To improve reading instruction for students in special education and address pandemic learning loss with a science-based, teacher-centric program.
After an internal, pre-pandemic deep dive into schoolwide data, Georgia’s Fulton County Public School (FCS) special educators crafted a comprehensive strategy to address the significant reading gap between students in special education and those in the general program.
In 2019, Lindamood-Bell partnered with FCS to align reading instruction with evidence-based research and system-wide professional development to help struggling readers in special education, to mitigate pandemic learning loss, and to build capacity across Georgia’s fourth-largest school district. FCS’s previous approach was inconsistent. Without system-wide, ongoing teacher training or a common literacy curriculum, teachers lacked the skills and science needed to teach reading. “Given the right instruction, students can learn to read,” says FCS’s Jennifer Thompson, instructional coordinator.
The partnership also addressed student learning loss when the district returned to in-person instruction after the pandemic’s remote learning phase. Today, every K-8 FCS school uses Lindamood-Bell’s science-based approach, which “showers teachers with professional development” with weekly virtual tutors and other key supports. For students in special education, the embedded instruction is phonemic awareness, phonics, orthography, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension – all essential components for proficiency in reading. And every student has a clearly defined pathway to reading success.
“Reading isn’t about dropping content in students’ laps. It’s about developing a process for students and improving teachers’ skills. With Lindamood-Bell, we connect each teacher to the ‘how’ of reading methodology and differentiation. Even our star players have a dedicated coach.”Jennifer Thompson, FCS instructional coordinator
- 30-plus years of empirically based learning interventions focused on the sensory-cognitive processes needed for reading and comprehension and centered on an individual’s needs
- Research-based, unscripted curriculum and materials to allow teachers to differentiate reading programs based on students’ strengths and weaknesses
- High-caliber, ongoing professional development: weekly virtual sessions with Lindamood-Bell tutors/coaches; weekly teacher groups; and monthly virtual principal engagement