Profiles of Success | Spotlight on Fort Smith Public Schools

Aug 7, 2019


Fort Smith Public Schools in Fort Smith, Arkansas, serves a large percentage of students who are at-risk of reading failure. Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, Fort Smith Public Schools implemented Lindamood-Bell® instruction to address the specific needs of dyslexic students and provide a solid foundation for all early learners. The partnership has been cost-effective for schools and life-changing for students.

Watch them speak about their experience.

Click to read about their successful summer reading program.


Professional Development

More than 300 teachers, including all K-2 classroom teachers, special education teachers, and reading interventionists, attended workshops to learn the steps of Visualizing and Verbalizing for Language Comprehension and Thinking, and Seeing Stars for Reading Fluency and Spelling.  The programs, written by Lindamood-Bell co-founder, Nanci Bell,  address the imagery-language foundation that underlies reading, spelling, language comprehension, memory, and critical thinking.

 After the workshops, teachers continued learning throughout the year with job-embedded professional development. Support was provided in a cost-effective manner, via state-of-the-art telepresence coaching.

Professional Development:


Results | Tier 3 Students

Student gains were measured with a universal screener, the Istation ISIP Phonemic Awareness subtest. In Fall 2017, 210 first grade students scored in the lowest group, Tier 3, for Phonemic Awareness. Students scoring in the lowest tier qualify for immediate small-group reading intervention.

In January, the number of students in the lowest tier was reduced to 128, and by April, only 96 students still scored in the lowest tier. Crucially, these changes were reflected across the most at-risk subpopulations of Economically Disadvantaged, Special Education, and English Language Learners. The results of this study illustrate that Lindamood-Bell instruction in the Seeing Stars® program leads to improved reading, which is essential to achieving success with school curricula.



Longitudinal Results | Classroom Instruction

K-2 classroom implementation addressed a district goal of preventing literacy deficits from ever being established. All Kindergarten through second grade teachers across the 19 elementary schools attended Seeing Stars and Visualizing and Verbalizing workshops. Teachers implemented the programs 15 minutes per day as a supplement to their core reading program, with support provided by Lindamood-Bell’s online job-embedded professional development team.

At the beginning of 2017-18, almost as many students (999) scored in the lowest tier on overall reading, as scored in the highest tier (1,283). Students scoring in Tier 3 are required by state law to receive intervention, placing substantial pressure on the district’s capacity. As a result of implementing sensory-cognitive instruction in the whole classroom K-2 setting, by April of 2019, only 621 students scored in the lowest tier (a reduction of 378 students), with 1,862 students scoring in the highest tier (an increase of 579 students). 


These changes were reflected across subpopulations of Economically Disadvantaged, Special Education, and English Language Learners. The results of this study illustrate that implementing Lindamood-Bell instruction in the Seeing Stars and Visualizing and Verbalizing programs in whole classroom settings leads to improved reading, which is essential to achieving success with school curricula.

Read about Fort Smith‘s success in a recent article in the Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine titled, “Comprehensive Early Intervention Results Positive.”


Learn More

Schools partner with Lindamood-Bell for our expertise in research-validated programs that work within a Response to Intervention (RtI) framework and are aligned with state standards, including Common Core. We are uniquely prepared to help schools meet the needs of students with dyslexia.  

Explore our professional development workshops and contact us with any questions or to discuss how your school can get started: 800-233-1819.

Connect with us
Lindamood-Bell Academy is our unique private school! Students K-12 thrive with our renowned, evidence-based instruction and individualized curriculum. Our learning environment is engaging and effective—whether attending in person or live online. 
Help your child finish the school year strong! Transfer now and receive 10% off a month of tuition. Details are at the link in our bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
If your student struggles with reading or comprehension, we can help. Our evidence-based approach improves core skills needed for academic success. Each student attends engaging, 1:1 sessions that are tailored to their unique needs—in-person, live online, or both. Start now or take advantage of our Early Bird Summer Special! Link in our bio, @lindamoodbellofficial
Attention parents! Lindamood-Bell Summer Instruction is tailored to each student's unique learning needs. We can help your child catch up, hone their skills, or get ahead in reading, comprehension, or math. Our evidence-based approach is proven effective both in-person and live online. For a limited time, we're offering 10% off your child's first week—get started today at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
Celebrate Black History Month with the National Museum of African American History & Culture! The official theme announced by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History is Black Resistance: A Journey to Equality. Resources are at the link in our bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
Can you or someone you know relate to Cora’s difficulty with comprehension? 🤔 
We help all ages learn to their full potential! 🤩
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Help your student finish the school year strong—make the switch to Lindamood-Bell Academy! We provide evidence-based instruction and a full curriculum, personalized to your child's needs. Learning with our Academy is engaging and effective whether you choose to attend in person or live online. Take a virtual tour of our school at the link in bio, @lindamoobellofficial.
Don't wait another year to make the switch. Your student can catch up or get ahead and start thriving. . . THIS school year!  Attend in person, live online, or both. To get you started, we're offering a discount on the first month of tuition. Get details and take a virtual tour at the link in bio, @lindamoobellofficial.
Lindamood-Bell online instruction is engaging and effective for individuals with reading and learning difficulties, including students with autism. Watch this family's full testimonial at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
Is your student struggling in reading, comprehension, or math? No matter where you live, Lindamood-Bell is here for you! Our live-online instruction is effective and engaging—and available worldwide. Watch our online instruction in action at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
Your student can catch up and start thriving at our unique private school! Lindamood-Bell Academy offers a flexible school environment, 1:1 evidence-based instruction, and a full curriculum. Attend in-person or live online. Make the switch soon and receive 10% off a month of tuition. Get info at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
Students with dyslexia can learn how to read to their potential with Lindamood-Bell! Watch this family's entire testimonial, "Unlocking a Love of Reading: How Online Instruction Helped a Student with Dyslexia Succeed." Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
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Honor Dr. King's legacy by helping your student learn about his life and message. Download a free lesson packet from Gander Publishing—it includes vocabulary practice, higher-order thinking skills questions, and activities. Free download at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
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Is your student struggling? Make the switch now to Lindamood-Bell Academy—in-person or live-online. We address each student's underlying learning ability and provide a full curriculum. Your student can catch up and experience school success. Learn more and get started at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
New Podcast Episode!
Our guest, Dr. Robert Pasternack, discusses current topics in education, including learning loss and student mental health. Dr. Pasternack is the former Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) at the U.S. Department of Education. Listen and subscribe at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
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