The reading and math intervention programs offered to struggling students in Glynn County Schools are paying off, according to a recent report presented to the Board of Education.
Read 180, System 44 and Math 180 are intervention programs used in Glynn County Schools to help students who are below grade level in reading and math to catch back up.
David Bain, vice president of academic planning at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the company from which Glynn County Schools purchases the intervention programs, told the school board last week that local students are seeing impressive gains through the programs.
“(Sung Hui) Lewis and her team have obviously been watching over this program, educating staff and investing in professional learning so that teachers are delivering the program as it was intended to be delivered,” he told the board, during a work session Thursday.
Read 180 offers a three-part curriculum that includes individual reading time, instruction with teachers and work time spent on an online software.
System 44 serves non-readers, teaching students sight words and basic letter sounds and identification.
About 46 percent of Glynn County’s students in the program have, since the first day of school, already grown one full year in reading skill.
“This is a very high rate,” Bain said. “We can assume that these 46 percent of children are on a trajectory to grow two years this year, dramatically closing their gap and hopefully being removed from the intervention.”
The end goal, he said, is to get students out of the intervention program.
“Our goal with intervention is to move them out of the intervention as quickly as possible and back into a traditional school day,” he said.
At this point in the school year, nearly 84 percent of students in the Read 180 program have increased their reading level, Bain said.
Three-fourths of students in the System 44 program have increased their reading level.
“The unfortunate reality is, if you’re a child in System 44, you are operating underneath a level in which we can use a reading assessment to measure you,” Bain said. “The reality is these children are learning their sight words and their basic letter sounds and letter identification for the first time, often. And we have to bring them up to a level in which a program like Read 180 can carry them into where we can measure their reading level.”
About 1,500 students are being served district-wide in the Read 180 and System 44 programs, Bain said.
The program aims to empower teachers to help at-risk children, Bain said, and does not simply provide education via software.
“We believe the software plays a role, local libraries play a role but unique, direct instruction for these children also plays a role, and we want to make sure all components are being used,” Bain said.
Math 180 serves about 300 students in the school system this year and aims to help students to who have fallen behind in math catch back up.
The school board initially invested $2.6 million to first implement the programs in Glynn County schools in 2014. The school board continues to pay renewal fees every year.
“Not every community dedicates this kind of resource to your most at-risk kids,” Bain said.