Press Release

Students Become Successful Readers via Pilot Program

Orange, Calif. – March 11, 2016 – The results are in, and Orange Unified School District is happy to announce that students utilizing a pilot reading program at California Elementary School have shown remarkable increases on the DIBELS Next, a commonly used reading assessment.

Implemented in randomly assigned second-grade California Elementary School classrooms in the spring of 2015, the pilot program entailed the use of Lexia Reading Core5 in conjunction with the school’s existing curriculum for English Language Arts, Houghton Mifflin Reading program. A total of 49 students received one-to-one access to digital devices loaded with the Lexia software, allowing students to practice and learn fundamental literacy skills at their own pace. 

At the start of the pilot program, 84 percent of the students tested started one or more grade levels behind their academic grade in reading. By last May—only 16 weeks into the pilot program—less than one-third of students were working below grade level. In addition, pilot students had an average of 25% growth on the DIBELS Next reading assessment.

“It was important to us that the solution we chose integrates great teacher-led instruction along with the activities occurring in the program,” said Principal John Albert, EdD. “When a student begins to struggle, the software immediately provides diagnostic data and a lesson plan the teacher can use to support instruction the next day. For our master teachers, these lessons are a fantastic launching point for instruction; and for our less experienced teachers, these lessons provide a rigorous, structured approach ensuring that we have a minimum baseline of quality instruction—which is key for me as a principal.”

In addition, classroom teachers helped students to self-monitor their progress towards year-end-benchmarks.

“We have classroom charts where students can track their progress towards goals,” said Resource Teacher Miranda Bauman, “The students are so happy when they ‘level-up’ and get to explore another new part of the world within the program theme. This helps keep the students engaged and motivates them to achieve the small goals, as well as the big goals.”

A research presentation regarding the California Elementary School pilot program will be shared at the upcoming Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) EdMedia conference in Vancouver, B.C., being held in June.

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The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 28,000 students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  The school district, founded in 1953, encompasses 108 square miles.  The District office is located at 1401 N. Handy Street, Orange, California.