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New report: phonics reduces summer learning loss

A new, independent research report conducted by Learning Experience Design (LXD) Research shows that using explicit, systematic phonics instruction during the school year can decrease summer learning loss, reducing the need for intervention during the following school year. (Download the report.)

grade school boy reading a book outside with his friends, reducing summer slide in literacy

Structured literacy to retain reading skills

Educators work hard all year to provide students with the instruction and practice they need to become strong readers. At the end of the school year, they are thinking about ways to avoid summer learning loss. A new research study on elementary students in Lexington Public Schools in Nebraska shows that using explicit, systematic phonics instruction during the school year can decrease summer learning loss by as much as 200 percent and help students retain their reading skills. It builds the case for investing in a high-quality, evidence-based structured literacy program for the 2023-2024 school year.

Prevent summer learning loss with phonics: 95 Phonics Core Program

The independent research study was conducted by LXD Research. Results show that summer slide decreased by 63% between rising 1st graders and rising 2nd graders and by 200% for rising 3rd graders. Access the full report “Prevent summer learning loss with phonics: 95 Phonics Core Program®” below for more information.

Download the report.

The impact of core phonics curriculum

Researchers examined the effects of the 95 Phonics Core Program on the Acadience Reading scores of K-3 students between Fall 2021 and Fall 2022. The program builds core phonics skills through 30 minutes of daily instruction. Analysis showed positive impacts for the composite scores of rising first graders who started below grade level and the composite scores for all rising third graders. Positive impacts were also found for rising second graders, specifically on the Nonsense Word Fluency Correct Letter Sounds and Whole Words Read assessment measures. Comparing the treatment and control groups at each level revealed that structured literacy’s positive impact on literacy achievement was sustained through the summer and into the next school year (Schechter & Lynch, 2022).

Related resources

Interested in reading more? Access a companion article about this new report written by LXD Research for more information. And then contact us for help in implementing an evidence-based, structured literacy curriculum in your school or district today.

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