Mobile intervention app engages students; reading skills improve



Mobile intervention app engages students; reading skills improve

York City School District, York, Pennsylvania


York City School District, located in a small, urban community in south central Pennsylvania, faces many challenges. In its diverse student body, 26 percent of the students have limited English proficiency and 80 percent qualify for free and reduced lunch. The district entered Corrective Action II status in 2012 after not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for five years and has been operating under a state-run Financial Recovery Plan since May 2013. To address these challenges, the district is committed to providing an engaging and challenging learning environment for all its students, including those who need academic or behavioral intervention. Using School Improvement Grant (SIG) and Title III funds, the district has implemented an intervention solution, and the data suggests that it is having a positive impact on reading growth.

William Penn High School failed to make AYP in 2012 based on its Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) scores. Assistant Principal Sue Long Moyer thought that a good literacy intervention program would help increase achievement. She explained, “We were looking for something because kids were historically coming to us reading below grade level. We were finding that because kids were not on grade level, they were struggling with the core content classes because it was just too difficult for them to read.”

English teacher Troy Sowers wanted to make sure the new program had a strong vocabulary-building component. “As an urban school, we always face challenges that the county schools don’t face as far as vocabulary and reading comprehension. A lot of our kids don’t use the language that is presented in the tests, and if you don’t know the words, you don’t even know what the questions mean.”

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