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Closing the Performance Gap: The Gering Story

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Gering Public Schools, a small district in northeast Nebraska, used to suffer from an achievement gap in reading.  In 2004, 36 percent of all Hispanic students in second grade met fluency benchmarks compared to 59 percent of all white students in the district's three elementary schools.  Low literacy performance was also a problem at the district's sole junior high school.

That was before the district implemented the comprehensive Direct Instruction model with the support of the National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI).  Now the achievement gap in reading has been closed.  Over three-fourths of all students meet second grade fluency benchmarks, with a higher percentage of Hispanic students meeting benchmarks than white students!  At the junior high school, the need for remedial reading programs has declined drastically as students are much more able to comprehend content area texts.

This 20 minute video, Closing the Performance Gap:  The Gering Story, portrays the district's transition from one with literacy problems to one in which all students receive an education that meets their literacy needs.  The video describes the changes that have taken place in instruction, progress monitoring, and professional development through the implementation of the comprehensive Direct Instruction (DI) model.

Gering is one of many districts where NIFDI provides direct support for accelerating student performance through the comprehensive DI model.  NIFDI offers the services districts need to implement the DI approach:  assessment training and assessment assistance, pre-service training, on-site coaching and feedback visits, off-site data analysis, coaches' (peer teacher) training, and weekly conference calls.

Please contact NIFDI if you have questions about the video or if you want more information on how NIFDI can help improve student literacy in your school or district.

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Implementing Direct Instruction Successfully: An Online Tutorial

When implemented fully, Direct Instruction (DI) is unparalleled in its ability to improve student performance and enhance students’ self-esteem. In order to implement DI effectively, much more is required than simply purchasing instructional materials. The following two-part tutorial guides administrators, teachers and coaches through the key features of a successful DI implementation. Part I provides an overview of the steps schools need to take in preparation for a DI implementation before school starts while Part II provides an overview of the steps schools need to take after school has started.

rating starIMPORTANT: This tutorial is an intensive video series comprised of 18 segments, each followed by a series of questions. Users should allow approximately three hours to watch the videos and complete the questions. NIFDI recognizes the high demand for time placed on school officials and, for this reason, has structured the tutorial so users may stop at anytime and later resume where they left off.

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Have a slow connection? You can view the quiz portion (no videos) of the tutorial here. To get a copy of the videos on disk to use with this method, please contact us at 877.485.1973 or .

New to Direct Instruction? Watch the Introduction to Direct Instruction Video Series before taking the online tutorial.

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