Reading Plus Performance Data Reveals Students Achieved Consistent Literacy Gains During Spring 2020 COVID-19 School Closures

Students With High Reading Plus Usage Experienced Twice the Grade Level Reading Growth Than Peers Who Did Not Use the Program

WINOOSKI, Vt., Dec. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reading Plus, a research-backed online program that uses personalized instruction to improve students’ reading proficiency, today published its National Report for the 2019-2020 School Year revealing that students who used the program achieved reading proficiency gains consistent with prior years, despite disruptions caused by the abrupt shift to remote learning at the onset of the pandemic. According to the performance data, students who completed the recommended* hours of Reading Plus instruction saw significantly larger gains than their peers who did not use the program – in most cases, improving by twice as many grade levels.

“Despite early concerns about COVID-19-related learning loss from both families and the education community, we knew Reading Plus’s versatility could easily support schools and educators needing to provide sustained, effective literacy instruction during distance learning,” said Dr. Alexandra Spichtig, chief research officer at Reading Plus. “Our national performance data underscore that Reading Plus enabled students to continue to develop their reading proficiency uninterrupted, regardless of where they were learning.”

Reading Plus, used nationally by more than one million students, improves reading proficiency 2.0 to 2.5 grade levels on average in a single school year (40 to 60 hours of program use). The 2019-2020 national report shows a subset of students achieved 3.1 grade levels of growth with recommended program use during this time. Reading Plus develops comprehension, vocabulary, silent reading fluency, stamina, and motivation. It is the only literacy program that also addresses the physical aspect of reading – the way the eyes navigate lines of text – which impacts a student’s ability to process and retain information effectively and efficiently.
  
The 2019-2020 national report analyzes performance data from 235,779 students enrolled in 2,351 elementary, middle and high schools across the U.S. These students completed the Reading Plus InSight silent reading assessment on at least two occasions, once near the start of the 2019-2020 school year and again during the spring. The InSight assessment measures reading comprehension, vocabulary, comprehension-based silent reading rate, and motivation, and provides a composite reading proficiency grade-level score. The assessment is highly correlated with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), and other state and commonly used assessments.

Reading Plus also released a special research report detailing student performance from short-term emergency pilots that took place between March and June 2020. New to Reading Plus, the 986 pilot students used the program at home after school buildings closed and gained one-half to one full year of reading growth in just 8 to 12 weeks (about 8 to 16 hours) of program use.

“Educators across the country are working overtime to ensure students receive a quality education at home while juggling myriad uncertainties,” said Steven Guttentag, CEO of Reading Plus. “These results show Reading Plus is an incredibly effective online tool capable of keeping literacy learning on track despite these challenging times.”

To further assist educators and families during the pandemic, Reading Plus also began providing comprehensive resources for free at www.readingplus.com/remote-learning. Materials include over 200 downloadable activities that help students improve essential reading skills, such as graphic organizers, skill-building worksheets, and comprehension-based writing prompts catered to each child’s reading ability.

“At Reading Plus, our primary mission is to inspire students to become lifelong learners,” said Guttentag. “As educators anticipate the unknowns 2021 will bring, we are proud to support them with an online solution that can reach students wherever they are.”

To learn more about the benefits of Reading Plus for in-person, remote, or hybrid learning environments, visit www.readingplus.com.

*The recommended hours for Reading Plus instruction vary per student tier group. More intensive use of Reading Plus is recommended for students who are reading below grade level and need to catch up with their peers. Recommended use for students in Tier 1 (at/above grade level) is 20 hours, for Tier 2 (one to two levels below grade level) is 40+ hours, and for Tier 3 (three or more levels below grade level) is 60+ hours.

ABOUT READING PLUS
Reading Plus is a research-proven, online program that provides personalized intervention and instruction for students, improving reading proficiency between 2.0 to 2.5 grade levels in a single school year. Reading Plus develops comprehension, vocabulary, motivation and stamina, while also going beyond the offerings of other literacy programs by addressing silent reading fluency. It supports students with diverse needs, including English learners, special education, RTI/MTSS tiers 1-3, and advanced readers. Reading Plus provides educators with an easy-to-use management and reporting system, extensive resources to guide differentiated instruction, professional development and highly-rated customer support. The Reading Plus program is used in more than 5,000 schools nationally, helping over 1 million students become efficient, confident, lifelong readers. For more information visit www.readingplus.com.


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