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Grand Prairie ISD expands Fast ForWord

Globe Newswire | 12/24/2013, 9:53 a.m. | Updated on 12/26/2013, 4:19 p.m.
Screenshot of Fast ForWord Reading Level 1 Exercise page Scientific Learning Corporation

Globe Newswire

In recognition of the Grand Prairie Independent School District’s exemplary work, it has been selected as a National Leadership Center by Scientific Learning Corp. The district is the first National Leadership Center in Texas and one of only three across the United States.

In Grand Prairie ISD, which enrolls approximately 28,000 students, 72 percent of students are economically disadvantaged, 27 percent are limited English proficient, and 9 percent receive special education services.

In 2011, the district began using the Fast ForWord online reading intervention in four schools to close reading gaps for struggling readers, English learners and students with disabilities. The program was designed to help kindergarten through 12th grade students become better readers. The reading tool can also help adult students increase their reading proficiency.

“Scientific Learning brings an opportunity to make a real and lasting difference in the quality of student learning by actually retraining the brain to comprehend and process more quickly and with greater consistency,” Grand Prairie ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Hull said. “We are excited to be a Leadership District because Scientific Learning is a difference maker.”

During the 2013-14 school year, it is expanding the Fast ForWord program and adding the Reading Assistant online reading tool to 20 additional schools.

“The challenges we face in our district are not unique to Grand Prairie. Until the day comes when we have 100 percent of our students performing at the highest level as defined by our state’s standards, we will have a need for Scientific Learning,” Deputy Superintendent of Academics Dr. Greg Firn said.

“In my previous experiences with the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs in North Carolina and Connecticut, we focused on ‘Prevention to Intervention’ rather than ‘Response to Intervention,’ and we saw incredible results. If we can intervene early and aggressively in students’ learning experiences, we can fill in any deficits or delays and build the foundational cognitive skills they need to participate in the full curriculum. Working with Scientific Learning, we can propel all our students – from struggling learners to advanced learners – to higher performance.”