Literacy Gains Among Rowan-Salisbury Schools Students Surge Beyond Expectations During Their First Year on Achieve3000

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Achieve3000, the Leader in Differentiated Instruction, and Rowan-Salisbury School System, a North Carolina district committed to 21st-century learning, report literacy gains over and above the growth expected with typical instruction among elementary, middle and high school students.

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This proves what is possible with a strong partnership, phenomenal district leadership, and a focus on using differentiated instruction to give kids precisely what they need to meet and exceed their potential.

Less than one year into its partnership with Achieve3000, the Rowan-Salisbury Schools System in Salisbury, N.C. is seeing greater than expected literacy gains among students regularly using Achieve3000’s differentiated literacy solutions. The goal of this groundbreaking, long-term partnership, which started in 2015, is to accelerate learning and put all Rowan-Salisbury students on track for college and career success. The evaluation periods of the elementary, middle and high school groups ran from the fall of 2015 through early June in 2016.

Elementary School Students
During the nine-month evaluation period, 6,304 students working on Achieve3000 products across the district's 20 elementary schools exceeded their expected Lexile® growth by an average of 55 points. The most notable grade cohort was fifth graders whose Lexile reading performance exceeded the growth expected with typical instruction by an average of 63 points.

Studies demonstrate that the more time students spend with Achieve3000, the greater their literacy gains. For this reason, the company recommends that students complete 80 reading activities (an average of two activities per week and the recommended frequency) during the academic year. Rowan-Salisbury elementary students proved the validity of that recommendation – on average, those who completed at least 80 activities achieved growth that was two times above expected levels.

Additionally, because Achieve3000’s solutions are cloud-based, students can use their district-provided digital devices to access them any time or anywhere – even without an Internet connection. The evaluation found that 66 percent of the elementary students using the literacy programs logged in during after-school hours. In all, the students logged in 58,026 times after regular school hours.

Middle School Students
Rowan-Salisbury’s eight middle schools had 4,658 active student users of Achieve3000’s solutions during the eight-month evaluation period. On average, those students exceeded their expected Lexile growth by 33 points, exceeding the expected reading gains. The most exceptional middle school grade cohort were the seventh graders who exceeded their expected Lexile growth by an average of 37 points.

Students who completed at least 80 activities during the school year (an average of two activities per week and the recommended frequency) exceeded the expected Lexile growth by an average of 74 points, nearly 2.5 times the expected reading growth rate. Additionally, 70 percent of middle school Achieve3000 students logged in after-school hours, the highest percentage among the three main cohorts.

High School Students
In the district’s eight high schools, 5,989 students were active users of Achieve3000’s solutions during the evaluation period of approximately eight months. Those students exceeded their expected Lexile growth by 20 points. Students completing at least 80 activities (an average of two activities per week the recommended frequency) nearly quadrupled their expected Lexile growth.

Evaluators collected data on Lexile gains and usage levels using the LevelSet™ test scores and usage records of students who had logged in at least once during the 2015-2016 school year. The tests are based on the MetaMetrics® Lexile Framework for Reading, a scientific approach to reading and text measurement that has become the most widely adopted reading measure in use today.

“Our research, based on pre-test and current Lexile scores, demonstrates that more Rowan-Salisbury School System students are on track for college and career readiness after actively participating in Achieve3000 programs during the 2015-16 school year,” stated Saki Dodelson, CEO and founder of Achieve3000. “Students across all grade levels made very significant literacy progress, and the high school students in particular demonstrated truly outstanding growth: four times the expected rate for students completing the recommended number of activities and nearly double the expected rate overall. This proves what is possible with a strong partnership, phenomenal district leadership, and a focus on using differentiated instruction to give kids precisely what they need to meet and exceed their potential.”

Rowan-Salisbury Schools has implemented Smarty Ants® for grades PreK-1, KidBiz3000® for grades 2-5, TeenBiz3000® for grades 6-8, and Empower3000® for grades 9-12. Each Achieve3000 solution combines embedded assessment, differentiated instruction, and standard reading skills practice to meet all students one-on-one, at their individual reading levels, and accelerate learning gains. As part of the partnership, the district is also receiving Spark3000®, a solution designed for adult literacy and workforce readiness, at no cost.

“By 2017, we intend to have 90 percent of our 20,000 students reading on or above grade level and 100 percent achieving or exceeding one year’s growth annually,” said Rowan-Salisbury Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody. “So the results of the past year have been very exciting. With this initial data and the instructional resources, blended professional development and robust home support features that have been made available to us, we look forward to refining our approaches and seeing even greater gains.”

About Achieve3000, Inc.
Achieve3000 is the leader in online differentiated literacy instruction, serving over two million students worldwide. For nearly 15 years, the company has been reaching students at their individual reading levels to deliver significant learning gains, with many making double to triple the expected gains in a single school year. Based on decades of scientific research, Achieve3000’s solutions – Smarty Ants (for grades PreK-1), KidBiz3000 (for grades 2-5), TeenBiz3000 (for grades 6-8), Empower3000 (for grades 9-12), Spark3000 (for adult learners), and eScience3000 (for grades 6-8) – support core curriculum, Response to Intervention, English language learner, and special education instructional models as well as 21st-century education initiatives. From learning how to read to workforce readiness, Achieve3000 empowers all learners to develop the college and career literacy skills needed for academic, professional, and personal success. The company is based in Lakewood, N.J. Learn more about Achieve3000 online at http://www.achieve3000.com or by calling 888-968-6822.

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Charlotte Andrist
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