Clio Area Schools
Our Journey to Reading Success
By Stephen Keskes, Ed.S.
Assistant Superintendent, Clio Area Schools
2018/2019: 21 Teachers and Interventionists across all grade levels and teaching assignments volunteered to spend 3 days of their summer to receive Structured Literacy training through Children’s Choice Initiative. Newly-hired elementary teachers were mandated to attend.
We Collected Data using STAR Early Literacy, STAR Reading, DRA and M-STEP.
2019/2020: 14 more staff members were trained through CCI. These included: Summer School teachers, classroom teachers, all new elementary teachers, more Special Education staff, and paraprofessional staff. During this year, we also had 3 teachers be trained by CCI staff to be trainers of future staff.
We began collecting more STAR, DRA, and M-STEP Data.
What We Discovered
- After 3 years of declining scores in our economically disadvantaged subgroup, our ELA scores for all our students grades 3-8 rose from 47.6% to 49.7%.
- 5th Grade M-STEP Percent Proficiency Rates in Reading grew 5% for that year’s cohort, and an 8% programmatic gain over the previous year’s results.
- Every classroom implementing the program with fidelity grew over one year on the DRA and the STAR Reading Assessments.
- Educators report extremely high efficacy in the area of teaching reading after receiving and implementing the training.
- “Summer Slide” for affected students decreased dramatically.
- High school students with special education needs showed the highest growth in years.
- An increase of parents, who heard of our success, enrolled their children in our district through Schools of Choice to receive our reading instruction and support.
What Students Say
“I didn’t know how much I loved to read, because I hated it so much before!” “I think I will be a teacher when I am bigger. I would be really good. Today in school I helped some kids read a word with 4 talking vowels.”
“Today I raised my hand and volunteered to read out loud in class. My teacher almost fell out of her chair and didn’t believe I would do it. I read six pages out loud in class. My teacher was so proud and the other students told me ‘Way to go!’ I was really proud of myself.”
Teachers and Parents Share Love For CCI
“Because I have witnessed the value of this teaching program and that it not only boosts reading scores, but increases students’ level of confidence and self-esteem, I want to see many more teachers/schools implementing this program. This is why I joined the CCI Training Team.”
“After teaching this curriculum to my students, my principal shared with me that I had the highest NWEA reading growth in our entire building!”
“The training has been great! The trainers have been very accommodating, and I feel very comfortable asking questions and getting feedback. I am excited to get started with the students!”
“This training is well organized, explicitly taught, and thoroughly explained in detail. The materials are structured so that you can become a successful teacher!”
One of my students, from Grayling Middle School in the Crawford AuSable School District, received our targeted instruction in a small group setting all of the 2019/2020 school year, including through distance learning online when schools were shut down from March through June. He continued to receive our instruction throughout the 20/21 school year.
When assessed through NWEA testing in the Winter of 2021, he had made remarkable progress even during the distance learning shift. In addition, he maintained his learning over the summer, actually growing from the previous year for the first time. History had shown that this student had dropped off academically from spring to fall each year. However, the instruction given through CCI’s Structured Literacy program actually accelerated his reading scores during very challenging times.
In the Fall of 2019, when he was assessed in Reading on NWEA measures, he earned a RIT score of 151 which placed him at the 1st percentile nationally among his peers. When he was assessed again in the Fall of 2020, he had reached a RIT score of 187, moving into the 8th percentile. Continuing in our instruction, he was assessed again in the Winter of 2021. (Note: Crawford AuSable was face-to-face throughout the 20-21 school year).
This assessment showed that he earned a RIT score of 207, which placed him at the 34th percentile nationally, and showed his growth rate at the 99th percentile! After a year and a half of Structured Language instruction, this student grew from the 1st percentile in Reading to being projected as Partially Proficient on the M-Step (Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress.)
This remarkable data was achieved during all of the changes and events of 2020. The impact it made on his confidence and the pride of his parents in his efforts has been a sight to behold!
Language Arts Teacher
Grayling Middle School
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