeper into the learning in order to support the instruction. Especially in small groups, they’re able to use it, as well as for intervention and the enrichment piece.”

Summer Learning Camps

Progress Learning has been crucial for Montgomery Public Schools, especially during the summer months when they hold literacy and math camps. During these summer camps, they use Progress Learning in myriad ways. “We use Progress Learning for formative assessments [and] for small groups based on the needs of the buildings,” explains Sonya.  

These summer learning camps take place in June, which doesn’t leave much time for learning. “What we try to do is look at the essential standards for our summer learning camps because we know it’s a short window just to make sure students are trying to recover some of the standards that perhaps they’ve missed or have not mastered throughout the school year,” says Sonya. Progress Learning helps target and address those essential standards so students can learn in the limited time they have and feel ready for the next school year.

Professional Development and Training

At Progress Learning, we don’t abandon you as soon as you subscribe. We offer ongoing training and professional development to ensure our districts find success with the program. Sonya shares that this has been incredibly helpful. “I think Progress Learning has done a great job with just what educators are needing in order to implement the instruction.”

To ensure their educators knew about the program and how best to use it, Montgomery Public Schools started training at the central office. “We started with the central office and made sure that central office was knowledgeable of Progress Learning assessments, the pathways, and all of the components.” Then, once they felt comfortable with the program, the district administrators provided support to their teachers.

Sonya explains that whenever the district needs training, it’s easy. “At any time we need support, we can have small groups of teachers or large groups of teachers via Zoom. With whole groups, the specialists are providing that support to the teachers. And then from there, we may roll out small groups for our new teachers where we go into the schools and provide support, making sure that they have access to Progress Learning and know how to use it, read the reports, even just being able to find where it is located within the school.”

In addition, Sonya appreciates that our product team at Progress Learning is always listening to feedback. When she and other Alabama educators voiced concern that some standards were missing in Progress Learning, we took note and added them in. “Progress Learning, they listen,” says Sonya.


Montgomery Public Schools is dedicated to delivering excellence in education — and Progress Learning plays a big part in that. Our program helps supplement their assessment programming, ease collaboration between teachers, supplement classroom instruction, and create tailored pathways for students. It makes it easier for district administrators to support their teachers, which in turn, makes it easier for them to support their students. 

Sonya sums it up nicely:

“For Montgomery Public Schools, the support that we provide our teachers with Progress Learning has been overwhelmingly great.”

Thank you, Sonya and Montgomery Public Schools, for trusting us in your district! We’re so glad to hear that our program has helped supplement your instruction and ensure your students master Alabama Course of Study.If it sounds like Progress Learning would be a great fit for your district, request your free demo today.

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