Dayton Public Schools (DPS) in Ohio has selected the Fast ForWord® family of products from Scientific Learning (NASDAQ: SCIL) to help build critical language and reading skills in the district’s K-8 students. Designed to accelerate learning by developing the student brain to process more efficiently, the Fast ForWord educational software program will be used in 21 of the district’s preK-8 schools, beginning this semester.

According to Lisa Minor, executive director for school improvement at DPS, the Fast ForWord software will be a key component of the district’s “15,000 Reasons to Succeed” program, which translates into action the first goal of the district’s long-term strategic plan: To provide high-quality education that leads to college and careers.

"Two of our district goals are to have every student reading on grade level by third grade and to ensure that all of our students are college and career ready by the time they graduate. We believe that providing this type of intervention program, along with others, will help us raise student achievement and reach these goals," Minor said.

Dayton Public Schools will deploy Fast ForWord via the new SciLEARN™ On Demand platform, a hosted solution that can be up and running quickly, and that gives students, teachers and administrators instant online access to the Fast ForWord products via the Internet anytime, anywhere. Thousands of students at schools across the country — including those in Newark City Schools, East Cleveland City Schools, and Oak Hills Local School District— use the individualized, adaptive Fast ForWord computer exercises to build brain fitness in four critical areas: memory, attention, processing, and sequencing. As a result, learners can realize achievement gains of up to two years in as little as three months, and maintain an accelerated rate of learning even after the programs end.

Funded through the federal government’s Race To The Top education funding grant, the Fast ForWord implementation will initially be used with students in second, third, seventh and eighth grade who need to significantly improve their reading skills. Principals will have the flexibility to determine the greatest needs their schools have and use the program accordingly.

About Dayton Public Schools

Dayton Public Schools is an urban district in Southwestern Ohio serving about 15,000 students in prekindergarten through high school. Sixty-seven percent of the student population is African American, 25 percent is Caucasian, and eight percent is Asian, Hispanic or multiracial. About 420 DPS students are English language learners, speaking more than 20 different languages. And just over 76 percent of all students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. The district has adopted a new academic plan and new curriculum pacing guides this year under Race to the Top. The goal is to prepare Dayton’s teachers and students for the rigors of the national common core standards before they are implemented at the state level in 2013-2014. Dayton’s K-2 teachers have adopted the new standards this year, because children entering kindergarten in August 2011 will be the first to take Ohio’s new state assessment tests on the common core standards when they are third-graders in 2014-15.

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