Visioning Our Learner’s Journey
As educators, it can sometimes be a daunting task to look beyond test scores and envision
a different path for our students. But what if we start to question and wonder? What if we start to peel back the layers and test the boundaries of what we think is possible? What if…? These are questions that should be explored and answered.
At Da Vinci, we are a team of experienced professionals with diverse areas of expertise that collaboratively work together within a culture of curiosity. We strive to solve problems for students, educators, and administrators with the latest in research-based programs and methods.
Our gold standard pledge reminds me of a humbling experience with a student in which I believed that all methods were exhausted to improve sluggish growth in reading fluency. “Sara,” a bright Dyslexic student, still struggled with significantly weak fluency despite completing a full scope and sequence of a research-based reading program with added fluency supplements.
As defined by the National Reading Panel, fluency refers to the ability to read text with accuracy, appropriate rate, and good expression (NICHD, 2000). Lack of this skill simply makes reading a slow, arduous task that can adversely impact comprehension.
While voicing my frustration from inconsistent results, it seems fitting that I was reminded of the power of yet by the founder and CEO of Da Vinci, Kerry Leo. “This is what sets us apart,” Kerry emphasized. “We just haven’t found what will work, yet.”
A plan was developed to carefully monitor this student on Reading Plus®, a web-based online reading intervention, which provides scaffolded silent fluency practice. Our Director of Assessment Lisa Fiore researched and trained our staff in this new tool specifically to be paired with our perpetually disfluent readers.
This intervention proved to be instrumental in yielding significant gains in reading fluency for this particular student, showcasing that at Da Vinci, students and educators grow together.
On a final note, there is no panacea or magic pill for students who struggle with learning differences. There is, however, the opportunity to stay curious, flexible, and to test our hypotheses.
~Amy Ginty MS, Ed.
Director of Curriculum and Training