ABCUSD’S READING PLUS PROGRAM DELIVERS EXCELLENT RESULTS
The ABC Board and teachers stand with Hawaiian Gardens Councilmen Victor Farfan and Mike Gomez. The City of Hawaiian Gardens donated 1,000 licenses to elementary schools for the reading program. The program started at Artesia High nine years ago and then Gahr High, and Fedde and Ross Middle Schools began utilizing the program with tremendous results.
The City of Hawaiian Gardens donated 1,000 program licenses for elementary schools
By Tammye McDuff
ABC Unified School Board takes time at the beginning of each meeting to focus a spotlight on teaching and learning programs within the district. This spotlight is to provide the board and community with an understanding of the various programs that are being administered to the students. Superintendent, Dr. Mary Sieu stated this is part of the transparency and accountability plan that the board has put together. The Reading Plus Program has been used in the secondary schools for the past few years with teachers seeing tremendous results.
A power point presentation was given by Carol Castro, Secondary Supervisor and Lora Ballard Program Specialist. Reading Plus is a web based reading intervention program that helps students with reading fluency, academic vocabulary, text dependent comprehension and reading / writing connection. The program has seen great results in Fedde Middle School, Tracy High School and Artesia High School.
The Reading Plus Program began nine years ago at Artesia High School as a program to compliment ELD classroom instruction. Following the success of students at Artesia HS, Fedde, Gahr and Ross purchased the program. The program is currently available at all secondary school sites through LCAP Goal 6.1 which is to “Provide additional instruction in reading comprehension, reading fluency and academic vocabulary using an online program identified for English Learners.” A number of students showed reading proficiency improvement with most students reading proficiencies improving by more than 70% and some students have improved at least one grade level.
Fedde Middle School has been using Reading Plus to expand student resources for the past six years. EL students use Reading Plus during the school day as an additional English support curriculum. Extended services have gone to Special Education, specifically students who are Special Ed and ELL. Services beyond the school day extend to after school ICES program as additional support. Fedde had 120 active students last year going from 14% to 23% of reading comprehension. “this gives our teachers a product that is easy to administer and has proven results for the kids,” states Fedde Principal Mr. Lois.
Tracy High School implemented Reading Plus last year with the lower level students. This year the school will evaluate all students because it allows each one to see where they are and where they want to be by the end of the school year. Students can monitor their own progress through reports, graphs and academic awards. Expository reading and writing provides content and support. Individualized prescription allows student to achieve a measureable success. One such student. This young student did not want to participate and came into the program at a very low reading level, by the end of the year she had improved four levels, as her vocabulary grew so did her self confidence which became evident in all of her studies. Tracy had 52 active students last year.
Artesia High School saw the largest percentage of growth. Using Reading Plus one 9th grade student started the program with a 5th grade reading level and ended with an 8th grade reading level. Teachers have seen students build text complexity and vocabulary, acquiring skills that were transferable to other content areas. Artesia HS had 187 active students last year.
The City of Hawaiian Gardens has seen such a drastic change in students that the Council is donating to the program to accommodate 1000 licenses for the elementary schools. Councilman Michael Gomez commented “We want to create an environment for our children to be successful.”
Goals for the 2015-2016 school year are to work with secondary schools to improve usage of Reading Plus and help staff achieve the school site plan goals for ELL. Staff administration will meet quarterly with Reading Plus Representatives and teachers to share strategies and ways to improve student’s comprehension.
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