Farwest 1506848194

California Public School District Wants to Support Bilingual Students

This district needs a literacy tool to support their bilingual demographic.

State: California Number of Students: 49,098
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 74.1%
Grade Level: PK-Adult English Language Learners: 31.8%

School Context

This small K-8 school in a larger school district which opened in 2007 after a team of educators, parents, and community members spent a year re-envisioning the school’s mission. They are dedicated to social justice, creativity, and academic success. They house 73% Latino and 21% African-American students. More than 90% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. They have a total of 600 students and are moving toward becoming a dual language immersion school.


State of Technology

Students enrolled in their English classes are on varying reading levels as many are English Language Learners (ELL). As the school progressively becomes bilingual and pushes for immersion status, they need robust literacy tools to support all learners. They need some that are focused on intervention while others should be more rigorous so that they are meeting all students at their skill-levels.

They currently use several different online literacy platforms in our middle school, such as Accelerated Reader, Achieve 3000, and most currently iLit. The administrator really appreciates the online leveled library in iLit, the ability to differentiate assignments for ELLs, and the interactive reader to hold students accountable while reading and give them feedback on their summaries. However, the input components for Read Aloud, Think Aloud, Conversation frames are not up to the rigor that they would like.


Tech Needs & Requirements

The school is looking for a tool that supports instruction and helps students become better readers. This incorporates as many of the following features as possible.

The school is looking for a tool that is first and foremost, focused on close reading skills. It should host a variety of different and engaging reading passages for both fiction and nonfiction. The teacher should be able to adjust the lexile level and be able to differentiate assignments based on skill level. Ideally, the tool supports read aloud, think aloud input components. They would love a tool that had text-dependent questions.

It would be ideal if the tool itself had a pre-assessment to determine lexile levels but this is not a non-negotiable. The ability to adjust lexile levels is a non-negotiable. The questions associated with reading passages should be standards-aligned.

While some readers are on advanced levels, others are below grade level and the content should still be engaging regardless. It also should not shame the students. The content must be age-appropriate even if the vocabulary and syntax are below grade-level.

If there was a peer-to-peer discussion feature, that would be a plus.

If students have choice, or if teachers can curate the ability to have student choice, on the tool that would be preferred.

Teachers should be able to assign lessons on the tool, aggregate data for each student in the class, and be able to take action if students are struggling. Teachers will be using the supplementary tool to both integrate within their overarching units to fill skill-gaps, but have students be able to make connections between readings on the tool with the whole-class readings as well.

The tool must: provide rigorous in content, vocabulary, but able to differentiate for varying skill/lexile level; be standards aligned to Common Core; and have age appropriate content in a variety of topics. The district provides 1:1 Chromebook carts. The tool must be Common Core standards aligned with progress monitoring if possible. The tool must provide Integration with SAMs, Google, and/or ARIS if possible.

*Content From 2016

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