System 44: Biddeford School Department

At a glance

  • Demonstrates a Rationale
  • Programs: System 44®, Read 180®
  • Subjects: Literacy Curriculum, Intervention Curriculum
  • Report Type: Efficacy Study
  • Grade Level: Elementary, Middle
  • Region: Northeast
  • District Urbanicity: Suburban
  • District Size: Medium
  • Implementation Model: 40-59 Minutes, 60-79 Minutes, 80+ Minutes
  • District: Biddeford School Department, ME
  • Participants: N=36
  • Outcome Measure: Reading Inventory
  • Evaluation Period: 2009–2010
  • Study Conducted by: Scholastic Research

Read 180 now incorporates the comprehensive foundational literacy skills scope and sequence from System 44.

System 44 boosts reading achievement for students with disabilities.

Located in southeastern Maine, Biddeford School Department (BSD) enrolls approximately 2,700 students in Grades PreK–12.The district’s student body is predominantly White (93%), with the remainder of the student population identified as 2% African American, 2% Hispanic, and 2% Asian/Pacific Islander. Just under half (43%) of all students qualify to receive free or reduced-price lunch.

Long interested in improving academic outcomes for their most struggling readers, BSD piloted System 44 during the 2009–2010 school year with students in the district’s Intermediate School (Grades 4 and 5) and Middle School (Grades 6, 7, and 8). Students were placed into System 44 based on low performance on the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP), Reading Inventory®, and Phonics Inventory®. Most System 44 students were students with disabilities, with the majority classified as having a specific learning disability, autism, or an emotional disability. All classrooms implemented a System 44 stand-alone model during a 45- or 90-minute daily classroom period.

Fall 2009 and spring 2010 Reading Inventory Lexile® (L) data were analyzed for 36 students in Grades 4–8 who participated in the program during the 2009–2010 school year. Findings indicate that, overall, System 44 students made significant gains in reading comprehension. As Graph 1 shows, on average, System 44 students improved their Reading Inventory performance from 92L at pretest to 232L at posttest, averaging a significant gain of 140L. Disaggregation of results by school level revealed that intermediate and middle school students demonstrated average gains of 177L and 66L, respectively.

2 1 Biddeford Graph 1

GRAPH 1. Biddeford School Department System 44 Students, Grades 4–8 (N=36)

Performance on Reading Inventory by School Level, 2009–2010

Note. The gain in Lexile was statistically significant for all students (t=4.94, p=.00).