Whitney is a small school with around 150 students in K-3. For that reason the sample is small. The graphs represent the 10 second grade students who used Essential Skills from October until now. We added new students in January but I didn't think they had enough time using Essential Skills to include in the results.

These students are 10 of the 11 the lowest second grade reading students in the building. The lowest student doesn't have the skill to use Essential Skills yet. Eight students are in Title I Reading and two students are in Special Education. These students receive reading instruction in their classrooms daily and four 45 minute blocks each week in the Resource Room. The special education students receive additional help from a paraeducator during reading instruction in the classroom. Two of the Resource Room blocks each week are using Essential Skills and two are in small groups using Read Well. I think this combination has been very effective. This allows students to work independently at their own rate using Essential Skills and to work with a teacher using a very sequential reading program.

We tested students in September, November, and February, using the Oral Reading Fluency Test, which was written at University of Oregon.
You can download this test free at: https://dibels.uoregon.edu/measures/materials.php

University of Oregon states that high scores on this test are very highly correlated with good comprehension. In my experience this is usually true.

Students read three second grade level passages which they haven't read previously. They read for one minute from each passage. Their score in words read correctly per minute is the median score, or middle passage from the three that they read. In the past, we have considered a score of 40 to 60 words per minute to be in the instructional range for 2nd grade students. This year our state (Washington) has raised the bar and expects 2nd grade students to read at least 90 to 100 words correctly per minute on an unrehearsed 2nd grade level passage. This was a huge jump and will be very challenging for our lowest readers.

Miriam Mehl
Special Education and Title I Reading Teacher
Whitney School
Washington State