We Get Results That Last

Since our founding in 2001, we have helped all types of schools – rural, suburban, and inner-city – build sustainable literacy excellence, demonstrating that the goal of teaching all children to read by the end of third grade is obtainable.

Closing the Achievement Gap in Connecticut

One of our largest recent projects is the Connecticut K-3 Literacy Initiative, a statewide partnership along with Literacy HowCBER, and the CT State Department of Education. In the recent Nation’s Report Card on NEAP results, Connecticut ranked as having one of the largest education achievement gaps in the country. This gap represents a disparity in the reading and mathematics skill levels of low-income and minority students with their peers. Funded through legislation developed by the General Assembly’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, the Connecticut K-3 Literacy Initiative (CK3LI) was created to train teachers and administrators in the best research-based literacy practices and to address the state’s achievement gap from the earliest grades.

“Our Kindergartners are now 70% proficient. And when you think of the RtI triangle, everybody says our triangle is inverted, it’s upside down, because more of our children are struggling rather than succeeding. We put the triangle right-side up.”
Ellen Delgado

Literacy Coach, Hartford Public Schools

A Lasting Impact On Literacy

In order to gauge effectiveness using leading indicators of success, we measure the percentage of students in HILL schools in grades K-3 making brisk progress up the continuum of nine sequential foundational skills necessary for reading. The earlier students master these skills, the fewer they have left to acquire in later grades. This means the ideal trend is a spike in the beginning with lower percentages later on, as illustrated in the chart to the right.

These schools are evaluated using the HILL’s proprietary method of grouping students according to skill level to enable targeted intervention for every student. 

Overall, schools using the HILL solution saw the trend above in percentage of students in grades K-3 moving up 2+ skill levels in School Year 17-18

Client Snapshots

(click to enlarge any graph)

BETTER PREPAREDNESS FOR 1ST GRADE

We’ve worked for several years with a large urban district with 12 elementary schools on a district-wide leadership model for tiered instruction, professional knowledge, and assessment. Approximately 50% of their elementary student population is on free/reduced lunch. This graph indicates the increase in student preparedness as they enter Grade 1 between the first year of the initiative to the latest after we worked closely with the teachers to improve the effectiveness of kindergarten instruction.

DISTRICT | URBAN | 12 SCHOOLS | 50% F/R LUNCH

DIBELS: Phoneme Segmentation Fluency

IMPROVED ACCURACY IN GRADES 2-5

The HILL worked closely with this suburban district and their 5 elementary schools on building intervention approaches for Tiers 2 and 3 during the 2017-18 school year. As a result, they saw a significant increase in students hitting accuracy benchmarks from fall to spring. In particular, the at-risk status in Accuracy was dramatically reduced over the course of the year from grades 2-5 where accuracy is a prerequisite for reading comprehension. If a child isn’t reading accurately, they’re not understanding what they’re reading, but we were able to move the needle for these students.

DISTRICT | SUBURBAN | 5 SCHOOLS | >10% F/R LUNCH

DIBELS: Oral Reading Fluency – Accuracy

increased effectiveness of instruction

Our initiative with this elementary school in a large suburb with 35% of their students on free/reduced lunch began in Fall 2015 to implement research-based programs within a multi-tiered system of support with a focus on grades K-2. We also helped their staff create a common language based on current reading research and evidence-based practices and collaborated with school leaders to establish a process for using assessment data to make instructional decisions. The results were a substantial improvement in the effectiveness of teacher instruction after the first full year of the initiative.

SCHOOL | SUBURBAN | 35% F/R LUNCH

DIBELS: Nonsense Word Fluency-Whole Words Read

First year accuracy v. mOst recent

In the same suburban elementary school as the graph to the left, we also saw a significant increase in students hitting accuracy benchmarks by the spring from the first year of the initiative to the most recent (school year 2017-18). In Spring 2016, only 39% of second graders were scoring at or above on accuracy, but by Spring 2018 that number more than doubled to 84%, reducing the at-risk population to only 16%. Accuracy is critical to reading comprehension and our work helped students dramatically improve in that area.

SCHOOL | SUBURBAN | 35% F/R LUNCH

DIBELS: Oral Reading Fluency – Accuracy

Accuracy improvement in Grades 4 & 5

In school year 17-18, the HILL launched an initiative with this small town elementary school with approximately 60% of their students on free/reduced lunch to implement leadership routines and systems necessary to institute evidence-based literacy practices within a tiered instructional model and build capacity to ensure sustainability. We also worked with them to more effectively utilize curricula at all grade levels and established a framework and process for using assessment data to make instructional decisions. The results show a significant increase in students’ accuracy levels in Grades 4 and 5—where it is much more difficult to move the needle—by the end of the year.

SCHOOL | TOWN | 60% F/R LUNCH

DIBELS: ORAL READING FLUENCY – ACCURACY

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