Fort Smith Public School District in Arkansas turned a state dyslexia mandate into an opportunity to restructure how reading instruction was provided for early literacy and struggling students.
In 2017, the district began a partnership with Lindamood-Bell to provide sustained, job-embedded professional development for their dyslexia interventionists, resource specialists, and K-2 staff.
Over the past six years, some 700 teachers have received coaching and training in the Seeing Stars, Visualizing and Verbalizing, On Cloud Nine, and LiPS programs. In turn, students have received more than 300,000 hours of instruction in these evidence-based programs.
Members of both teams gathered last week to reflect on the past several years and share highlights of the partnership.
Team members, including Fort Smith teachers and administrators and Lindamood-Bell leaders and coaches, pointed to some of the profound accomplishments reached by this partnership and the personal growth that they experienced.
Fort Smith Dyslexia/SPED Specialist, Collette Haga, shared, "I feel so incredibly blessed to have gotten to be a part of this amazing partnership. It has changed me forever as a teacher and person.”
Project highlights include:
- Over 700 teachers trained in Seeing Stars, Visualizing and Verbalizing, On Cloud Nine, and LiPS.
- More than 15,000 professional development sessions in all tiers of instruction.
- Over 300,000 hours of student instruction in the programs
- Over 200 students exited from dyslexia or SPED intervention after receiving Lindamood-Bell instruction.
- Over 100 students exited from Tier 3 Reading Intervention and did not require additional dyslexia or SPED intervention services.
- At the start of the project, the difference between the highest tier and lowest tier of K-2 students on the universal screener was 300. By the project’s end, that difference grew to 1,000.
Lindamood-Bell for Schools’ Director of Development, Dave Kiyvyra, summed up the experience by saying, “All we can ask for is an opportunity to change lives and for six years we had that in Fort Smith. The impact of our work in that city will be felt for decades.”
Watch this short video to hear more about what Ft. Smith Educators are saying about the programs.