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Promising Practices in Wisconsin

Earlier this year, Wilson In-District Trainer Sara Adamovich was invited to participate in the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Promising Practices Workgroup to develop and share strategies for literacy success.

Sara teaches at Eagle River Elementary School (Northland Pines School District), one of only 18 schools identified for the Promising Practices Workgroup because of their high reading achievement growth for students with disabilities. The workgroup was tasked with examining and recommending practices/strategies to increase literacy outcomes for students with disabilities and developing related resources for educators which will be shared statewide.

During the five workgroup meetings, Sara’s main focus was within the area of Effective Instruction – Strategies, one of four topics explored by the team. She reflected on the literacy improvement in her district using the Wilson Reading System® (WRS) and promoted the importance of explicit, systematic, cumulative, and diagnostic instruction for students with learning disabilities. She also showed student work to the group and discussed the progress achieved.

“Wilson Works” at Eagle River Elementary

As a special education teacher, Sara focuses on working with students needing intensive reading instruction/remediation and collaborating with regular education teachers to provide technological supports, accommodations, and modifications for students. As a Wilson® Trainer, she also provides Wilson professional learning and support to teachers in the district.

The Wilson Reading System is being used throughout the Northland Pines School District. Every teacher working with students with learning disabilities is WRS Level I Certified; 80% of other special education staff and a few elementary general education staff have also obtained WRS certification.

Identification by the Department of Public Instruction validates the progress at the school that has been noted through pre- and posttesting, special education reevaluations, and behavioral changes. Sara describes the increased outcomes as “amazing” with students now able to find success in reading, spelling, and sharing knowledge. Student confidence increases with each achievement and Sara noted, “It’s music to my ears when teachers share with me that our students volunteer to read aloud in class.” 

Helping Struggling Students

Sara’s journey with Wilson started with Justin and Josh, two second-grade students who had previously been unsuccessful in making reading gains with other programs. This led her to discover the Wilson Reading System, complete WRS certification, and then become a Wilson Trainer with her district’s support. Sara, along with other teachers, have provided WRS instruction to Justin and Josh over the years. Sara feels fortunate to have witnessed the gains made when both students completed the program in eighth grade.

Sara continues to be impressed in the accomplishments of her students, such as Skyler (pictured above with Sara) who recently began Step 3, and Jessica who just completed Step 12 in June!

Demonstrating her dedication, Sara has improved the lives of students in many ways: through her direct instruction, by the professional learning she provides to other teachers, and in helping to sustain Wilson implementation with fidelity in the district. And now through the workgroup, her experience and insights are able to influence best practices for educators across the state on how to achieve reading growth for students with disabilities. Sara noted that “This recognition could not have happened without the help, knowledge, wisdom, and encouragement received … during my Wilson certifications and intern training. Thank you for all you do! #WilsonWorks!”

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