Arkansas district expands reading program

The Conway Public School District in Conway, Ark., has expanded its use of Lexia Reading® to all 14 elementary and middle schools district-wide. Used as an essential component of reading instruction in Conway since 2011, Lexia Reading has also been implemented in schools and districts across Arkansas including Bentonville, West Fork and Fayetteville.

Lexia Reading’s cost-effective technology offers a scalable approach that provides educators norm-referenced measures that prioritize the students who are the most at-risk, and recommends teacher-led, direct skill instruction to address specific skill gaps. As students work independently on Lexia Reading, they receive structured practice on foundational reading skills. The engaging software delivers scaffolded practice, advancing students to higher levels as they demonstrate proficiency. Each of the age-appropriate, skill-specific activities in Lexia Reading conforms to federal guidelines and is aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

“In just one year, we have seen amazing results,” said Charlotte Vann, director of special education and federal programs for the Conway Public School District. “And, the same can be said for our summer school program where our teachers commented on seeing significant gains over a period of only seven weeks.”

Lexia Reading includes an embedded assessment feature, Assessment Without Testing®, that gathers student performance data without administering a test. The software automatically provides educators with real-time data on students’ specific skill gaps, as well as norm-referenced predictions of each student’s percent chance of reaching the end-of-year benchmark. The program then identifies and prioritizes students for small group or individual instruction, providing teachers and intervention specialists with targeted instructional strategies and structured lesson plans, including the minutes-per-week of software usage each student needs in order to improve performance on grade-level assessments.

“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," added Vann. "I emphasize ‘useable’ because Lexia puts the student data right at teacher’s fingertips which means more time teaching and less time analyzing. In fact, we have seen a real decrease in the amount of time spent assessing our students’ mastery levels with DIBELS® because Lexia gives us everything we need, in real-time.”

Karen Cardin, teacher at Ida Burns Elementary School in Conway concluded, “I have been an elementary school teacher for 37 years, and many of my students have struggled with their reading their entire school career. When I started to hear, ‘Can I get on the computer and work on Lexia?’ over and over from my students, I knew we were on to something good.”