Edison Township Public School District — Edison, NJ
Blended Learning Comes to Fruition in Edison
“Lexia Reading Core5 allows the reality of blended learning to come to fruition with ease. From our perspective, Core5 is the only technology-based literacy program to do that.”
- Tara Beams, Assistant Superintendent, Elementary, Edison Township Public Schools, Edison, NJ
Ensuring all students achieve at the highest level of academic success is not easy, yet that is the mission of Edison Township Public School District. Their mission serves as a driving force behind Edison’s decision to embrace blended learning. To support their blended learning initiative, they conducted a robust and exhaustive evaluation of technology-based literacy programs. Edison was firm on their requirements: the program must offer reporting that is intuitive and easy to interpret; robust data to drive targeted instruction; and offline instructional materials that support teacher-led instruction. Their students’ skill levels range from advanced to struggling—including some students who face the additional challenge(s) of being English Language Learners (ELLs), living in poverty, and/or lacking parental involvement. Therefore, the literacy program had to be truly adaptive and offer personalized learning to support the needs of all of Edison’s students.
After their thorough evaluation, Edison Township chose Lexia Reading Core5®. Research-proven and built to meet rigorous content standards, Core5 provides systematic, explicit instruction in six areas of reading to help build fundamental literacy skills in grades Pre-K–5. “Originally, we were looking for support for students in our RTI (Response to Intervention) program and purchased 500 Core5 licenses,” stated Tara Beams, Assistant Superintendent, Elementary, Edison Township Public Schools, “but once we started using Core5, we immediately saw the benefit of bringing it to a broader range of students.” Edison recognized that Core5 could support their blended learning model in numerous ways: students can work independently and at their own pace online; the program’s real-time progress monitoring data empowers teachers to plan, prioritize and provide effective, student-centric instruction; and teachers are supported with scripted, targeted, multisensory, offline lessons and activities tied to students’ online progress and specific areas of struggle.
Based on the results Edison experienced during their initial implementation of Core5, as well as the teachers’ high praise of the program, they promptly purchased site licenses for each of the 13 elementary schools in their district. Now, all students in Edison’s elementary schools are benefiting from Core5.
“We received a lot of feedback from our specialists regarding usability, functionality and the application of instructional plans, lesson plans, and intervention plans that Lexia provides. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive,” cited Beams.
“Once the teachers started to use it, they could appreciate the heavy lifting that Core5 was doing to provide instructional resources that were matched specifically to student skill gaps identified through Core5’s on-going progress monitoring,” commented Lashay Johnson, Supervisor of Elementary and RTI.
Core5 Enables Differentiation
Core5 Enables Differentiation Edison builds a 45-minute, uninterrupted enrichment and intervention block into each grade level. Core5 is used in virtually every K–5 classroom and, through its differentiated and adaptive instruction, they are now able to provide enrichment for Tier 1 students and intervention for Tier 2 students in the same classroom. “Much of the success that we are having is due to the fact that Core5 works in harmony with our classroom teachers, and provides a seamless integration in the classroom.” commented Johnson. “In grades 1–5, over 80% of students are meeting recommended usage of Core5. That’s over 5,000 students excelling at this program, and that’s a testament to our teachers, our students and the program itself.”
“What impresses us most,” stated Richard O’Malley, Superintendent, Edison Township Public School District, “are the unprecedented literacy gains our students are making as a result of using Lexia Reading Core5.” The students who met recommended usage in Core5 made meaningful progress (N=5,855). As a result of Edison’s effective use of the program, there was a substantial increase, 60% to 94%, in students working in or above grade level in Core5 in less than one school year (see Figure 1).1
The district’s blended learning initiative has been very successful and a key component of that success has been incorporating Lexia Reading Core5 into their literacy instruction. “Lexia Reading Core5 allows the reality of blended learning to come to fruition with ease,” stated Beams. “From our perspective, Core5 is the only technology-based literacy program to do that.”
While there’s no denying the positive impact Core5 has made in Edison, it’s their mission of “success for every student” that continues to inspire them. “Teachers, coaches, administrators, and specialists—we’re all working together,” remarked Johnson. “If a student is not making progress, we’ll come together, look at the Core5 data and strategize to move that student forward. It’s a team effort.”
1Lexia Learning, students meeting recommended usage (N=5,855), with at least 12 weeks of use, 8/1/2016-4/17/2017