Wilkes-Barre Overcomes District-wide Poverty to Achieve Reading Success

Wilkes-Barre Area School District is in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, and includes five elementary schools that support 24 Kindergarten classrooms and 24 first grade classrooms with around 500 students in each grade level. Four of the five elementary schools in the district are among the most in the state for their economically disadvantaged populations. There is also an unusually high transient rate in this school district, which poses unique challenges across the board.

Dodson Elementary School is the most impoverished elementary school in the district with 91% economically disadvantaged and has consistently been designated as a Tier III chronically low achieving school by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Research indicates that if Tier II and Tier III intervention programs are implemented with fidelity, over 90% of students can achieve core/benchmark status in grades K-2. This is exactly what Wilkes-Barre school district has accomplished.

Prior to Step By Step Learning's intervention in Wilkes-Barre three years ago, the classroom teachers taught reading in isolation and were solely responsible for...


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