School Specialty Introduces Three New Intervention Systems for Closing the Reading Achievement Gap

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Grade-Level Target Solutions Combine Powerful Proven Technology and Print Intervention Tools With Teacher Professional Development

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When students at any grade level have difficulty with reading, they struggle across the curriculum

Today at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) 2010 Conference, School Specialty introduced its new intervention systems for closing the achievement gap in reading. Combining its bestselling intervention software program, the Academy of READING®, with proven print intervention tools, the company launched three targeted solutions to help build reading skills for life.

School Specialty's new intervention systems' blended media model combines quality teacher-led instruction with data-driven, online learning and assessment to address students' reading intervention needs. Each provides in-depth instruction for struggling readers in the five pillars of reading - phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary and fluency, coupled with writing practice. The systems are flexible and easy to implement and include on-site professional development to help teachers begin program implementation and personalize instruction for their students. In addition, follow-up visits are included to ensure that teachers receive the support they need.

"When students at any grade level have difficulty with reading, they struggle across the curriculum," said Steven Korte, Group President, School Specialty Educational Publishing. "We developed these blended media intervention solutions to provide teachers with tools for remediation at all grade levels so they can quickly close the reading achievement gap and ensure that students are on the path to academic success."

The Academy of READING, a powerful intervention software solution that helps struggling students achieve rapid, permanent gains in reading, forms the foundation for the personalized instruction for the new intervention systems, designed specifically for grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Developed based on extensive research and proven in thousands of elementary, middle and high schools, the award-winning Academy of READING uses a patented, research-based instructional model that builds strong roots in the five areas outlined by the National Reading Panel. Targeting the skill gaps of at-risk learners, the Academy of READING provides intensive instruction and practice, while the platform's patented technology adapts to their unique learning patterns.

For the 3-5 Intervention System, the company combined the Academy of READING with Making Connections®, a teacher-led comprehension program that develops the essential skills and strategies recommended by the National Reading Panel, and reinforces them in a spiraling curriculum format.

School Specialty's 6-8 Intervention System pairs the power of the Academy of READING with MCI (Making Connections Intervention), which provides targeted literacy intervention for students reading up to three grades below level. At the heart of the program is explicit and direct comprehension instruction. Vocabulary, fluency and writing practice are seamlessly woven through each unit to ensure struggling readers build the skills needed to achieve grade-level proficiency.

The 9-12 Intervention System also combines the Academy of READING with MCI, but features an implementation guide and professional development targeted specifically to help teachers provide students with intensive intervention and pacing required for struggling readers in high school. In addition, strategies for grouping students, pacing and differentiating instruction are included.

More information about the new Intervention Systems from School Specialty is available at the company's booth #405 at the CEC Conference or by visiting: http://intervention.schoolspecialty.com/solutions/

About School Specialty
School Specialty (Nasdaq: SCHS) is a leading education company that provides innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to help educators engage and inspire students of all ages and abilities to learn. The company designs, develops and provides PreK-12 educators with the latest and very best curriculum, supplemental learning resources and school supplies. Working in collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help educators, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential. School Specialty Intervention delivers comprehensive reading, math and Response to Intervention (RTI) solutions to help K-12 schools close the achievement gap and make a measurable difference in the outcomes for 30 million struggling students who fall below proficiency benchmarks. Trusted brands from School Specialty Intervention include Academy of READING®, Academy of MATH®, S.P.I.R.E.®, MCI, Wordly Wise 3000® and Explode The Code®. For more information about School Specialty, visit http://www.schoolspecialty.com. For more information about School Specialty Intervention, visit http://www.intervention.schoolspecialty.com

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Mark Fleming

Lisa Wolfe
L. Wolfe Communications
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