Continuous Improvement Coordinator Supports a Transitioning District

Guiding Reading Intervention Across 13 K-12 Schools

As Coordinator of Continuous Improvement for the Manor Independent School District in Manor, Texas, Jennifer Brewer describes herself as the “middleman” between MindPlay and the district when it comes to reading intervention. Among the challenges she faces are ensuring buy-in and ongoing support for principals, coaches and teachers striving to bring a large and diverse population of students up to speed on reading skills.

For the past five years, Manor has been a district in transition, with the student population having grown by more than 1,000, including an influx of ESL, ELL, dyslexic and other learning-disabled children. Before coming to Manor ISD, Brewer was somewhat familiar with Mindplay, but was able to really dig into the program when Manor superintendent Dr. Royce Avery joined the district eight months ago. Along with a deep dedication to arming kids with the reading and writing skills they need for success in school and beyond, Avery brought with him a range of effective tech-based programs, including MindPlay.

“This year we are very focused on helping implement MindPlay in our second-through-12th grade classrooms as it’s a program new to the district,” says Brewer. After professional development was offered to site leadership explaining the “why” and “how” of MindPlay, Brewer scheduled a back- to-school overview for principals conducted by the MindPlay team. From there, she continued to partner with Texas Educational Solutions professionals to offer initial teacher training, webinars on the different program aspects and individual consultations with site-level instructional coaches and teachers.

Ensuring that high-risk students are targeted with the reading intervention help they need is a central aspect of Brewer’s job, and MindPlay’s Universal Screener is a tool that efficiently and effectively identifies such students, including those in the upper grades who may have fallen through the cracks and given up on themselves.

As a veteran Special Education educator and RtI specialist, Brewer also recognizes the crucial role that data plays in helping each individual student achieve to their greatest potential. Meeting regularly with teacher teams to dig down on the data that MindPlay provides weekly has been a primary part of Brewer’s role in helping educators maximize their students’ use of the program.

Although still three months’ shy of a full year’s implementation, MindPlay has already made a big difference in many students’ lives. A sampling of its impact on Manor ISD includes a sixth-grade class where students have made “outstanding growth,” and a third-grade class where students have gone from 54 percent Critical to 23 percent Critical in just five months.

“Whether it’s in second grade or 12th grade, we want to specifically identify our kids’ reading issues and address them with precision and fidelity, “ says Brewer, “and MindPlay is an integral part of helping us do just that.”