We are entering our third year with Istation in Abilene ISD. As the program coordinator, we are continually searching for ways to improve the fidelity of implementation.
Each year I select one or two areas to accentuate with the teachers and administrators throughout our district. This year one of our goals is to have the best atmosphere possible during ISIP™ assessments. In creating that atmosphere we encourage these things:
at least two adults to monitor (more if possible for kinders)
active, on-your-feet monitoring
Many of our computer labs subdue the lights, and students watch eagerly for their teacher’s approval when their bar climbs after each subtest. A tap on the shoulder or silent cheer is great motivation for students of all ages.
Last year we watched one of our Title I schools as their entire kindergarten grade level committed to making sure every student received the recommended amount of time in Istation each week. Bonham Elementary made this a priority throughout the entire school year as they attempted to improve the reading foundation at their low-performing school. Istation was the perfect complement to excellent classroom instruction. Through the Summary Report, we were able to see the amazing growth that was occurring. In October 41 percent of their students were on Tier 1, and by May, 84 percent had reached Tier 1 — amazing! This left the kindergarten teachers with a total of only six students who were in serious need of intervention.
I remind our teachers across the district that they are the key to their students’ growth, and if they use Istation correctly it will show the growth taking place while assisting the teacher by filling in the gaps. In addition, it will direct teachers to specific needs of each student. Istation can save them valuable time and benefit each student — but first the assessment has to be spot-on!
As I also work with other reading programs in our district, I can say firsthand that Istation provides the very best support. For any specific problem, they are immediate in their assistance. Or, if I just want to discuss some aspect of the program, I am comfortable to call and discuss what is on my mind. Their support is unmatched by any others I’ve worked with!
Istation makes my job a pleasure; it is easy to train, promote, and support a program I believe in.
Special Reading Programs Coordinator