Minnesota Public Charter Schools Turn To Technology-Based Reading Program

Beacon Academy in Maple Grove and Yinghua Academy in Minneapolis are the latest Minnesota public charter schools to select the technology-based reading skills program Lexia Reading®. The program is designed to advance foundational reading skills development for students of all abilities in pre-K through grade 4, and accelerate reading development for at-risk students in grades 4–12.

Beacon Academy educators began using the program in 2012. The head of technology education, Michael Reed, noted that, “Lexia has brought about great change in our literacy instruction. Now we are able to see exact building blocks of literacy skills that may have been overlooked before. We have revamped how we use remediation and enrichment with technology based on the data Lexia provides us.”

Lexia Reading provides norm-referenced performance measures that prioritize the students who are most at-risk, as well as resources for teacher-led, direct skill instruction to address specific skill gaps. As students work independently on Lexia Reading, they receive structured learning on foundational reading skills. Each of the age-appropriate, skill-specific activities conforms to the Common Core State Standards. The program advances students to higher levels as they demonstrate proficiency.

Reed continued, “Our students are excited to come in for extra help with Lexia, and their literacy growth shows from this additional time spent using the program.”

Educators at Yinghua Academy began using Lexia Reading in 2010. As a Chinese immersion program, the school’s students receive English instruction until they enter the second grade, after which, their English instruction is limited to 50 minutes per day.

“Lexia has helped many of our students,” said Ruth Hansen, second and third grade English teacher. “The program has helped our students engage in phonic instruction and improve their reading ability. The differentiation the program provides meets each student’s need. We have had many great success stories both in the classroom and with home practice with Lexia.”

Lexia Reading’s Assessment Without Testing® provides 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. In the first month of use, educators can see which students are at the greatest risk of not reaching this milestone. Lexia’s assessment measures are correlated to outcomes on other commonly used assessments such as DIBELS®, AIMSweb® and MAP®. With this data, the program then automatically identifies and prioritizes students for small group or individual instruction and provides educators with a targeted action plan for each student, including instructional strategies and structured lesson materials to help each student improve performance on grade-level assessments.