Claude A. Wilcox Elementary School — Pocatello-Chubbuck District 25, ID
Core5 Helps Pride Grow at Wilcox Elementary
“Because of Core5, my fifth-graders are able to draw inferences and form conclusions. I can hold better discussions with my class because their reading comprehension is stronger.”
- Krista Campos, 5th-Grade Teacher, Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25, ID
When challenges persist, a feeling of resignation can set in—a belief that this is just the way it is. “Our faculty and administration understood the number of challenges our kids face inside and outside of class, and this made us all the more determined to find a way to help them,” stated Principal Brenda Miner, Wilcox Elementary School, Pocatello, ID.
Miner took over as principal in 2012-2013 and began to analyze her students’ ELA (English Language Arts) and ISAT (Idaho Standards Achievement Tests) scores. She discovered that every grade level, K–5, lacked foundational literacy skills. At the time, they were using a technology-based literacy program to try to help fill these skill gaps, but students did not find the program engaging and therefore, it had little impact. Miner knew her students needed a technology-based program that would excite them about learning. Because many of her students had a significant lack of foundational literacy skills, she wanted a program that would adapt to each student’s skill level and support her teachers by providing targeted offline instructional materials for teacher-led small group instruction.
“Around this same time, there was a lot of buzz about a school that had made monumental growth implementing a technology-based literacy program as a school-wide intervention,” continued Miner. “That program was Lexia® Core5® Reading.” Miner, along with others at the district, were impressed with what they heard about Core5’s ability to engage students.
When a student first uses Core5, the program places him or her at a level according to his or her appropriate language comprehension and phonics skill development. Students progress through Core5 at their own pace engaged by opportunities to experience success right away.
Miner knew all her students would benefit from Core5’s online systematic and explicit instruction giving them the support they need to work independently to build foundational literacy skills. “Core5 has the components that let you know the student is truly understanding the material. It helps the students achieve mastery of the subject matter,” remarked Miner.
Having students work independently would also give her teachers the time they need to work directly with those students who struggle most. She believed the offline instructional materials—scripted Lexia Lessons® for small group teacher-led instruction and Lexia Skill Builders®, practice exercises for students to build automaticity—made this a complete package for Wilcox and the district.
Pocatello-Chubbuck District 25 made the decision to implement Core5 in all of its 13 elementary schools. “Core5 engaged and motivated our students just as I thought it would,” stated Miner. “Our students showed growth in Lexia Core5 Reading from the start. Their language and reading ISAT scores continue to rise each year and I believe Core5 is a big part of that.” Lisa Bowman, 27-year veteran teacher at Wilcox added, “We are making good use of Core5’s real-time, progress monitoring data. We check it each week to see exactly how our students are doing, what skills they are working on, and where they are struggling or excelling. We adjust our instruction based on Core5 data.”
Wilcox fifth-grade teacher Krista Campos commented, “Core5 hits the mark in important ways. Because of Core5, my fifth-graders are able to draw inferences and form conclusions. I am able to hold better discussions with my class because their reading comprehension is stronger.”
“The best thing that happened for us was when our district administrators started praising our students for their progress on Core5. We became a role model for the district. Everyone at Wilcox began to feel a sense of pride,” commented Miner.
Jolene Steinfeldt, Interventionist at Wilcox added, “Our scores in first-grade really jumped with Core5. We followed best practices and used Core5 with fidelity. We were able to demonstrate to other schools how this resulted in our students’ literacy growth.” Wilcox’s leadership has inspired impressive growth in literacy skills across the district. There are over 2,000 students in Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25 meeting recommended usage in Core5 and making meaningful gains. At Wilcox Elementary the percent of students meeting usage working in or above grade level in Core5 more than doubled moving from 43% to 94% in one school year (see Figure 1).1
Bowman sees many benefits to Core5, “The program is pretty easy for teachers to use, the kids love it and the detailed information in the Core5 reports is phenomenal!”
She continued, “We’re pretty diligent in using Core5 and using it the right way. Our principal, Brenda Miner, has helped us with this. Because of our success with Core5, both teachers and students are feeling more successful.”
1Students meeting recommended usage in Core5 (N=364) at least 50% of the time with at least 20 weeks of usage 8/1/16-6/3/17