University of Oregon

ICEBERG Grant

Funding Source: Office of Special Education Programs, Stepping Up Technology Implementation Purpose: The field lacks a comprehensive assessment of children’s early risk for reading disabilities (RD) that can be seamlessly used during the critical preschool‐ to‐ kindergarten transition. In addition, fundamentally different approaches to assessment across settings threaten the promise of effective early RD prevention. Consequently, we propose to develp strategies and resources to bridge assessment and data‐based decision‐making practices across preschool and kindergarten to promote emergent reading skills growth and reduce RD risk. Sample: In Year 1 we work with one development preschool site. In Year 2, we add a new preschool and a kindergarten site. In Years 3 and 4, we work with four new sites (two preschool and two kindergarten). In Year 5, we work with 10 dissemination sites (seven preschool and three kindergarten). Project Description: Using the Learning Receptiveness Assessment (LRA) as the universal screening tool, we will develop and refine online features and products (e.g., guides, reports, training) to facilitate teacher‐responsiveness to child‐ identified weaknesses that place them at‐risk for learning difficulties. The LRA utilizes touch‐screen tablet technology to measure working memory processing, emergent literacy skill levels, and classroom behavioral functioning as early learning risk factors across five time points (pre‐kindergarten winter and spring, and kindergarten fall, winter, and spring). In particular, we will survey stakeholders, hold focus‐ and work‐ group meetings, and conduct classroom observations to gather information about the types of implementation support preschool and kindergarten teachers need to effectively assess and strengthen identified early learning needs. We will also evaluate tool use (e.g., administration, decision‐making, and responsiveness) feasibility, accessibility, and usefulness to practice. Design and Methods: The proposed work will comprise four main parts: (1) Implementation strategies deployment and tool use, (2) Products development and refinement, (3) Data gathering, analysis, and evaluation, and (4) Dissemination of findings. We will assess school readiness, need for innovation, and implementation assets and challenges; educate and model data‐based decision making change to encourage effective tool use; provide and receive implementation feedback; and visit non‐participant sites to enhance the generalizability of the LRA approach for more diverse settings and needs. We will develop guidance materials and training; construct score reports tailored to provide teacher‐friendly actionable data (via links with best practices); and build teacher prompts and other identified critical features into the LRA system. Over the course of the project, we will evaluate the LRA system utility and impact on student achievement and share findings.