AutoSkill Takes Academy of READING to the Next Level With Response to Intervention Package

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First Web-Based RtI Solution Combining Management Tool, Intervention Program and Professional Development Debuts at 2008 National Educational Computing Conference.

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Through checklists, planning tools and focused professional development, the program gives schools the practical knowledge they need to use the tools with fidelity in the classroom.

Today at the 2008 National Educational Computing Conference, AutoSkill International launched its RtI (Response to Intervention) Package for the Academy of READING®. The company's new solution is the first reading RtI product to deliver oral fluency assessments over the Web and combine an RtI management tool with an intervention program and professional development. When used with the award-winning Academy of READING intervention solution, the RtI Package gives schools a single, Web-based environment for fully supporting the RtI model.

With the Academy of READING, at-risk students build fluency in the foundation skills of reading to achieve rapid, permanent gains. The Academy of READING uses a patented methodology to deliver individualized, computer-based instruction with an adaptive intervention engine, skill mastery based on automaticity and motivational principles.

"The development of the RtI Package is the next evolution for our Web-based intervention solution. It was created from extensive research with educators and RtI experts who understand the challenges and benefits of implementing this model," said Susan Koch, vice president of marketing, AutoSkill International. "We wanted to stay true to the non-negotiables of RtI while making it easier for teachers and RtI teams to focus on improving outcomes for struggling learners."

According to the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities, the RtI model is most effective when it includes six components: school-wide screening, research-based progress monitoring, fidelity of implementation, data-based decision-making, staff development and collaboration. As the adoption of the RtI model grows in U.S. schools, educators are struggling to find the time and funds to fully implement this complex, multi-tiered approach to providing services and interventions to students. Plus, they are faced with the challenge of ensuring that all teachers have access to quality, targeted professional development that will help them use the RtI model to improve student learning. Now with the powerful of combination of the Academy of READING and AutoSkill's new RtI Package, teachers have scientifically based intervention connected to Web-based assessments, progress-monitoring and collaboration tools at their fingertips, as well as access to professional development and support resources.

This new plug-in for the Academy of READING includes software and professional development components: the RtI Toolkit™ and the RtIWORKS™ program. The RtI Toolkit gives teachers Web-based tools for the effective management of RtI. From an easy-to-use RtI dashboard, they have access to interactive progress-monitoring graphs, school- and district-monitoring reports and a student case management tool. The toolkit's Web-based Oral Reading Fluency Benchmark Assessment allows teachers to assess student fluency and is available for unlimited use with all students as a universal assessment. Teachers can use the Academy of READING Diagnostic Test Package to further pinpoint areas of weakness, identifying specific skill deficits, assigning prescriptive training to differentiate instruction and creating dynamic Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).    

Developed in consultation with RtI expert John McCook, Ed.D., RtIWORKS is a professional development program designed to help schools build best practices for using the RtI Package for the Academy of READING in their RtI implementation. Along with campus planning, needs analysis and "on model" documentation, schools get access to workshops for their RtI teams and follow-up services to review their data and processes.

"AutoSkill created the RtIWORKS program to ensure local capacity for the effective use of their computer-based products within the RtI model," said McCook. "Through checklists, planning tools and focused professional development, the program gives schools the practical knowledge they need to use the tools with fidelity in the classroom."

Spring Independent School District in suburban Houston faces the same challenges as many U.S. school districts. Over the past few years, the district has seen dramatic growth, now with more than 33,000 students and enrollment demographics that cover a wide range of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The district has been using the Academy of READING with its struggling learners in an RtI environment since 2007. This spring, the district participated in the beta trials for the new RtI Package.

"Our students have seen terrific gains in reading achievement using the Academy of READING," said Ann Sandoval, executive director of elementary education. "Now with the addition of the Web-based oral fluency assessment and convenient dashboard reports, our local teams can stay on model while meeting the needs of our students."

To use the RtI Package, schools must have a license for the Academy of READING. The Academy of READING is available as a permanent license or subscription and is priced per campus in concurrent student user packs, with unlimited usage for administrators. Pricing for the RtI Package is based on a per-site license, with unlimited student and administrator use.

For more information about the Academy of READING and the new RtI Package, visit http://www.autoskill.com.

About AutoSkill International
AutoSkill International delivers award-winning reading and math intervention solutions to close the achievement gap for K-12 students. Based on original neuroscience research and patented methodology, the company's flagship Academy of READING and Academy of MATH® software help educators develop intervention strategies that enable at-risk students to build fluency in the foundation skills of reading and math. Using a brain-based approach that incorporates automaticity, extended practice and motivation, AutoSkill solutions provide a universal mechanism for the development of permanent reading and math foundation skills. Students of all ages in a wide range of learning environments demonstrate significant progress with just 30 minutes of training a day, three to five days per week. For more information, visit http://www.autoskill.com.

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LISA WOLFE
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