Report: Nation’s Eighth Largest School District Sees Learning Gains
Even When Waterford Was Introduced Mid-Year
SALT LAKE CITY & TAMPA, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A study of early learners in the nation’s eighth largest school district
spotlights how the Waterford
Early Learning curriculum delivered through the cloud is helping
preschoolers. The study also shows students who need extra support make
significant learning gains, even for those in classrooms that
A report commissioned by Hillsborough County Public Schools, based in
Tampa, Fl., found that preschoolers who used Waterford to fidelity
“significantly outperformed” students in a control group. The learning
gains were consistent across ethnicity, gender, dual language learners
and special education learners.
The report, which covered the 2014-2015 school year, found that children
using Waterford for at least 1,000 minutes starting mid-year showed
greater gains than their peers in oral language vocabulary, phonological
awareness, print knowledge, and math.
“Waterford has definitely made a difference within the last year with
all of our students and especially in the areas of literacy and language
and math, with dual learners showing the greatest gains,” said Evelyn
McFadden, Head Start Supervisor for Hillsborough County Public Schools.
The Hillsborough School district includes 54 schools, with 92 Head Start
classrooms and approximately 2,000 students. Since Waterford’s
implementation, the early education curriculum has been a valuable
resource for students. McFadden said the results are also recognized by
teachers, their supervisors and teachers of upper grades.
“Principals find that the students who come with at least one year of
Head Start, which would include Waterford usage this year and last year,
are better prepared academically to meet the challenges of
kindergarten,” she said.
Hillsborough’s Coordinator of Assessment and Accountability, Lourdes
Plunkett, said Waterford’s live data is helping teachers and principals
better understand students’ learning levels.
“Administrators can pull the data out any time on a daily basis and get
a snapshot of where a child or a group of children are, which is
critical for schools and districts moving forward,” Plunkett said.
The district chose Waterford several years ago after searching for a
developmentally appropriate literacy program to add enhancements in K-2
classrooms. District success and familiarity of Waterford’s K-2 program
made implementing Waterford’s preschool model the next logical step.
Head Start teacher Eric Rassler at Tampa’s Egypt Lake Elementary, which
serves a predominantly Hispanic population, said the biggest thing he
has noticed about Waterford is students becoming more fluent in English
“This year, I have several students from Cuba. The daily exposure to
Waterford is making them fluent in English,” Rassler said. “There is
also great improvement in math. Waterford is providing a new opportunity
to repeat what I teach in math even when I am not sitting next to them
or working in a small group.”
Rodriquiez Perry, who teaches at an inner city school, Robles
Elementary, said Waterford has given children confidence and knowledge
of using a computer, something they previously lacked.
“Initially, this child did not like being on the computer. He felt
inadequate and did not have the skills. This was an extremely withdrawn
and shy child. As time has gone by, he has made tremendous progress and
now loves the computer. He knows how to use it and has greatly improved
specifically in letter identification and letter sounds,” Perry said.
Hillsborough County Public Schools Head Start is a Delegate to
Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioner.
Schools and districts can learn more about Waterford Early Learning,
which is made by the Waterford Institute, at www.waterford.org.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Waterford Institute is a
nonprofit research center that creates personalized cloud-based
instruction through award-winning curriculum, content and assessment for
children aged pre-K to 2nd grade. As a nonprofit, Waterford is uniquely
focused on providing accessibility, equity and excellence for our
youngest learners to position them for a lifetime of learning and
success. For more information, visit www.waterford.org
or call 801-349-2200.
Cory Maloy, 801-319-7900