Professional Development: Blog

The Science of Learning

February 18, 2014
A Once-Struggling District, St. Mary Parish Public Schools is Now Among the Top Third in the State of Louisiana

District officials say the use of neuroscience-based software from Scientific Learning Corp. helped students build cognitive and reading skills for improved learning 2/18/14 Media Contact: Hallie SmithDirector of MarketingScientific Learning Corporation(619) [email protected] Investor Contact:Jane FreemanChief Financial OfficerScientific Learning Corporation(510) [email protected] Oakland, Calif. — Feb. 18, 2014 — After struggling for years to raise low student performance, the St. Mary Parish School System (SMPSS) in Centerville, La. has earned its second consecutive “B” letter grade rating from the Louisiana Department of Education. Thanks to its continued, consistent growth in academic achievement, the rural school district now ranks in the top third of the 74 Louisiana school districts receiving performance score ratings. For years, the district’s high stakes test scores lagged behind the state average. Some schools had been in Academic Assistance — a designation for schools that fail to grow sufficiently — for nearly 10 years. In the 2006-07 school year, the district began using Fast ForWord® products with seven schools that were in Academic Assistance. Fast ForWord is an online reading intervention that uses the principles of neuroplasticity — the ability of the brain to rewire and improve — to treat the underlying cause of language and reading difficulties, once and for all. “Through deliberate, collaborative action, the St. Mary Parish School System has realized significant growth in numerous student groupings including a considerable narrowing of the achievement gap among subgroups,” said Dr. Donald Aguillard, superintendent of St. Mary Parish Schools. “We began using Fast ForWord products in 2007 to promote learning and build a climate for students to realize success.  We did not know at the time that Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant would dramatically transform the educational landscape of our entire school district.  Today, we resemble a highly progressive, dynamic, educational organization focused on student learning and academic progress.” […]

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