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Conway PSD Ramps Up Reading Skills Development

Conway Public School District in Arkansas introduced new reading skills development software to the district in 2011 and is now expanding its use district-wide. All elementary and middle schools in the district are now using Lexia Reading, a technology-based reading program from Lexia Learning Systems.

Lexia Reading is reading skills development software for students from pre-Kindergarten through grade 4 and reading remediation software for students in grades 4 through 12. According to the company, it provides age-appropriate and skill-specific activities that conform to federal guidelines and are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Students use the software independently and receive systematic and structured practice on foundational reading skills. The software advances students through the levels as they demonstrate proficiency on each one, prioritizes students deemed most at risk, and recommends direct, teacher-led skill instruction when necessary to address specific skill gaps.

Lexia Reading also includes a built-in assessment feature that uses an approach called "Assessment without Testing." It monitors student performance and automatically provides teachers with real-time information about students' specific reading skill gaps. It also predicts each student's percent chance of reaching the end-of-year benchmarks. When it predicts that a student won't meet those benchmarks, the software prioritizes that student to receive individualized or small group instruction, provides the teachers and other specialists with structured lesson plans and strategies targeted at the student's skill gaps, and suggests the number of minutes per week the student should use Lexia Reading to reach the benchmarks for that grade level.

“Before we were using Lexia Reading, our other reading program just didn’t offer a way to easily access the data and we weren’t catching students soon enough who needed intense reading recovery," said Charlotte Vann, director of special education and federal programs for the Conway Public School District. "That’s not the case with Lexia. It is truly data driven with useable data that prescribes the correct amount of support needed to help each individual child, whether a struggling reader or one on pace.”

Conway Public School District in Conway, Arkansas, serves more than 9,000 students and operates nine elementary schools and four middle schools, as well as one junior high school, one high school, and one pre-school.

Further information about Lexia Reading is available on the Lexia Learning Systems site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].