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Customer Spotlight: Sarah Rines

Written by
August 30th, 2019

Spotlight On:

Sarah Rines, 7th Grade Science Teacher

Calavera Hills Middle School, Carlsbad Unified School District (Carlsbad, CA)

School Description:

  • 574 students, Grades 6-8
  • Free/Reduced Lunch Population: 32%
  • Suburban community, 115,330 total population

How do you use Illuminate with your students?

Illuminate is a tool that I use in multiple ways with my students. I started off using it for assessments, but I have recently added the use of on-the-fly assessments for check ins and the Standards-Based Gradebook (SBG).

What challenge does Illuminate help you or your students solve?

Illuminate helps me know—right then and there—where my students are (in terms of progressing toward understanding the standards), and if I need to reteach any information. Since I have started using the SBG, I have also found that students are no longer focusing on their specific grade (87.6%). Instead, they focus on the level that they’re at, and what they can do to increase their understanding. This has changed the conversations that I have with both parents and students.

What success have you found using Illuminate?

One of the successes of having Illuminate is that all parties get instant feedback. We are all able to see the student responses, and assign next steps through the use of PRA, which I am just getting started with. The idea is so exciting to me that every student can have a “next step” pre-loaded into the program, based on their test scores—including those who are in need of a challenge, not remediation!

What advice would you give to someone just starting out with Illuminate?

What helped me get started with using Illuminate was to try one thing, consistently, and get the hang of it.  After I was proficient with one aspect, I added on another, and another. Take it slow—there is a lot to take in and learn about!


Illuminate Education partners with K-12 educators to equip them with data to serve the whole child and reach new levels of student performance. Our solution brings together holistic data and collaborative tools and puts them in the hands of educators. Illuminate supports over 17 million students and 5200 districts/schools.

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