It all began in a classroom....

Kathy Michael

KAMICO® Instructional Media, Inc. embarked on a mission in 1988 to develop the most effective instructional and test preparation materials possible and to distribute those materials at prices that made them accessible to all students. Founder and current president Kathy Michael was a classroom teacher when she created the initial instructional and test preparation books and games after finding no products available that met her students' academic needs. Her knowledge of the classroom, children's learning styles, curriculum design and development, and assessment requirements led to the creation of a results-oriented product line that is engaging, challenging, and effective.

Today, KAMICO®'s expansive product line provides educators with the tools to ensure student mastery of state curriculum standards and success on state assessments. These tools are used by educators across the country to assess the academic strengths and weaknesses of students, assist students in mastering curriculum standards determined by their state, build students' test-taking endurance, develop students' test-taking skills, and relieve students' test-taking anxiety. From one Texas classroom, the use of Ms. Michael's materials quickly spread across the state--including through the highly acclaimed Brazosport school district--and then throughout the country as educators who praised these materials shared their students' academic progress and test results with other teachers, principals, and superintendents.

"Once I saw the educator and student needs, I designed the assessment, developmental, and maintenance/retention curriculum. As I created the materials, I used them with my students. While watching the phenomenal academic gains experienced by all students--from disadvantaged and at-risk populations to gifted populations--I began to realize that I had to share my materials with educators across the state and then replicate my methodology for students across the entire country," Ms. Michael states.

Throughout the past decade, KAMICO® has grown rapidly to include a staff of talented writers with classroom teaching experience, award-winning illustrators, and expert programmers. This team supports over 350 titles and products with over 23,000 unique high-quality field-tested items.

"As word spread, it became increasingly clear that I could not keep up with the demand for additional curriculum materials. I began to build a staff of fellow educators, artists, programmers, and others who strongly believed in my mission and possessed a driving passion for helping children learn."

Following the overwhelming market acceptance of the company's full suite of books spanning all areas of the curriculum from kindergarten through grade 12, KAMICO® began development of a computer-based product line in response to educators' requests for an interactive software product. KAMICO®'s Path to Mastery™ software runs on a network or stand-alone and consists of two components--the Student Instructional Program and the Teachers' Management Database System. The Student Instructional Program consists of tens of thousands of questions and interactive tutorials that guide students through the learning process. Students receive personalized feedback and graphic representations of their progress. The Teachers' Management Database System allows educators to disaggregate data by numerous demographics, providing teachers with the information needed to tailor instruction to meet the needs of individual students, small groups of students, or entire classes of students.

"Our challenge was to develop an instructional software program that could be used by schools that are facing great financial difficulties and do not have the resources to upgrade to new computer equipment. We knew we had to compete with the look being created by competitors developing for the latest technology. We were willing to absorb additional development costs in order to release a colorful, engaging, animated, interactive software package that was able to run on the schools' existing platforms."

Because of the consistent, driving focus of Ms. Michael and her talented associates, KAMICO® has established a reputation not only for outstanding, integrated curriculum materials, but also for strong customer support, prompt order processing, and immediate product delivery.

"Since many of us are from the classroom, we know how much time can lapse between when a teacher or principal turns in a requisition and when an order is processed through the central office. Therefore, we do everything possible to ship the day we receive an order. Also, we know that most teachers only have access to telephones during short periods between classes or before and after school. When an educator calls with a question or concern, he or she is immediately transferred to a classroom specialist or knowledgeable programmer. Educators are surprised and thrilled to be able to get solid, usable answers fast from experts when they need our help," says Ms. Michael.

KAMICO®'s methodology is based on a three-step cycle: (1) assessing student knowledge, (2) disaggregating data to identify academic skills that have been mastered and those that need additional reinforcement and development, and (3) customizing instruction for individual students, small groups of students, and entire classes of students. Through the years, as schools and school systems have continued to respond to the increasing demands of standards-based reform, KAMICO®'s technology tools have been tailored to simplify the work for teachers and administrators.

"Our data disaggregation systems enable all parties to be more knowledgeable and aware of where they stand . . . the students, the teachers, and the administrators. Implement the KAMICO® program, and I assure you there will be no surprises when you receive your test results."

Today KAMICO® Instructional Media, Inc. leads the industry in standards-based curriculum, data disaggregation, and standards-based assessment preparation.

"Our mission at KAMICO® is to provide academic support, as well as moral support, to the most important, hardworking, influencers in America--our educators. We will continue to devote our intellectual resources to developing quality materials tuned to curriculum standards being adopted and assessed by states across the country," Ms. Michael says. "Our children are worth nothing less than the absolute best. The benefits we provide them and their educators will be returned to us many times over in benefits to our society. Here at KAMICO®, we are very aware that when we touch the life of a child, we are impacting the future of our country."