Leander ISD

Leander ISD, a school district in Texas, screened a large group of students for possible entry into Access Code. Of those screened, 495 were identified as likely to benefit from completing Access Code, either because of low scores in the screener, or because teachers recommended the student receive the intervention despite adequate screener scores. The majority of these students completed Lexile assessments at least twice throughout the year – at the beginning of the year, before any intervention, and at the end of the year, post-intervention.1 These scores provide a means of assessing improvement in response to the Access Code intervention; critically, these assessments were administered independently of how many units of Access Code a student completed, allowing us to investigate how the number of completed units impacts reading ability.

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Of the 495 screened students, 83 completed between 12 and the full 24 units of Access Code and 138 did not begin the intervention. These students who participated in Access Code had slightly lower Lexile scores at the beginning of the year (mean = 446.4; those that did not start: mean = 510). The students who completed at least half of the units showed a mean improvement of 104.4 Lexiles, substantially greater than the 61.7 Lexile improvement of those who did not begin. These findings suggest that Access Code is effective in boosting reading skills.2

  1. Many students also completed a mid-year Lexile assessment; this score is not considered unless 1) the student did not complete an end-of-year Lexile assessment; or 2) their mid-year score was better than their end-of-year score. In this latter case, the mid-year score was used to assess Lexile gains.
  2. An additional 274 students began Access Code but completed fewer than half of the units. These students showed a Lexile gain of only 40.4, substantially less than that shown by those who did not begin the intervention at all., but only with sufficient fidelity of implementation. Completing only a small portion of the intervention may be less effective than business-as-usual.