The challenge

National reporting that measured the opportunity gap from before the pandemic to fall 2021 showed a slight dip in students across the country reading on grade level. For Wicomico County Public Schools, the loss was two to three times greater than the national average (an eight-point difference across each grade level). The district needed to bring transformational change to their reading instruction. And they did.

The solution

95 Phonics Core Program provided Wicomico educators with an explicit phonics program to add into their daily reading block. It ensured that all K-3 students received consistent evidence–based phonics instruction to improve outcomes. The district’s schools also aligned instructional methods and learning routines across tiers by also using the 95 Phonics Chip Kit for their Tier 2 structured literacy support.

The results

Students using 95 Phonics Core Program in year 2 saw higher gains than students in year 1 (8% to 35% in Grade 2, and 9% to 29% in Grade 3). In year two, the percentage of students on or above benchmark more than doubled from fall to spring using the 95 Phonics Core Program. Read more below.