Fort Smith Public Schools Improve Special Education Exit Rates Through Lindamood-Bell Instruction
Arkansas, Comprehension, Reading, Response to Intervention, RtI, Seeing Stars, Special Education, SPED Exits, Visualizing and Verbalizing
Fort Smith Public Schools in Fort Smith, Arkansas serves a large percentage of students who are at-risk of reading failure. During the 2017-18 through 2020-21 school years, Fort Smith Public Schools implemented Lindamood-Bell® instruction to address the specific needs of this student population. Students received Seeing Stars and Visualizing & Verbalizing instruction to develop symbol imagery for reading and concept imagery for comprehension. Instruction was delivered by Fort Smith teachers who received professional development in the programs developed by Lindamood-Bell’s founders. Student gains were measured with a battery of reading assessments, which, alongside student academic performance and other testing, helped determine whether students would continue to require special education. For an overview of Fort Smith test results from Lindamood-Bell’s battery of reading assessments, please see https://lindamoodbell.com/school-results.
In the four school years before implementation of Lindamood-Bell instruction began, 220 students exited Special Education in Fort Smith Public Schools. This included 86 elementary students and 134 middle school students. In the first four years of implementing Lindamood-Bell instruction with the Seeing Stars and Visualizing & Verbalizing programs, 384 students exited special education, including 226 elementary students and 158 middle school students. This represents a 75% increase in the total number of students exiting special education, with the number of elementary students exiting special education growing by 163%. The results of this study illustrate that Lindamood-Bell instruction in the Seeing Stars and Visualizing and Verbalizing programs lead to improved reading and comprehension, which are essential to achieving success with school curricula.
• Enrollment in Special Education