The 90% Reading Goal was set by the Shelbyville Central School Board. The goal of the program was to have 90 percent of the district's third-graders reading at or above their grade level. Success depended on parental and community involvement in students' progress outside of the classroom.
Why third grade? "When students start grade three, they're reading to learn," says Mary Harper, assistant superintendent. "They need background and context. We knew we had our challenges cut out for us. Every year since our Free/Reduced Lunch population started growing [now over 60th percentile], ELL and Special Needs populations have grown significantly. We had to find quality literacy programs and implement them with fidelity."
While perched at the 70-percentile mark in 2008, Harper's team examined the schools'reading material-novels-and decided to look for resources that delivered informational text to build both reading and writing skills.
Each building has computer labs plus a few computers in every classroom. KidBiz3000® is used daily, which is vital, since frequency drives student gains."We schedule it in during the day," Harper explains. "Every class has an assigned 30-minute Achieve3000 block using the program outside of reading classes. We needed to schedule this time in order to implement quality instruction with fidelity."