Texas Pre-K DI Pilot Program Readies Students for Kindergarten
Nearly 100 pre-k students in Texas have reason to be proud of their newfound reading and language skills. IDEA Pharr Academy in Pharr, Texas introduced a pre-kindergarten pilot program in the fall of 2014 featuring Direct Instruction programs with the goal of reducing the achievement gap and ensuring students begin kindergarten on grade level. 80% of Pharr Academy’s students speak Spanish as their first language, and nearly all students, 97.3%, come from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
The year began with eight groups of students in Español to English and four more groups in DISTAR Language. Pharr’s goal for the half-day pilot program was for all students to complete Español to English or DISTAR by the end of the year and be primed for starting Reading Mastery Signature Edition (RMSE) language and reading programs in the fall. With over 30 instructional days remaining until year’s end, 66 of the 99 pre-k pilot program students had already started RMSE K – some had completed over 60 lessons! The other 33 students were finishing up Español to English and were a few lessons away from being ready to placement test for RMSE.