Despite Diversity Challenges, Spalding Accredited School's Test Scores Consistently Rank Among Arizona's Top Schools

 

Phoenix-based Alhambra Traditional School - where 40 percent of students qualify for either free or reduced-priced food services - has consistently maintained its high state ranking. The school's third grade is No. 1 in the state. Its principal attributes the school's success to a number of factors, including a rigorous curriculum, strong parent support, and the implementation of The Spalding Method as its language arts curriculum.

 

PHOENIX - May 1, 2013 - Among the top-ranked elementary schools in Arizona, one - Alhambra Traditional School (ATS) in Phoenix - is unique. The school has diversity challenges unlike other highly ranked Arizona schools: 65 percent of its approximately 750 students are minority and 40 percent of students come from low-income households that qualify for either free or reduced-priced food services.

 

 

Yet, since its inception ATS has consistently ranked among the highest scoring schools in reading and language on statewide standardized achievement tests. In 2012, ATS performed better than 99.2 percent of the elementary schools in Arizona and its third grade was ranked No. 1 on the Spring 2011 AIMS Assessment in reading. In addition, by December ATS kindergartners are reading. According to the Arizona Department of Education Accountability Division, ATS is ranked No. 9 among elementary schools in the state for its 3rd and 4th grades combined AIMS Math & AIMS Reading for the 2011-2012 school year. Even knowing the school's track record, the early reading ability surprises parents.

 

"I was surprised at how quickly my children learned to read," said Sherrie Turner, the parent of three ATS students.

 

"Our achievement is very high," said Dr. Tracey Lopeman, the school's principal. "But when you compare the demographics of schools with similar results, the statistics could not be more different."

 

ATS, an alternative public school within the Alhambra Elementary School District, was founded in 1983 by a group of parents who desired an intense academic curriculum, disciplined environment, and parental involvement in the school's decision-making processes. Parents said they chose "The Writing Road to Reading" by Spalding Education International (SEI) for the language arts curriculum because it integrates a comprehensive speech, spelling, writing and reading program with The Spalding Method. The Method is research based, multi-sensory and diagnostic instruction combined with an educational philosophy of high expectations and professional growth. SEI says the textbook by Romalda B. Spalding - now on its 6th revised edition - closely aligns with and often exceeds the Common Core State Standards.

 

ATS became a Spalding accredited school in 2002. Accreditation by SEI is a voluntary process and requires a Spalding Certified Teacher at each grade level and at least one Spalding Certified Teacher Instructor to provide on-site Spalding training for teachers.

 

The school's successful track record has parents lined up waiting to enroll their children. About 90 percent of ATS students live outside Alhambra School District boundaries.

 

"Our state ranking always places us at the top of Internet searches," said Dr. Lopeman. "We're definitely well known. Every day interested parents call to add their children's names to the waiting list. I connect our reputation to our results in reading and writing, which we attribute to our implementation of The Spalding Method."

 

Continued Dr. Lopeman, "Our in-depth knowledge and experience with The Spalding Method allows us to teach beyond the phonogram cards and spelling lists, where many schools stall. The Spalding Teacher's Guides identify reading and writing objectives aligned with Common Core Standards. Students learn to analyze text structure, determine author's purpose and, through consistent modeling of mental actions, engage in all the comprehension strategies that good readers use. That is Spalding."

 

New teachers are required to take 45 hours of initial Spalding training before they begin teaching at ATS. In addition, every ATS teacher is required to become Spalding Certified.

 

"Spalding is based on teacher training," she said. "It goes back to the teacher's understanding of phonemic awareness, how to effectively teach students to decode, and knowing how to convey the comprehension process. That's the key to its success; the teacher is well trained."

 

 

According to Dr. Lopeman, ATS' success can be replicated in other schools because the Spalding manuals and training are very detailed and reliable. Many other schools in the US and internationally use Spalding's curriculum. For more information visit www.spalding.org.

 

# # #

 

About Spalding Education International
Spalding Education International (SEI) is dedicated to teaching all students to spell, write and read. The organization was founded in 1986 by Romalda B. Spalding, author of "The Writing Road to Reading" - a comprehensive K-6 total language arts program that closely aligns with the Common Core Standards. In the Spalding Method, instruction is explicit, systematic, interactive, diagnostic and multi-sensory. SEI courses are accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) for its literacy instructional programs for teachers and Spalding teacher trainers. Classroom and resource room teachers, adult educators, as well as home educators in the United States, Canada, Australia, Central America, Europe, Singapore and Taiwan are currently using the Spalding Method. SEI is a nonprofit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) corporation based in Phoenix, Ariz. For more information, call 1-623-434-1204 or visit www.spalding.org.

 

Contact: Jim Sexton / 623-434-1204 / marketing@spalding.org

 

 

Spalding School Accreditation Can Boost School Ranking, Teacher Morale

 

Spalding accreditation was recently bestowed upon two Arizona schools, bringing to 12 the total number of Spalding accredited schools in the US. One school is located in Phoenix and the other in Queen Creek. According to Spalding, this designation signifies a school is committed to proficient implementation of The Spalding Method.

 

PHOENIX - June 19, 2013 - Two Arizona schools - the Benjamin Franklin Charter School (BFCS) - Crismon Campus, in Queen Creek and Adams Traditional Academy (ATA) in Phoenix - recently joined an elite group of Spalding Accredited Schools.Spalding Education International (SEI) now has 12 Accredited Schools located in four states. The other states are California, Utah and Wyoming.

"Having two more Spalding Accredited Schools means we have more examples of the effectiveness of The Spalding Method," said SEI CEO Jim Sexton. "These schools are especially helpful when we have educators visiting who want to see Spalding in action."

Educators won't have to travel far as ATA and a previously accredited school, Valley Academy Charter School, are both within a mile of SEI's headquarters.

 

 

Accreditation by SEI is a voluntary process that signifies a school has formally adopted The Spalding Method as its basic language arts program. In addition, the school has at least three Spalding Certified Teachers and one Spalding Certified Teacher Instructor (SCTI) for initial accreditation. The SCTI's role is to provide on-site Spalding training for teachers. Accredited schools qualify as Spalding Demonstration Schools and are eligible for a discount on SEI’s classroom instructional materials.

 

"Accreditation is a significant event for a school," said SEI Executive Director for Educational Services Janie Carnal. "It signifies a school is committed to proficient implementation of The Spalding Method. Schools that implement our Method with fidelity tend to rank among the top schools in their state."

 

4 BFCS Schools Now Accredited
BFCS Crismon, which began implementing Spalding in 1996, held its accreditation ceremony April 24. Diana Dana is the school's principal. BFCS Crismon is currently in the process of relocating to a new, updated facility that is expected to serve more than 800 kindergarten through sixth grade students. It's the fourth school in the BFCS organization to become Spalding accredited. The others are the Mesa, Gilbert and Power campuses. The Spalding Method is the foundation of the traditional, back-to-basics curriculum offered through BFCS’s four locations.

 

ATA Proud of Accreditation
ATA's accreditation ceremony was May 16. It's a publicly funded, non-profit charter school owned by Choice Academies Inc. and is located in the North Phoenix area. It serves children in grades kindergarten through eighth.

 

"This accreditation means a great deal to me," said ATA Principal Sharon Malone. "I've been involved with Spalding for a long time. I helped Valley Academy get through the accreditation program. To be able to do it to a school that I helped found, I feel like we can now say to the world, 'We do something better than a lot of schools do.' My teachers and my kids have worked hard for this, so I am very excited - and just a little bit proud."

 

Benefits of Accreditation
Sharon added that because charter schools are businesses, the Spalding accreditation would do two things for the school. First, it'll help to attract more customers. Second, it will communicate to the teachers and parents that what the school does, it does well.

 

"Accreditation helps morale," said Sharon. "The children were part of this process. They became a team. Their goal was to get their teacher certified. They were going to learn and do as much as they had to - to make sure it worked. This process was a uniting factor for the school."

 

SEI hopes to have at least three newly accredited schools annually.

 

"Our goal is to have more and more Spalding Accredited Schools so that we can showcase different types of student populations and show how Spalding works despite ethnicity or income bracket," added Jim.

 

More schools are currently involved in the accreditation process and will soon be added to this growing list.

 

"For any school, accreditation is well worth the effort," said Sharon.

 

# # #

 

About Spalding Education International
Spalding Education International (SEI) is dedicated to teaching all students to spell, write and read. The organization was founded in 1986 by Romalda B. Spalding, author of "The Writing Road to Reading" - a comprehensive K-6 total language arts program that closely aligns with the Common Core Standards. In the Spalding Method, instruction is explicit, systematic, interactive, diagnostic and multi-sensory. SEI courses are accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) for its literacy instructional programs for teachers and Spalding teacher trainers. Classroom and resource room teachers, adult educators, as well as home educators in the United States, Canada, Australia, Central America, Europe, Singapore and Taiwan are currently using the Spalding Method. SEI is a nonprofit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) corporation based in Phoenix, Ariz. For more information, call 1-623-434-1204 or visit www.spalding.org.

 

Contact: Jim Sexton / 623-434-1204 / marketing@spalding.org

 

 

 

Spalding Education Releases New Phonogram Sounds DVD

 

Having a solid phonics foundation is one of the keys to Spalding Education's integrated Writing Road to Reading curriculum. Researchers at Yale and other reading experts support phonics teaching as crucial to successful reading skills.

 

PHOENIX - June 27, 2013 – One of the keys to success for teachers trained in Spalding Education International's (SEI) Writing Road to Reading curriculum are the phonograms. The organization says phonics is the gateway skill to reading and language proficiency — especially for inner city, ESL/ELL and dyslexic students. To help those using The Spalding Method in the classroom or home, SEI has just released an updated version of The Writing Road to Reading Phonogram Sounds DVD. It features 87 phonograms that include the additional phonograms.

 

 

"Phonics is just the foundation of our integrated language arts approach," said SEI Executive Director for Educational Services Janie Carnal. "We build on a foundation of phonics to teach other necessary spelling, writing, reading, speaking and listening skills. This is one of the strengths of our program that correlates well with the Common Core English Language Arts Standards and extends students' academic performance."

 

The most current brain research supports the efficacy of phonics. Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine conducted a ground-breaking study that revealed when children are taught solid decoding skills (connecting sounds with letters) early on, and receive systematic instruction in spelling, vocabulary and comprehension, they are able to master reading with little difficulty.

 

According to a 1993 article by Keith E. Stanovich in The Reading Teacher, "That direct instruction in alphabetic coding facilitates early reading instruction is one of the most well-established conclusions in all of behavioral science... Conversely, the idea that learning to read is just like learning to speak is accepted by no responsible linguist, psychologist, or cognitive scientist in the research community."

 

"This phonograms sounds DVD is an amazing tool that I've used in my classroom to help my students," said SEI Professional Development Specialist Sydna Zilm, who recently left her kindergarten teaching position. "And I've had students use it in their homes. Because they see the phonogram card and hear the sound or sounds, they easily learn to put the phonograms and the sounds together. And there's enough time allowed for them to write it."

 

Zilm says she knows of parents who play the DVD in their car on the way to school to help their students remember the phonograms. On at least one occasion, she gave the DVD to a struggling student to take home. After practicing with the DVD, Zilm said this student made substantial progress.

 

"We know from more than 50 years of experience in providing this phonics foundation, Spalding-taught kindergartners read after a few months, and in first grade and above students read at or above grade level," added Carnal. "One of the nice by-products of such reading success is teachers' job satisfaction dramatically improves along with students' test scores."

 

The Writing Road to Reading Phonogram Sounds DVD features six tracks, including practice with the 17 additional phonograms. Click here to order.

 

# # #

 

About Spalding Education International
Spalding Education International (SEI) is dedicated to teaching all students to spell, write and read. The organization was founded in 1986 by Romalda B. Spalding, author of ÒThe Writing Road to Reading" — a comprehensive K-6 total language arts curriculum that incorporates the teaching philosophy of The Spalding Method. Spalding's curriculum closely aligns with and often exceeds the Common Core State Standards. In The Spalding Method, instruction is explicit, systematic, interactive, diagnostic and multi-sensory. SEI courses are accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) for its literacy instructional programs for teachers and Spalding teacher trainers. Classroom and resource room teachers, adult educators, as well as home educators in the United States, Canada, Australia, Central America, Europe, Singapore and Taiwan are currently using The Spalding Method. SEI is a nonprofit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) corporation based in Phoenix, Ariz. For more information, call 1-623-434-1204 or visit www.spalding.org.

 

Contact: Jim Sexton / 623-434-1204 / marketing@spalding.org

 

 

 

 

 Two Respected Educators Join Spalding Education Staff

To help with the ever-increasing workload and growth of the organization, Spalding has brought educators Sydna Zilm and McKenzie Hawkins on board. Both are highly trained and experienced in The Spalding Method.

PHOENIX - July 1, 2013 - Two well-respected Phoenix-area educators, Sydna Zilm and McKenzie Hawkins, officially join the Spalding Education International (SEI) staff today. Both are also Spalding Executive Trainers, Spalding Certified Teacher Instructors, members of the Spalding Curriculum Development Committee, and both have taught at highly ranked Spalding Accredited Schools.


 

Sydna Zilm

    McKenzie Hawkins

Sydna Zilm
Sydna is the new Professional Development Specialist, responsible for certifying candidates as tutors, teachers and instructors and providing further professional development opportunities for instructors. She will also be working with the already accredited schools and new school accreditations.

"I'm so excited to join the SEI staff and to be able to exponentially influence the lives of children, families and teachers all over the world with The Spalding Method," said Sydna.

Sydna holds a master's degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University and a bachelor's degree from Southern Utah University in Elementary Education and Early Childhood. She also has endorsements in special education, English as a second language, reading, and in gifted and talented. She began her teaching career in 1984 on Arizona's Navajo reservation, where she spent 19 years at two different schools. In 2003 she was hired by Chandler Traditional Academy - Liberty Campus. In the 2012-13 school year she taught at CTA's Humphrey Campus.

McKenzie Hawkins 
McKenzie's title is Outreach and Media Specialist and her focus will be new schools, follow up after courses, and making presentations to prospective schools. She's also SEI's liaison with its public relations agency.

"I look forward to supporting and working with Spalding schools and those schools interested in Spalding," said McKenzie. "I believe in The Spalding Method whole-heartedly and am thrilled to be a part of it as it grows."

She earned a Master of Arts in Multiple Subjects Education from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, with an Early Childhood emphasis, from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ. McKenzie's additional training includes Structured English Immersion and English Language Development. In 2003 Alhambra Traditional School (ATS), hired her as a 5th grade educator - a role she filled for five years before becoming their Academic Coach. McKenzie's participated in numerous committees while at ATS, including the Collaborative Leadership Team, Alhambra Leadership Cohort, Curricular and Instructional Strategists Committee - Just in Time Assessments, Lesson Productions with Instructional Dialogues, and Math Lesson Production. In 2008 she received the Excellence in Education Award.

Both new hires will also assist with follow-up professional development for those who have completed Writing Road to Reading courses.

Experienced Spalding Educators 
"Sydna and McKenzie have a wonderful understanding of the role The Spalding Method plays in K-6 education," said SEI CEO Jim Sexton. "I have no doubt they will be fantastic representatives for Spalding and that their experience and expertise will help introduce our curriculum to more classrooms."

"SEI is looking forward to a new beginning with the addition of two new full-time staff members," added SEI Executive Director for Educational Services Janie Carnal. "Sydna and McKenzie's expertise as classroom teachers, coaches, Spalding instructors, and Executive Trainers will enhance the work of the Educational Services Department by adding new Spalding schools and Spalding Certified Teachers who are well-trained to meet the needs of all children."

# # #

About Spalding Education International
Spalding Education International (SEI) is dedicated to teaching all students to spell, write and read. The organization was founded in 1986 by Romalda B. Spalding, author of "The Writing Road to Reading" - a comprehensive K-6 total language arts program that closely aligns with the Common Core Standards. In the Spalding Method, instruction is explicit, systematic, interactive, diagnostic and multi-sensory. SEI courses are accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) for its literacy instructional programs for teachers and Spalding teacher trainers. Classroom and resource room teachers, adult educators, as well as home educators in the United States, Canada, Australia, Central America, Europe, Singapore and Taiwan are currently using the Spalding Method. SEI is a nonprofit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) corporation based in Phoenix, Ariz. For more information, call 1-623-434-1204 or visit www.spalding.org.

Contact: Jim Sexton / 623-434-1204 / marketing@spalding.org

Spalding Education Says New Phonograms App Can Close the Book on Illiteracy
A 2013 study revealed 32 million US adults can’t read. Understanding the connection between speech and print is key to unlocking superior reading skills, says the nonprofit organization that’s known for its integrated Writing Road to Reading language arts curriculum. Researchers at Yale and other reading experts support phonics teaching as crucial to successful reading skills.
PHOENIX – April 17, 2014 – An educational organization believes its app will help beginning readers learn the sounds of letters and letter combinations, known as phonograms, and prevent them from ever joining the 14 percent of US adults who can’t read. Not having a strong understanding of phonograms is considered a key obstacle for those who have trouble learning to read.
Phonograms App
According to a study conducted last year by the US Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million US adults can't read. That number has remained unchanged for 10 years. Approximately 21 percent of US adults read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can't read.
The app, developed by Phoenix-based Spalding Education International (SEI), contains all 70 phonograms plus 17 advanced combinations. It's the first phonograms app that connects the speech sounds with writing them.
In The Spalding Method — the teaching philosophy its Writing Road to Reading curriculum is based on — teachers begin by demonstrating that spoken words consist of individual speech sounds. In schools using The Spalding Method, teaching the phonograms and manuscript writing are combined. According to SEI’s textbook, this "forms tight neural links between particular phonograms, particular letters, and particular motor (writing) movements.” Ten of the top 50 ranked elementary schools in Arizona use SEI’s curriculum. Schools in California, New York, Utah, Florida, as well as in Australia, also use it. "
Phonics is the gateway skill to reading and language proficiency for learners of all ages — especially for inner city, English Language Learners and dyslexic students. Writing the letters simultaneously with learning the sounds they represent reinforces the connection between sounds and print and aids retention,” says SEI Executive Director for Educational Services Janie Carnal. “It’s what makes the Spalding Method unique among language arts curricula.
In addition to phonogram introduction, the app also contains an oral and a written phonogram review. It allows teachers and parents to help students master the phonograms and become proficient readers. Specific phonograms can be selected and practiced for mastery. Students can also study on their own.
"Spalding’s phonograms app currently works on Android smartphones, 7” tablets, and 10” tablets, and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. The demo version allows the student to sample the first 10 phonograms. The full version is available for $3.99. An Apple version is in the works."
“Phonics is just the foundation of our integrated language arts approach,” said Carnal. “We build on a foundation of phonics to teach other necessary spelling, writing, reading, speaking and listening skills. This is one of the strengths of our program that correlates well with the Common Core English Language Arts Standards and extends students’ academic performance.”
The most current brain research supports the efficacy of phonics. Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine conducted a ground-breaking study that revealed when children are taught solid decoding skills (connecting sounds with letters) early on, and receive systematic instruction in spelling, vocabulary and comprehension, they are able to master reading with little difficulty.
“We know from more than 50 years of experience that Spalding-taught kindergartners read after a few months, and in first grade and above students read at or above grade level,” added Carnal. “One of the nice by-products of such reading success is teachers’ job satisfaction dramatically improves along with students’ test scores.”
# # #
About Spalding Education International
Spalding Education International (SEI) is dedicated to teaching all students to spell, write and read. The organization was founded in 1986 by Romalda B. Spalding, author of The Writing Road to Reading" — a comprehensive K-6 total language arts curriculum that incorporates the teaching philosophy of The Spalding Method. Spalding's curriculum closely aligns with and often exceeds the Common Core State Standards. In The Spalding Method, instruction is explicit, systematic, interactive, diagnostic and multi-sensory. SEI courses are accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) for its literacy instructional programs for teachers and Spalding teacher trainers. Classroom and resource room teachers, adult educators, as well as home educators in the United States, Canada, Australia, Central America, Europe, Singapore and Taiwan are currently using The Spalding Method. SEI is a nonprofit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) corporation based in Phoenix, Ariz. For more information, call 1-623-434-1204 or visit www.spalding.org.
Contact: Jim Sexton / 623-434-1204 / marketing@spalding.org