Iowa School Districts Add Lexia Reading Core5

By the end of 2017, the State of Iowa is requiring that third-graders must be reading at or above grade-level or they will face the prospect of an intensive summer school program or repeat the third grade. To meet this mandate and boost the performance of its struggling readers while improving the reading proficiency of all students, CouncilBluffs Community School District (Iowa) has chosen to implement Lexia Reading® Core5®. In addition, Davenport Community School District has expanded its use of the program from use in grades K-3 to all students in grades K-5, district-wide. A number of schools in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids join districts including West Burlington, Algona, Spencer, Albia, Mt. Ayre, and Oakland in either implementing Lexia Reading Core5 as part of their personalized reading program or expanding their use of the program this year.

“Ensuring early literacy success is a wise investment because literacy skills are essential to success in all school subjects — literature, social sciences, natural science, and mathematics,” said Melissa Chalupnik, district literacy administrator K-8 in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Council Bluff Community School District. “That’s why we selected the Lexia program. There is a significant amount of research that outlines the best approaches for how children learn to read, how to prevent failure, and how to intervene when reading difficulties occur and Lexia Reading Core5 aligns with this research better than any program I’ve seen.”

Developed by Lexia Learning, the literacy division of Rosetta Stone®, Lexia Reading Core5 was developed based on Lexia’s 30 years of educational research and designed to provide a personalized learning path for each student with scaffolding and instruction that supports students if they struggle. Each of the 18 levels of age-appropriate activities aligns to state standards, including the Common Core State Standards.

“The program’s reports provide our teachers with what’s called a ‘performance predictor’ that informs them of each student’s percent chance of reaching end-of-year benchmarks,” added Chalupnik. "The color-coded icons, which signify risk level, are really teacher-friendly and help them to quickly assess and compare the risk of reading failure associated with their students, classes, schools, or district. This is so important as we strive to meet the demands of the Chapter 62 reading progression standards.”

Beth Evans, a reading and elementary language arts curriculum specialist with Davenport Community Schools and a champion of Lexia Reading Core5 was glad to see their district expand the use of the program to all students in grades K-5. “The constant data that is available to our teachers has been a remarkable resource for them as they plan their individual student and small-group instructional time. In fact, they have accessed the reports over 3,000 times during the past 30 days alone. They are finding the program’s ‘prescription of intensity’ component especially useful in recommending levels of instructional intensity for each student so they meet grade level expectations.”

The data are collected via Lexia’s Assessment Without Testing® technology, an embedded assessment tool that gathers student performance data without administering a test, using norm- and criterion-referenced measurements.

“I like the insight the reports provide,” said Evans. “Not only does it show what skills a student is working on, but also how many attempts they have made to successfully complete the task at hand. If there are multiple tries and no progression, that’s a red flag that a teacher can immediately respond to in order to help the student gain proficiency and advance to the next activity. It just makes sense – to have a technology-based solution like Lexia that incorporates assessment, instruction, practice, motivation and remediation in real time."