Associate Superintendent Dr. Mandy Ross and Teachers on Special Assignment Mary Morton and Erin Miller updated the Teaching & Learning Committee about the K-2 reading pilot, and presented it to the Ames Community School Board Monday, Oct. 10.They shared details of the pilot study of materials to address Tier 1* literacy instruction, along with details of the pilot study design.  

Key components of the pilot include:

Programs selected through the Word Study Team (WST) to address Tier 1 instruction:

  • Fountas & Pinnell Phonics Lessons: Letters, Words, and How They Work
  • Fundations: Wilson Language Basics for K-3
  • National Geographic Learning Reach into Phonics

The Iowa Reading Research Center (IRRC), including its Executive Director, Dr. Deborah Reed, is providing assistance with pilot design and data collection.

Data to be used at the end of the pilot to finalize the program selection:

  • A rubric (designed by the Florida Reading Research Center and suggested by Dr. Reed) that is aligned with research and addresses phonological awareness, phonics, instructional design, and assessment
  • Surveys completed by all members of the Word Study Team
  • Student growth data (based on a tool provided by the IRRC)

Pilot design highlights:

  • One kindergarten, one first grade, and one second grade teacher on the WST in all five elementary schools will pilot each of the three programs.
  • IRRC will design a random selection process to determine which teacher will pilot which program and in what order.
  • Prior to starting each pilot rotation, teachers will receive training on the program they will be using.
  • Student data will be collected immediately after each pilot rotation.
  • IRRC will train proctors to assess students in a 1-to-1 setting.
  • All members of the WST have specific  roles in the pilot and in the District. This includes principals, teachers on special assignment, instructional coaches, and District Office administrators.
  • Opportunities for parent education about each of the programs and input will be announced later, but will likely occur sometime in March.

Teaching & Learning board members Alisa Frandsen and Tim Rasmussen will continue to keep representatives from each elementary school’s PTO or PTA apprised of changes and address their questions and concerns.They will hold meetings with these representatives as needed.

View the PowerPoint with additional details.

*Tier 1 instruction refers to instruction that designed to meet the needs all of the students in a classroom. Tiers 2 and 3 refer to instruction that follows Tier 1 instruction when a student or a small group of students needs additional learning support.