Lindamood-Bell Partners with Center for Literacy Innovation in Pinellas, Florida
With over 13,500 students in special education, Pinellas County Schools needed to rethink its model of instruction for struggling readers and students with dyslexia. In 2019, it piloted a new Center for Literacy Innovation at Elisa Nelson Elementary school. The goal was to target specific reading skills and provide intervention in evidence-based programs to accelerate learning.
Special education and Speech/Language staff were trained in Lindamood-Bell to meet these needs. The Center designed a model to provide more instruction time in the appropriate learning environment. Students in grades 1-4 received small group instruction (3 to 5 students in a group). Many students exhibited signs of dyslexia. Students with similar learning profiles and needs were grouped together to best differentiate instruction. Groups received instruction four days a week for 45-55 minutes per day.
Instruction was targeted to address the essential skills of reading. These include phonemic awareness, phonics (word attack), symbol imagery, and comprehension. Now in its third year, the Center for Literacy continues to show that struggling readers are closing the gap! Students made significant growth in these essential skills. For example, students improved from the 14th to the 50th percentile in phonemic awareness, while comprehension increased from the 23rd to the 45%. Both measures showed large Standard Score changes. As described by Soultana Kalligas, a Second Grade teacher at Elisa Nelson, “The Lindamood Bell methodology, aligned with the science of reading, is at once simple enough to implement, and dependable in its effect on students.” See chart below for percentile and standard score growth.
The Center for Literacy Innovation has recently expanded to additional sites. And Lindamood-Bell training is incorporated throughout the entire Exceptional Student Education (ESE) division. Key factors for the program’s success has been a commitment to fidelity and a focus on quality instruction. Each staff member has access to follow-up professional development courses and receives weekly coaching from Lindamood-Bell instruction experts.
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