Read 180 raising literacy levels

By Belinda M. Paschal -

PIQUA – The Read 180 program is enjoying considerable success at Piqua Junior High School, according to a building update on student achievement presented to the Piqua City Schools Board of Education on Wednesday.

Representing the school hosting the board meeting, Principal Jeff Clark said PJHS, along with Piqua Central Intermediate School, has been successful at “overall implementing the program with fidelity.”

PJHS has 57 students enrolled in Read 180, and PCIS has 80 students in the program, which has three components: software sessions, independent reading, and reading in small groups.

Clark and Assistant Principal Chad Albers said two-thirds of Read 180 students at the two schools are showing “measurable gains” in reading, 44 percent have already met their year-end goals, and 18 percent have doubled their end-of-the-year goals.

In addition, the students have completed 62 software sessions thus far, more than half of the 100 they are expected to do by the academic year’s end.

“There’s really good growth there, good progression,” Clark said.

The principals said the program also focuses on intervening with students whose reading skills do not progress. About nine students in the program have shown no growth, slow growth or negative growth, Clark said, attributing this to factors including attendance problems and issues at home.

Albers said the average growth in lexile points – i.e., the degree of reading comprehension – for students not in the program is 150 to 200 points in two years. For students in Read 180, the average growth is 260 points.

Also during the meeting, a group of PCIS students gave a presentation on a program they have implemented to reward teachers for being kind, helping them learn and making school fun. Using “Teacher Tickets” and reward coupons, teachers can receive prizes including extra recess, hugs, blue jean days, and more.

Curriculum Director Scott Bloom acknowledged Springcreek Primary School’s recent designation as a “Best School in Ohio Connect to Nature Award” from the Miami County Park District. The school is the first in both the state and the country to receive this award.

Bloom said things the district is doing to get students to connect to nature include encouraging them to be physically active and play outside more, urging them to explore Ohio’s natural resources, and getting their families involved through such activities as camping.

In personnel business, the board approved Heath Butler as assistant principal of PCIS for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 schools years, and accepted the resignation of Curt South as business coordinator at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. South oversaw the district’s extensive building projects – demolishing old schools and building new ones.

Wednesday’s meeting can be viewed online at The board of education’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. May 25 at Piqua High School.

By Belinda M. Paschal

Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341

Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341