AEMing for Achievement Grant Success Stories
Teams: Charter School of the Dunes, Decatur County Community Schools, Madison-Grant United School Corporation, Mooresville Consolidated School Corporation, Tippecanoe School Corporation, Wabash City Schools, and Zionsville Community Schools
Fourth-grade students in one AEM district have quickly become accustomed to using Snap&Read and Co:Writer. These students report feeling less stressed and having more time to complete their work, especially on eLearning days. They find it easy to turn in assignments virtually with the assistance of Co:Writer. The school staff said, “This is the first year in a long time we are ahead of the game in providing accessible educational materials.” The tools provided by the AEMing for Achievement grant benefitted all students, whether they required services and materials through an IEP or not.
When an AEM team analyzed data from the uPAR tool, they made a significant discovery. A 7th grader demonstrated abilities which surpass her current special education programming. Currently, she is pursuing a Certificate of Completion and demonstrates a below 4th-grade independent reading level. However, when provided human audio or a text reader, she is able to respond to comprehension questions with 92% accuracy on a grade level informational text. Based on these results, her team is now discussing changes to her programming and a possible re-evaluation. She is being recommended for the higher level resource reading and math classes. Her IEP was updated to include read-aloud accommodations. The AEMing for Achievement grant uncovered this student’s academic potential which is positively affecting her social and emotional success!
One AEM team began the grant process with a single student in mind. This particular high school student gets headaches, become dizzy, and has seizures when reading printed text. Although the school was providing a one-on-one paraprofessional to read aloud text in her honors level classes, this was becoming a potentially harmful effect. The student would ask to do her work in an empty room since she felt she was disrupting her peers. When the student attempted homework, her mother would have to read aloud notes or text for any information she did not recall. With the district-wide rollout of Snap&Read, the student can now remain in class with her peers, has achieved passing grades, gained independence at home, and has had no seizures at school for the second semester.
Teams: Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County, Greencastle Community School Corporation, Hamilton Southeastern Schools, Manchester Community Schools, MSD of Decatur Township, School City of Mishawaka, Shoals Community School Corporation, and Westfield Washington Schools
“Sam” is a 2nd grader who struggled in reading despite the implementation of different strategies. His Case Conference Committee considered placement in the Functional Academics Program, but the Assistive Technology team suggested administering uPAR. The results revealed that “Sam” does struggle with decoding on grade level texts. However, his comprehension, when provided a text reader, is above grade level. Now, he uses Text-To-Speech and Speech-To-Text to access grade-level content. He is an active and independent participant in his learning.
The Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) team developed students’ proficiency in the use of Snap&Read and Co:Writer insomuch that students trained adult staff. One of these student-teachers is a 6th grader named “Matthew”. Before exposure to these tools, he had difficulty making the adjustment to his new school and family situation. Afterward, he became engaged, motivated, and re-discovered his confidence. He remarked, “The teachers are always teaching me new things. Now, I got to teach them how to do something. I feel really good!” While his reading level increased so did his grades and eagerness to continue to learn and grow at his new school.
“Derrick” and his classmates attended lunch at a restaurant in the community. When given a paper menu, he became distraught. His teacher noticed escalating behaviors. Quickly, she opened the online menu on her smartphone and launched Snap&Read. After the menu was read aloud, “Derrick” told the waitress his order and enjoyed the rest of the outing.
“Emily”, an honor track student, began having difficulty in AP Government class due to the complexity of the vocabulary. She became frustrated and stopped turning in assignments. Her teacher introduced the simplifying text feature of Snap&Read to the whole class. Now, she can connect the vocabulary to prior knowledge and work past her perceived limitations.