Mississippi schools boost scores with reading program

Determined to increase reading proficiency across all grade levels, nearly 75 schools and districts across the state of Mississippi have implemented the Lexia Reading® program, designed to advance reading skills development for all students pre-K through fourth grade, and accelerate learning for at-risk students in grades 4–12.

In a recent national sample, 87% of K–3 at-risk students using Lexia Reading advanced one or more grade levels to finish the year working on grade-level material.

In addition to supporting foundational skills development, the program also reduces schools’ dependence on traditional testing methods, while helping improve each student’s performance on grade-level assessments. Lexia Reading’s Assessment Without Testing™ technology automatically gathers student performance data without administering a test, allowing schools to spend less time testing.

Hinds County Schools, Pearl City Schools and St. Vincent De Paul in the Diocese of Long Beach are three of the Mississippi schools and districts that have implemented Lexia Reading as an essential component of their reading curriculum, joining Pascagoula Independent School District (ISD), Harrison County School District and Madison County School District, all of whom began using the system in recent years.

Pascagoula ISD implemented Lexia Reading in 2010. Curriculum Support and Instructional Technology Specialist Erin Ayala noted that Lexia allows both administrators and teachers to “work smarter, not harder.”

“Having access to students’ real-time data is paramount to addressing student achievement, developing school improvement plans, and in sharing student progress with parents and stakeholders,” said Ayala. “This live data is so instrumental when formulating instructional decisions, made simpler with the easy access that it affords; as opposed to the more cumbersome, traditional methods of collecting student work, or reviewing teacher grade books to examine student progress. With Lexia, we have accessible data connected to specific reading skills and core standards. It’s simply invaluable.”

Educators at Madison Elementary School in Madison County began using Lexia Reading in 2007, and after seeing exceptional gains in Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) performance, Lexia Reading has become the foundational learning software for all students, as well as a primary intervention tool for all struggling readers.

“Our teachers and students love Lexia Reading because it profoundly impacts learning through individualized instruction while providing an engaging, kid-friendly platform for students to succeed,” said Barbara Martinez, computer lab teacher, Madison Elementary School. “We have seen our students average a 12-point improvement in MAP scores in less than three months.”

As students work independently on Lexia Reading, they receive systematic and structured practice on foundational reading skills. Each of the age-appropriate, skill-specific activities conforms to federal guidelines and is aligned to Common Core State Standards. The software delivers scaffolded practice, advancing students to higher levels as they demonstrate proficiency.

Lexia Reading’s Assessment Without Testing technology provides real-time data on students’ 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 educators with targeted instructional strategies and structured lesson plans to help each student improve performance on grade-level assessments.

“I use Lexia in my kindergarten classroom everyday,” said Kate Danzey, kindergarten teacher at Saucier Elementary, in Harrison County School District. “I began using it as a center activity for specific students, but now all my students use the program. The Lexia skills reports have helped me pinpoint certain skills I need to work on with my students. As a result, my students have progressed and I have seen a great level of achievement.”