Adaptive Learning

Texas District Expands Use of Adaptive Reading Programs

Grand Prairie Independent School District is expanding use of two blended reading programs following a successful rollout at 30 schools last school year.

The district is implementing Scientific Learning's Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant at an additional seven schools.

"Across the board, we've seen gains in the reading levels of our students who have been using the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs," said Linda Ellis, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning for Grand Prairie ISD, in a prepared statement. "It's really allowed us to accelerate our reading instruction for our students."

Seventy-two percent of the district's student population is economically disadvantaged, 22 percent have limited proficiency in English and 9 percent receive some kind of special education services. Each school decides how and by which students the programs will be used.

"In many schools, the programs are used by struggling readers, English language learners and students receiving special education services," according to a news release. "In addition, some schools make the programs available to specific grade levels or other populations, such as students participating in the gifted and talented program."

"When students struggle in reading, it's often difficult to identify the root cause," added Ellis. "Fast ForWord starts with cognitive skills such as memory, attention and processing speed, and works from the bottom up to remediate underlying difficulties that keep students from making progress. With Reading Assistant, students receive individualized reading coaching every time they use the software. The schools that weren't using these programs saw the improvements in other schools and thus made the choice to implement the programs this year. We're hoping to see the same success in these schools that we've seen in our other schools."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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