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Success for All/Roots and Wings (Reading)




Evidence of Effectiveness:


Success for All is an extensively researched program.  Every Success for All school involved in formal evaluation was matched with a control school similar in poverty level, historical achievement, ethnicity and other factors.  Schools were also matched by district administered standardized test scores given in kindergarten or on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test given by the project in kindergarten or the fall of first grade.  Students beginning in first grade were tested yearly on subtests of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, the Durrell Analysis of Reading Difficulty and the Gray Oral Reading Test.  Evaluations done by both John Hopkins University (JHU) and third party evaluations performed by University of Memphis and WestEd across twenty‑three different schools in seven districts showed significant results.  On average, SFA students read significantly better than their matched control.  By fifth grade, the difference between SFA students and matched controls was one full year.  The lowest 25 percent of students showed even stronger results with effect sizes of +1.03 in the first grade and +1.68 in the fifth grade.  In addition, effect sizes grow with each year of implementation.  Effects on district standardized tests have been collected in most research districts and compared against matched controls.  In Baltimore, Memphis, Flint, Michigan, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Miami, Modesto, and Charleston, West Virginia standardized test measures showed strongly significant results.


Success for All is available in both English and Spanish. The effects of both programs have been evaluated on English language learners.  Southwest Regional Lab looked at both students utilizing the Spanish Success for All programs and students in sheltered English programs using Success for All.  English-speaking students and speakers of languages other than English or Spanish scored above grade level scored significantly higher than controls.


Roots and Wings is also the subject of rigorous research.  Roots and Wings utilizes all the components of Success for All, and therefore the reading effects are expected to be similar to those of SFA.  In addition, Roots and Wings has a math and integrated social studies and science curriculum.  The four pilot schools in Maryland participated in a study tracking growth over time on the state assessment (Maryland School Performance Assessment Program).  This is a performance measure in which students are asked to solve complex problems, set up experiments, write in various genres, and read extended text.  Roots and Wings students showed substantial growth.  Roots and Wings students achieved a satisfactory or excellent rating at more than twice the state's rate on every measure (Reading, Language, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies).


Program Description:


Reading Program


Success for All exists as a separate program and also serves as the reading/writing/language arts component for Roots and WingsSuccess for All is an elementary school restructuring program that redesigns schools around the fundamental belief that if resources are brought to bear early in the lives of students, virtually all students can learn to read.  Success for All began in Baltimore City and is now in place in 1500 schools in  450 districts in 47 states throughout the United States and in five countries around the world.  Most SFA schools have significant Title 1 populations and the majority are school-wide projects.


Reading Roots is typically introduced in the second semester of Kindergarten.  The K-1 beginning reading program uses as its base a series of phonetically regular but meaningful and interesting minibooks and emphasizes repeated oral reading to partners as well as to the teacher.  The minibooks begin with a set of “shared stories,” in which part of a story is written in small type (read by the teacher) and part is written in large type (read by the students).  The student portion uses a phonetically controlled vocabulary.  Taken together, the teacher and student portions create interesting, worthwhile stories.  Over time, the teacher portion diminishes and the student portion lengthens, until students are reading the entire book.  The scaffolding allows students to read interesting literature when they only have a few letter sounds. 


When students reach the second grade reading level, they use a program called Reading Wings.  Reading Wings uses cooperative learning activities built around story structure, prediction, summarization, vocabulary building, decoding practice, and story-related writing.  Students engage in partner reading and structured discussion of stories or novels, and work toward mastery of the vocabulary and content of the story in teams.  Story-related writing is also shared within teams. 


Students in grades one to six are regrouped for reading.  The students are assigned to heterogeneous age-grouped classes most of the day, but during a regular 90-minute reading period they are regrouped by reading performance levels into reading classes of students all at the same level. 


Eight-Week Reading Assessments


At eight-week intervals, reading teachers assess student progress through the reading program.  The results of the assessments are used to determine who is to receive tutoring, to change students’ reading groups, to suggest other adaptations in students’ programs, and to identify students who need other types of assistance, such as family interventions or screening for vision and hearing problems.  The assessments are curriculum-based measures that include teacher observations and judgments, as well as more formal measures of reading comprehension. 


Reading Tutors


One of the most important elements of Success for All and Roots and Wings is the use of tutors to promote students’ success in reading.  The tutors are certified teachers with experience teaching Title I, special education, and/or primary reading.  Tutors work one-on-one with students who are having difficulties keeping up with their reading groups.  The tutoring occurs in 20-minute sessions during times other than reading or math periods. 


Preschool and Kindergarten


Most Success for All and Roots and Wings schools provide a half-day preschool and/or a full-day Kindergarten for eligible students.  The preschool and Kindergarten programs focus on providing a balanced and developmentally appropriate learning experience for young children.  The curriculum emphasizes the development and use of language. 


Family Support Team


Parents are an essential part of the formula for success in Success for All and Roots and Wings.  A Family Support Team works in each school, serving to make families feel comfortable in the school and become active supporters of their child’s education, as well as providing specific services. 



Program Facilitator


A program facilitator works at each school to oversee (with the principal) the operation of the Success for All and Roots and Wings models.  The facilitator helps plan the program, helps the principal with scheduling, and visits classes and tutoring sessions frequently to help teachers and tutors with individual problems. 


Advisory Committee


An advisory committee, composed of the building principal, program facilitator, teacher representatives, parent representatives, and family support staff meets regularly to review the progress of the program and to identify and solve any problems that arise. 


Roots and Wings Schools


A Roots and Wings School will do all the components of Success for All and in addition may implement the math and social studies/science components.  A school can begin as an SFA school and then decide to take on the Roots and Wings components or a school can decide from the onset to do all the Roots and Wings program components.


In the first year, Roots and Wings schools begin by implementing all the components of Success for All, described above.  In the second year of implementation, they typically begin to incorporate the additional major components.  MathWings is the name of the mathematics program.  lt is a constructivist approach to math based on NCTM standards.  MathWings makes extensive use of cooperative learning games, discovery, creative problem solving, manipulatives and calculators.  Unlike reading, students are not regrouped for MathWings.  Heterogeneous groups are used but individual differences in math are addressed by providing a blend of whole group activities and individually paced units.  WorldLab is an integrated approach to social studies and science that engages students in situations and group investigations.  In each activity, students work in cooperative groups, do extensive writing, and use reading, mathematics, and fine arts skills learned in other parts of the program.  WorldLab is ninety minutes in length and students are not regrouped.  Roots and Wings schools then provide the ARoots@ of high quality instruction to ensure that all children have the basic skills needed to achieve school success and then provide the AWings@ of higher order thinking skills, problem solving ability, and love of learning that creates successful life-long learners.


NOTE: MathWings has been included on Nevada=s List of Effective Remedial Programs.  However, due to limited research on WorldLab, this Roots and Wings program has not been included on the List.


Aspects of Reading


This program addresses the following aspects of reading:


·         Phonemic Awareness  ü

·         Phonics ü

·         Fluency ü

·         Vocabulary ü

·         Comprehension ü

·         Motivation ü










Correlation to Nevada State Standards


Currently being completed.


Teacher Support


Success for All staff provides extensive training and support to all participating schools.  In the first year of implementation, there are three days of training for all teachers prior to the beginning of school.  In this training, each teacher is given two days of training in the component of the reading program they will be implementing; an additional day is devoted to program overview.  An additional day of training is needed for all tutors.  In the course of the year, Success for All trainers do three implementation visits at each school.  At these visits, trainers have a chance to observe classrooms, meet with teachers to discuss difficulties and plan next steps.  Kindergarten teachers receive the reading training during the winter. In addition, the Family Support Team re­ceives a day and a half of training in the fall and an additional day and a half of training in the spring.  Additional training in writing may occur in the first or second year of implementation.  Schools that are doing Roots and Wings begin the second year with additional training in the MathWings and Worldlab components.  Every school has a Success for All consultant, which along with center staff are always available to schools to answer questions and provide support.  There is a regular Success for All/Roots and Wings newsletter, as well as a web site that is available to participating schools.


Every Roots and Wings or Success for All school also has highly trained in-house experts.  The principal and school-based facilitator in this project attend a week long training at Johns Hopkins University to attain the depth of knowledge in the program to provide day to day assistance to staff.  The school facilitator organizes required grade level meetings to provide a forum to regularly discuss and review program components, and discuss issues in implementation.  There is also a yearly site conference for schools participating in the program which principals, facilitators, and selected teachers attend.


Equipment Requirements:


Success for All/Roots and Wings does not require any particular materials from schools.  In each program component there are fairly standard school materials that are recommended but all specialized curriculum materials are provided as part of the program.


Since the upper grade program utilizes the school's adopted basal services or novels, it is important for a school considering Success for All/Roots and Wings to check with Success for All to ensure that the program has supporting materials for a school's reading series.




Since there are substantial materials as part of Roots and Wings and Success for All, costs to schools will vary significantly with the number of students enrolled in a school.  Schools must be able to fund a full-time facilitator and at least one teacher‑­tutor.  In addition, the school must be able to have the capacity to tutor at least 30 percent of their first grade students utilizing teacher- tutors and highly qualified para-professionals. This means that the school must have the capacity to dedicate personnel to those positions.  The costs for materials, training, and support will vary according to student enrollment.  On average for a school of about 500 students considering implementation of Success to All, Year One will cost roughly $70,000-$85,000, Year Two is $26,000-$30,000 and Year Three is $23,000-$25,000.  For schools interested in implementing Roots and Wings, costs for the first three years are as follows: Year One: $55,000-$70,000, Year Two: $56,000-$62,000, and Year Three: $56,000-$62,000.


For Information Contact:


Success for All Foundation, Inc

6650 North Oracle West, Suite 101

Tucson, Arizona 85704

Contact:  Northern Nevada – Diane Chapman

Phone: (916) 456-2959

Contact:  Southern Nevada – Judy Gill

Phone:  (480) 513-4260

Contact:  Area I Supervisor

Phone:  (877) 818-0520


Current Location in Nevada:


Clark County School District                                          

Cambeiro Elementary                                                      Lynch Elementary

2851 Harris Street                                                          4850 Kell Lane

Las Vegas, NV 89101                                                     Las Vegas, NV 89115

Contact: Cenie Nelson, Principal                                       Contact: Andrew Martinez

Phone: (702) 799-1700                                                   Phone: (702) 799-8820


Booker Elementary                                                         Madison Elementary

2277 Martin Luther King Blvd.                                         1030 AJ@ Street

Las Vegas, NV 89106                                                     Las Vegas, NV 89106

Contact: Beverly Mathis, Principal                                    Contact: Garrett Kerkstra

Phone: (702) 799-4720                                                   Phone: (702) 799-4760


Bracken Elementary                                                        Thomas Elementary

1200 N. 27th Street                                                         1560 E. Cherokee

Las Vegas, NV 89101                                                     Las Vegas, NV 89109

Contact: Wendy Roselinsky, Principal                               Contact: Elsie Harris

Phone: (702) 799-7095                                                   Phone: (702) 799-5550


Fitzgerald Elementary                                                      Woolley Elementary

2651 N. Revere St.                                                         3955 Timberlake Drive

North Las Vegas, NV 89030                                            Las Vegas, NV 89115

Contact: Leary Adams, Principal                                      Contact: Holly Jaacks

Phone: (702) 799-0600                                                   Phone: (702) 799-4970


Allen Elementary                                                            Lincoln Elementary

8680 W. Hammer Lane                                                   3010 Berg Street

Las Vegas, NV 89128                                                     North Las Vegas, NV

Contact:  Tom O’Roarke                                     Contact:  Linda Reese

Phone:  (702) 799-4580                                                  Phone:  (702) 799-7133


Craig Elementary                                                            Lunt Elementary

2637 E. Gowan Rd.                                                        2701 Harris Street

North Las Vegas, NV 89030                                            Las Vegas, NV 89101

Contact:  Gloria Brooks                                                   Contact:  Elena Villa

Phone:  (702) 799-4910                                                  Phone:  (702) 799-8360


Cahlan Elementary                                                          Carson Elementary

2801 Fort Sumter Drive                                                  1735 N. D. Street

N. Las Vegas, NV 89030                                     Las Vegas, NV 89106

Contact:  Jean Jackson                                                    Contact:  Linda Gipson

Phone:  (702) 799-7103                                                  Phone:  (702) 799-7113


Ronnow Elementary

1100 Lena Street

Las Vegas, NV 89101

Contact:  Douglas Wilson

Phone:  (702) 799-7159


Carson City School District

Empire Elementary

1260 Monte Rosa

Carson City, NV 89701

Contact:  Pat Carpenter

Phone:  (775) 885-6371


Elko County School District

Owyhee Elementary                                                        Jackpot Combined

P.O. Box 100                                                                 P.O. Box 463

Owyhee, NV 89832                                                        Jackpot, NV 89825

Contact: Gretchen Gremer                                               Contact:  Brian Messmer

Phone: (775) 738-5196                                                   Phone:  (775) 755-2374


Humboldt County School District

McDermitt Elementary

McDermitt, NV 89421

Contact: John Moddrell, Principal

Phone: (775) 532-8761


Nye County School District

Amargosa Valley Elementary

8C 15 Box 401-Z

Amargosa, NV 89020

Contact:  Faye Porche

Phone:  (775) 372-5324


Washoe County School District

Booth Elementary                                                           Lincoln Park Elementary

1450 Stewart Street                                                        201 Lincoln Way

Reno, NV 89502                                                            Sparks, NV 89431

Contact: Linda Himmel                                                    Contact:  John Mayer

Phone: (775) 850-8028                                                   Phone:  (775) 353-5570


Anderson Elementary                                                      Natchez Elementary

1055 Berrum Lane                                                          P.O. Box 130

Reno, NV 89509                                                            Wadsworth, NV 89442

Contact:  Nancy Ward                                                    Contact:  Karen Owen

Phone:  (775) 689-2500                                                  Phone:  (775) 351-1902

Sierra Vista Elementary                                                   Veterans Memorial Elementary

2001 Soaring Eagle Drive                                                1200 Locust Street

Reno, NV 89512                                                            Reno, NV 89502

Contact:  Kristen Brown                                                  Contact:  Lynn Rauh

Phone:  (775) 333-5080                                                  Phone:  (775) 333-5090