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New Programs to Help Students Meet Grade Level Expectations

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Liverpool Central School District is constantly striving to achieve its mission of “Preparing our Students for Tomorrow…Today.” To that end, the district recently introduced two new programs to help students in grades 3-8 meet grade level expectations in Mathematics, English Language Arts, Social Studies and Science.

The first program, called i-Ready, is an online program that will help district teachers determine how to best support students in meeting their learning goals in mathematics. The program has two components – i-Ready Diagnostic and i-Ready Instruction.

The i-Ready Diagnostic is an adaptive test that adjusts its questions to suit a student’s performance. Its purpose is not to give students a score or grade but instead determine where they need the most support. i-Ready Instruction will then provide students with lessons based on their individual skill levels and needs, so students can learn at a pace that is just right for them. These lessons are fun and interactive, with games and characters to keep students engaged.

“It is important to note that this program is in addition to current grade level instruction,” said LCSD Executive Director for K-8 Education Richard Chapman. “Past data shows students who used i-Ready for more than 45 minutes per week grew 65 percent more in math than the average student.”

The second program, called Achieve3000, is a literacy platform for students in grades 3-8 to use in their ELA, Social Studies, and Science classes.

Students start out by taking a brief online assessment which provides a baseline reading level for each student. Using each student’s individual score, the Achieve3000 platform provides him or her with high-interest texts so he or she can work at his or her unique reading level. Teachers also can assign specific texts based on curricular goals and to address students’ specific needs.

Students engage with each text through a five-step reading and writing routine that helps them gain confidence, build reading comprehension skills, and stretch to work with more challenging material. As they work within the routine, students encounter embedded practice activities for each text; this allows students to prepare for Common Core ELA and Regents assessments, helps teachers identify instructional gaps, and enables the system to adjust students’ levels as they make reading gains.

“Studies have shown that Achieve3000 can help students—whether they start as struggling, on-level, or advanced readers—realize two to three times the growth that’s expected in a single school year,” Chapman said.

“We are excited about the academic potential these programs have for our students,” he added.

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