PreK-12 Market Headlines

Academy of Reading Earns Endorsement from CASE

School Specialty’s Online Program Meets or Exceeds Criteria for a Reading Intervention Software Tool for Struggling Readers

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – April 25, 2011 – Today at the Council for Exceptional Children Conference, School Specialty Literacy and Intervention announced that its Academy of READING® is now endorsed by the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE). This prestigious recognition signifies that the literacy intervention program meets or exceeds all of CASE’s criteria for a reading intervention software tool for struggling readers that is designed to complement existing reading curriculum.
 
The Academy of READING software program assists educators in developing intervention strategies that enable struggling students – particularly special populations such as special-education students and English Language Learners (ELL) – to build fluency in the foundation skills of reading. The software features a mastery learning approach that incorporates automaticity, independent reading, Spanish language support, and motivational elements. The company earned endorsement for the Academy of READING from CASE after participating in a rigorous evaluation that included review by teachers and students, as well as an in-depth examination of its research base.

“Building a firm foundation in literacy skills is critical for student success in school, college and life,” said Dr. Luann L. Purcell, Executive Director, CASE. “To ensure special-education students have the opportunity to develop these skills, it is important they have access to personalized, research-based learning tools that will help accelerate their learning. The Academy of READING exemplifies the type of program that ensures all students, particularly those with special needs, receive high-quality intervention and build 21st century literacy skills. CASE is proud to endorse the Academy of READING.”

Among the educators who provided support for the Academy of READING’s application for CASE endorsement is Sonja Kubinec, reading specialist at Neil Armstrong Middle School in Bethel Park, Pa. Students at her school have been learning with the Academy of READING since the 2007-2008 school year, and the district has seen gains of up to three grade levels when students use the system for just one school year.

“After an extremely successful implementation, I can professionally confirm that the Academy of READING builds and strengthens the foundation of reading within my students. It has contributed to making a difference in each and every student’s life and gives them the confidence to succeed,” said Kubinec.

“It is an honor to have the Academy of READING endorsed by CASE, a national leader in ensuring that students of all abilities receive an equitable, quality education,” said George Kane, Vice President of Products and Innovation for School Specialty. “We have been developing products for the special-education community for more than 50 years, and with the Academy of READING and our other technology-based products, we have extended that commitment to developing high-quality ed-tech tools for this important community.”

About The Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE)
The Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) is an international professional educational organization that is affiliated with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), whose members are dedicated to the enhancement of the worth, dignity, potential and uniqueness of each individual in society. Those who receive special-education services are individuals who possess basic rights and responsibilities, and who command respect at all times. Special education embraces the right to a free, appropriate public education. The mission of the Council of Administrators of Special Education, Inc., is to provide leadership and support to members by shaping policies and practices that impact the quality of education. For more information, visit www.casecec.org.

About School Specialty
School Specialty (Nasdaq: SCHS) is a leading education company that provides innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to help educators engage and inspire students of all ages and abilities to learn. The company designs, develops and provides preK-12 educators with the latest and very best curriculum, supplemental learning resources and school supplies. Working in collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help educators, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential. School Specialty Literacy and Intervention, also known as EPS, delivers comprehensive reading, math and Response to Intervention (RTI) solutions to help schools make a measurable difference in the outcomes for 30 million struggling students who fall below proficiency benchmarks. Trusted brands from School Specialty Literacy and Intervention include Academy of READING®, Academy of MATH®, S.P.I.R.E.®, MCI, Wordly Wise 3000®, Sitton Spelling and Word Skills®, Touchphonics®, and Explode The Code®, many of which are blended media programs. For more information, visit eps.schoolspecialty.com.