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Foundations in Learning Launches Integrated Intervention to Support Persistently Struggling Readers

Foundations Learning System is an integrated solution that enables educators to quickly identify and help struggling readers who have been failed by traditional instruction and interventions.

Coralville, IowaFoundations in Learning today announced the launch of the Foundations Learning System, an assessment and intervention solution designed for students from second grade through high school who struggle with reading comprehension and fluency due to poor word recognition skills. The System combines a screener, diagnostic and intervention, along with curriculum guides and detailed reporting, into an integrated solution to change academic outcomes for persistently struggling readers who have been failed by traditional instruction and interventions.

“There are an average of nine to 10 students in every classroom whose ability to make academic progress is ‘stuck’ because they lack foundational reading skills. Each day, these kids fall further and further behind their peers, and without a transformation in reading intervention, this crisis will only continue,” said Dr. Carolyn Brown, President and co-founder of Foundations in Learning. “We must apply new methods from modern learning science to close the gaps for these students for whom traditional instruction has repeatedly failed. The Foundations Learning System is a revolutionary intervention designed to give persistently struggling readers a brighter future.”

Millions of dollars are spent each year on reading instruction and intervention, yet NAEP research shows that two-thirds of U.S. students still lack reading proficiency and at least one-half of these students lack adequate basic word recognition skills. The Foundations Learning System addresses this challenge by applying the learning framework known as the “Varied Practice Model,” which is proven to enhance automatic skill development in many other domains—including sports, music, language and math—to the development of automatic word recognition skills, an essential precursor of fluency and reading comprehension. This enables educators to quickly identify and help students whose academic progress has stagnated due to a lack of foundational reading skills, including persistently struggling readers, students with special needs, English language learners and students who learn differently.

The Foundations Learning System—an integrated intervention designed specifically to enhance acquisition, application, generalization and automaticity of foundational reading skills—has five components:

• Online screener—In just 20 minutes, the screener enables educators to quickly identify whether students have deficits in automatic word recognition skills.

• Online diagnosticIn three 20-minute sessions, the diagnostic identifies specific gaps in decoding knowledge and measures automaticity of word recognition. The Foundations Diagnostic is the only scaled measure of automatic word recognition currently available.

• Online intervention—Based on students’ specific gaps, the intervention delivers personalized online instruction through 24 structured units organized around the Varied Practice Model, giving students the chance to encounter the materials from multiple perspectives.

• Curriculum guides—These guides support teacher-facilitated instruction by providing a wealth of resources, including poems and passages, curriculum packets, and daily lesson plans to reinforce the development of automatic word recognition skills, improve reading fluency, and deepen and extend learning to new contexts that include vocabulary, comprehension and writing.

• ReportsTeachers and administrators can access reports to track and monitor students’ performance as they progress through the system.

Research scientists Dr. Carolyn Brown and Dr. Jerry Zimmermann, co-founders of Foundations in Learning, have spent more than 30 years studying the needs of struggling readers, and the Foundations Learning System is built on 10 years of research and product development. For the development of the diagnostic, they collaborated with scientists from the University of Iowa; Dr. Deborah Reed, Dr. Bob McMurray, Dr. Eliot Hazeltine and Dr. Keith Apfelbaum. Support was provided by the SBIR program at the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences under contract ED-IES-15-C-0023. Foundations in Learning has also received support from the National Institutes of Health and the state of Iowa to develop and test strategies that work. 

The Foundations Learning System is the only solution that brings the science of automaticity to reading assessment and intervention, an approach that can enhance and/or replace the repetition-based, linear interventions that have failed so many challenged readers for so long. It has been proven effective for students who struggle with decoding, comprehension and fluency; are unable to consistently identify and distinguish vowels; do not understand how syllables work or have difficulty breaking words into syllables; or who cannot quickly and automatically apply the rules of phonics to new words or to connected text. 

For more information on bringing the Foundations Learning System to a school or district, call 888-701-3009 ext. 100 or contact Foundations in Learning by email at info@foundations-learning.com.

About Foundations in Learning

Foundations in Learning is a provider of scientifically based, empirically derived intervention solutions for elementary and middle school age students. The company’s researchers and program developers have decades of experience in creating, testing, and providing schools with effective programs to meet the individual needs of their students. Foundations in Learning’s technology-delivered, research-based programs are supported by learning models that have been demonstrated to be effective in areas of learning that are particularly relevant to the development, application and generalization of reading and mathematics skills. Learn more at https://www.foundations-learning.com/

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