Summer school students in Parlier Unified School District in Parlier, CA saw gains of 9 to 21 percentage points upon completion of a new summer school program provided by DataWORKS Educational Research.

DataWORKS’ StepUP Academy program and Launch to Literacy ELD curriculum were combined to provide a unique summer school program tailored to improving student literacy.

Daily lessons focused on teaching students phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.

Students were given pre- and post-tests to track their progress, and by the end of the six-week academy, students showed impressive gains. English Language Arts scores for student groups increased an average of 9 to 21 percentage points (fig. 1).

Figure 1

Parlier StepUP Academy
Pre-to Post-Test Comparisons

  • Pre-Test Average
  • Post-Test Average

Students read, write, and highlight important information in the Launch to Literacy curriculum.

The StepUP Academy was uniquely organized in that students were grouped into three English Language Development (ELD) levels. Pre-test scores were used to determine which of the three ELD levels students would be placed in for the summer academy.

Students take online pre-tests using iPads in the classroom.

Students take online pre-tests using iPads in the classroom.

The StepUP Academy was uniquely organized in that students were grouped into three English Language Development (ELD) levels. Pre-test scores were used to determine which of the three ELD levels students would be placed in for the summer academy.

The Launch to Literacy curriculum included specific lessons and a pacing calendar which showed teachers exactly which lessons to teach each day.

Learning to Read English Curriculum Material

Also part of the Launch to Literacy curriculum were student instructional materials for English Lessons, Spelling, High-Frequency Words, and Classroom Activities. Students also used whiteboards, markers, pencils, and highlighters to take notes and respond to checking for understanding questions.  Throughout each lesson, students lifted whiteboards to show their answers to their teachers – an important part of DataWORKS Explicit Direct Instruction lesson delivery model.

To roll out this new summer school program, DataWORKS provided teacher training before the academy began in June. DataWORKS consultants then provided daily coaching during the school day, including stepping in to help teach lessons when needed.  At the end of each day, consultants met with the teachers to discuss classroom instruction, share success stories, and answer any questions.

Parlier Superintendent Edward M. Lucero, Summer School Principal Sylvia Gomez, DataWORKS Consultant Dr. Silvia Ybarra, Parlier Assistant Superintendent Lou Saephan.

DataWORKS consultant Dr. Silvia Ybarra meets with teachers after school to discuss each day’s instruction, share success stories, and answer questions.

Sixteen Parlier teachers participated in this unique StepUP Academy with the Launch to Literacy ELD Curriculum, preparing them to be even more effective.