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Indiana Implementation: A Win for Third Grade

Michael Vergara Published: March 8, 2014
children celebrating

Marc Slaton, Ed.D. is the district superintendent of Scott County School District 2 in Scottsburg, Indiana.

Dr. Slaton was kind enough to share his district’s experiences with using MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach.The district has a 50+% free and reduced population and a 20­25% special education population. The district has four elementary schools, all of which are designated as Title I.

Each of these schools utilizes MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach, which was deployed per school per Title 1 guidelines. The district also used a license sharing approach so that the number of students using the program each day could be maximized. Remember, each license of MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach can be used all day long by multiple children; while only one user can be logged into a license, once that child has finished his or her 30­minute session, another child can then log in.

The district started using the program for the 2012­2013 school year and purchased more licenses to deploy this current school year. The district and Dr. Slaton worked with Laura Close at Close Education, the MindPlay representative in Indiana.

After one year of using MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach, the district saw an 8% increase in the state mandated, standardized IREAD3 Assessment. This past spring, the third grade students passed the IREAD Assessment with a 94.4% pass rate, up from 86% the prior year.

Excited by the results from year one, the district purchased more licenses and rolled the program out further, beyond the boundaries of Title 1 and into the regular classrooms. Slaton said that district teachers and principals have been very responsive to the program. “Initially we utilized MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach in our Title I program so our teachers didn’t have as much of an exposure as we probably should have allowed them. Thus, in our second wave of training, we focused on getting information and details that would also help the classroom teachers to make better use of the data we were getting.”

When asked if the teachers and principals had any issues with the program, he replied “No one can argue with the results on standardized tests. The results speak for themselves.”
Those results included a 100% pass rate for last year’s third grade class, so all those students advanced on to fourth grade “because we utilized MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach.

Additionally, every one of those students who didn’t qualify for the state ­allowed wavers passed the IREAD3 Assessment. We were very pleased.”

“Students are very engaged with the program. And student engagement does lead to increased achievement. Today’s learners love to be “plugged in.” I think the computer delivery of this intervention tool really makes a difference for these 21st century kids.”

Asked if he had last thoughts or ideas he’d like to share with newsletter readers especially those who may still be only using My Reading Coach, which contains only phonics lessons, Slaton said “I would share our successful student data. I believe in the full implementation of MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach. The results for our students speak volumes about what can be done when the program is implemented with fidelity.”

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