NJ Public School District Increases AYP Scores of At-Risk and Special Education Students Using Effective RTI Writing Intervention

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Spotswood NJ School District celebrates a 2006-07 student achievement victory of increasing their middle and high school students' Language Arts Literacy GEPA scores for at-risk and special education student populations. The GEPA is the NJ Grade Proficiency Assessment. Spotswood NJ School District achieved its two-year goal in just one year using an effective RTI writing intervention program.

These results are the culmination of dedicated staff, curriculum renewal, ongoing professional development and the SOLO implementation. We are pleased with the outcomes and our partnership with Don Johnston's educational software company.

Spotswood NJ School District is celebrating a 2006-07 student achievement victory of increasing their middle and high school students' Language Arts Literacy GEPA scores for the at-risk and special education student populations. The GEPA is the NJ Grade Proficiency Assessment and the Spotswood NJ School District achieved its two-year goal in just one year.

Spotswood School District, a suburb of New York City, has a history of high achievement with two of its four schools receiving blue ribbon status. In January, 2006, the District received a newly appointed Superintendent, Chief School Administrator, Dr. John Krewer, who is recognized for 30 years experience in school reform. Dr. Krewer is also an advocate of embracing the mission of "learning for all" and the tenets that underpin the NCLB legislation.

In 2006, the District integrated an assistive technology writing program, SOLO® Literacy Suite, into their daily instruction for resource rooms and classroom learning environments. Students who were identified as low-performing received an additional period of tutoring and re-teaching practice in extended time periods. As part of the federal requirement for ongoing improvement, Spotswood sets a minimum of two student performance/achievement objectives each year.

Students receiving the response to intervention writing model increased their Language Arts and Writing post test scores with these measurable results:

Special Education Students
Using a standard rubric and writing measurements, special education students increased their eighth grade proficiency scores by .77. Pre-test scores were 1.36. Post-test scores were 2.13.

Middle School Students
All students in grades 6-8 exceeded their writing proficiency scores from 9.5 to 10.3.

High School Students
High school students' showed an average increase of 1.31 on the second assessment from 1.88 to 3.19. This population also met its two-year goal in one year.

Case Study, Video, Audio Testimony Online

Superintendent Krewer said, "These results are the culmination of dedicated staff, curriculum renewal, ongoing professional development and the SOLO implementation. We are pleased with the outcomes and our partnership with Don Johnston's educational software company."

Read the full case study, view statistical charts, hear audio testimony about the technology installation and professional development from Spotswood IT Director, Michael Mastroserio and view a video of Spotswood students using SOLO in action on the Don Johnston website at http://www.donjohnston.com/offers/email/spotswood/index.html.

The SOLO Literacy Suite, developed by Don Johnston Incorporated, integrates four literacy programs into one intervention solution. Co:Writer is a word prediction tool that helps students find the right words and vocabulary to express their ideas. Write:OutLoud is a talking word processor that guides students with revision and editing supports. Draft:Builder is an organization tool for creating outlines and bibliographies that steps students through the process of writing drafts. Read:OutLoud is a digital text reader which combines audio support with powerful reading comprehension strategies and study tools.

About Spotswood NJ Public School District
The mission of Spotswood NJ Public School District is to build strong minds, bodies and communities. Under the leadership of Superintendent and Chief School Administrator, Dr. John Krewer, the District is characterized by forward-thinking teachers, administrators, board members and community stakeholders who collaboratively create and build policies and instructional programs to benefit all students and families. The school system is committed to technology integration tied with curriculum and instruction to ensure optimum success for each learner.

About Don Johnston Incorporated
Don Johnston empowers educators with supplemental instruction and intervention solutions to help struggling learners build core literacy skills with confidence. Since 1980, the company has partnered with literacy experts, psychologists, teachers, researchers, and scientists to develop over a dozen educational technology access products. The company also publishes Start-to-Finish®, a collection of paperback, audio and computer books to engage struggling readers and ESL learners. 1-800-999-4660 / http://www.donjohnston.com

Resource Links:
Spotswood NJ Showcase: http://www.donjohnston.com/offers/email/spotswood
Spotswood NJ School District: http://www.spotswood.k12.nj.us/
Don Johnston Pressroom: http://www.donjohnston.com/about/news/

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Valerie Chernek

Valerie Chernek
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