Upon discovering that 90% of scholars at Alliance College-Ready Middle Academy 4 in South Los Angeles were reading four grade levels behind, Principal Sean Holiday decided to explore innovative interventions. He had utilized the Wilson Language Training programs at a previous school and decided to research the possibility of implementing the program school-wide, as opposed to targeted application. Wilson Language Training provides research-based, multi-sensory reading and spelling programs for grades K - 12 through intensive, small-group instruction.
Mr. Holiday launched the program during the 2018-19 school year with scholars grouped by intervention need (i.e., Tier 1 - 3). To accommodate the Wilson program, he updated the daily schedule to include reading as a core academic class. During this instructional block, half of the time is dedicated to the Wilson program and half is dedicated to independent reading.
The investment in the new program has certainly created a positive change throughout the school. Reading has become an integral part of the school culture. In fact, scholars must show an independent reading book at the school’s entrance in order to be admitted each school day. And the school’s positive results from the latest CAASPP data are undeniable, especially for scholars with disabilities who achieved significant gains including a 13-point increase in English language arts.
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