Testimonials & Data
Take a look at the testimonies of how OGI has had a transformational impact for those who have received our training....
Dr. James Herman of Middle Tenessee State University writes...
An Update Submitted by Prinicpal Amanda Sauer, Erie Elementary School, Erie, CO
"Equipping All Teachers to Reach Our Most At-Risk Learners"
I truly believe every educator is trying to reach every child and help them be successful. Unfortunately, some times our toolboxes are limited.
Our story of success at Erie Elementary (Erie, CO) began with teachers seeing strong work and results from our literacy teacher, Leslie Kesson. Teachers began to talk in professional learning communities saying, “We need to be able to do what Leslie does.” They were looking for more tools in their own toolboxes.
Our literacy teacher uses the Multi-Sensory Language/OG approach and had recently fine-tuned her skills with additional training from Ron Yoshimoto, a Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators . She has Classroom Educator Level certification and is moving to the Associate Level of certification.
Teachers came back from training with Ron, not only excited, but ready to implement. When the next round of training approached, and it would require multiple days of substitute teacher pay, I again had to honor my teachers’ request for additional tools. At this point, we had groups of teachers working in professional study teams to support their implementation of MSL/OG. I was hearing excitement and small anecdotal stories, but I also asked them to begin collecting data in order for us to make sure that we were seeing impact on student learning.
Getting a group of teachers that already value data and collect various data points to come to a consensus on what data to track / collect took time, and often led to deep discussions of what they were trying to impact and what results they were seeing. In the meantime our first bit of data came back from an outside source that pointed to the fact that we were doing something different and getting different results.
Two-thirds of our third grade team had been trained in MSL/OG and had just implemented the practices in small groups to their most at risk students. This was key in our building because our literacy expert serves only grades K-2. Some of these students had had intervention by the literacy teacher, but to be able to connect to that learning for an additional year, had an impact. Our school results came in on third grade reading state assessments (TCAP) and we had a definite shift in the data!
Erie had gone from a typical rate of 4-10%, either at or above district/state norms, to ZERO unsats. People starting asking, “wow, what did the teachers do differently?” The only answer we had was that we implemented MSL/OG as a classroom intervention for our most at-risk students.
Our fourth grade does not have anyone MSL/OG trained and saw the usual at or above district averages for the most struggling readers. Our fifth grade has one teacher trained & they flex group for reading to put the lowest level readers with the MSL trained teacher. These students did not have intervention in MSL/OG for fourth or third grade. The last real dose of intervention they would have had would have been in 2nd grade!
Using this approach for only five months with the most at risk group in the classroom resulted in lower than average unsats, and lower than average partially proficient scores. With this group we saw the largest impact in the shortest time with moving students that were marginal into the proficient category.
It is great when the hard work of your team to help every child begins to show in data as well as in anecdotal stories. People are asking, “What are we doing differently in literacy?” Yes, we also became a STEM school at the same time and work to use science to engage students in other subjects including reading, but as far as systematic intervention, MSL/OG was also impacting our literacy scores.
The most powerful part of our journey is about to happen. Most of the staff is trained (14 out of 19 key personnel preschool-5th) and students are now in year two of being supported in literacy in both the lit lab and in the classroom. We call it “double-dipping” in MSL/OG It feels as if we are at the top of a rollercoaster hill and have begun to gain momentum as we head down the track.
This is just a quick sample of in-process data. We used data from two schools for this sample. Our literacy teacher works at both schools and therefore the data we look at of just the at-risk students can show us the impact of implementing MSL/OG in regular education classrooms. These samples give us information that shows the results of double dipping after just a few months. This was data is from from students eligible for literacy lab services because of low initial screening scores.
1st Grade Students Taught by Teacher Trained in OG/MSL & Lit Lab - Phonics Survey -
Benchmark 36 out of 50
student a = 38, student b =46, student c =44, student d =41, student e =30, student f=42, student j =45, student k = 39
average score 40.6 range 30-46 % at or above benchmark 87.5%
1st Grade Students with OG/MSL – only in lit lab
student L =40, student M =30, student N = 44, student O= 37, student P= 36, student Q= 42, student R=24, student S =41, student T=32,
average score 36 range 24-44 % at or above benchmark 66.7%
Another indicator came from the district assessment benchmark. The first trimester assessment had phonics items.
Galileo Test Score - First Trimester 1st G Reading
Standard: CO-01.RAP.3a.ii Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.(CC-RF.1.3b)
Erie Elementary (MSL/OG trained) 81.25% proficient
St. Vrain Valley School District Avg. 48.03% proficient
Normally our first grade classes on the standards score at or slightly above district average. For the phonics standard, we almost doubled the district average for proficiency. These were students that had MSL/OG in kindergarten and then three months of first grade.
There are many anecdotal stories that accompany the data as well. One severely dyslexic student who joined us late in his kinder year, was reading independently by mid first grade. Both his kinder teacher, his first grade teacher and his mother had taken the MSL/OG training with Ron Yoshimoto. The mother kept exclaiming, “He can read, he can really read!”
As an administrator, I support this intervention in my building because it reaches all types of struggling readers, supplements our reading/writing programs by improving writing confidence for all students, and is getting unprecedented results. When you have teachers excited because they finally feel that they have tools in their tool belt to reach all students, it is a wonderful thing. Success breeds success, and I would say that Erie ‘s story is just beginning and our data and student successes in literacy are about to go through the roof.
We would like to say a special” thank you” to Ron Yoshimoto, and the Rocky Mountain Branch of the International Dyslexia Association for helping to make our trainings happen and more importantly for helping more students than ever before be successful at Erie Elementary.
Principal, Amanda Sauer
Erie Elementary School,
Diane Quarles-Naghi, Principal of Pioneer Elementary writes...
February 10, 2015
To Whom It May Concern:
I am honored to write this letter in support of Yoshimoto Orton-Gillingham (OG) Curriculum and Training. In 2014, I came to know, admire and respect Ron Yoshimoto after he trained all of my K-3 staff and me for a week in OrtonGillingham methodology. The ongoing training, coaching and constructive feedback by Ron to teachers, literacy coaches and building administrators is responsible for incredible student gains in reading. Each year, approximately 50% of our kindergarten students arrive meeting the DIBELS Next fall benchmark. This year, for the first time in Pioneer's history, 98% of Pioneer kindergarten students have met the middle of year benchmark in January! First grade students are also well on their way to meeting the end of the year proficiencies. Although Pioneer Elementary is the only school in Academy School District 20 with Title I Schoolwide status with close to 50% of our students on free/reduced lunch; our average growth percentile in academic growth gaps was 100% for the 2013-14 school year according to the state of Colorado School Performance Framework.
Reading-DIBELS Next Composite Scores
2014-2015 Kindergarten Proficiencies
Beginning of the Year
Middle of the Year
2014-2015 First Grade Proficiencies
Beginning of the Year
Middle of the Year
Yoshimoto OG has made all the difference. Pioneer K-3 teachers and literacy staff have implemented Yoshimoto OG with fidelity since January of2014. Following Ron's scope and sequence, teachers cover phonemic awareness, card deck, oral/silent reading, words to read, sounds/spelling, review and introduce phonograms on day one. On day two, teachers review learned words and teach new words, as well as provide students an opportunity to write sentences they dictate. Syllabication and morphology are taught in a systematic manner and students' understanding of prefixes, suffixes and Latin roots are evident in student accuracy in spelling performance.
Staff is celebrating their newly found abilities. Student achievement in literacy is soaring. Teachers are more skillful in teaching all of the students in their classrooms to read. Teachers and reading interventionists now have the ability to differentiate for students with reading deficits with precision. Students have already surpassed the school-wide reading goal of reading over 5000 books across grades 1-5 as measured by 85% accuracy at their individual reading levels on Accelerated Reader.
Pioneer students are becoming confident readers and as strong readers developing a broader understanding of the world. Our children understand and are learning basic building blocks of language and are mastering decoding and sentence recognition by the end of first grade. As important as all of the parts of reading are to learn, Yoshimoto OG does not lose sight of what makes a true reader. Pioneer students are able to read for meaning and are discovering the magic of text.
I am grateful to Ron Yoshimoto for his dedication to teachers developing the literacy skills necessary to teach every child to read. The Pioneer learning community is forever changed. Ron has been instrumental in opening up a world of possibilities for teacher and student. I look forward to continued increases in teacher and student performance.
If you are considering implementing Yoshimoto OG and would like to further discuss its strengths, please do not hesitate to call me at (719) 234-5000.
Diane Quarles-Naghi, Principal
Principal Ernest Muh of Helemano Elementary School, Wahiawa, HI writes...
Principal Aaron Okumura of Moanalua Elementary School, Honolulu, HI writes...
Rosalie Davis, Associate Head of School, The Schneck School in Atlanta, GA writes...
Mary Heather Munger, Ph.D. writes...
“As a coordinator of professional development for teacher education in a university setting, it is important for me to be able to identify areas in which teachers need support in order to help their students achieve academically. One area in which administrators and teachers continually report the need for assistance is reading…. Through my work, I see thousands of teachers and university faculties attend professional development workshops throughout the year. What I have witnessed during (Yoshimoto) Orton-Gillingham workshops is unique. Participants are engaged and eager to learn more as each day progresses. They leave energized and confident to tackle the difficult task of teaching struggling readers how to navigate and understand text. Even more importantly, I’ve seen this enthusiasm and confidence transfer to students. Students progress through their instruction and increase their reading achievement every step of the way. Once they are provided with the tools to help them read and write more clearly, students feel empowered to take ownership of their learning, and they believe in themselves. There is no greater gift for a teacher than to see his or her students making progress with happiness and certitude.”
T. L. writes...
“Practical. Utilitarian. Tried and tested. Ready to use. Takes the chore [of seeking out materials] out of teachers hands and so that they can spend more time and energy helping students. Love the crisp and short instructions. Saves class time and keep students attention and focused. Great application in whole class instructions as well as very useful targeted interventions.”
Amanda Sauer, Principal of Erie Elementary School (2014), Erie, CO writes...
“As an administrator, I support this intervention in my building because it reaches all types of struggling readers, supplements our reading/writing programs by improving writing confidence for all students, and is getting unprecedented results. When you have teachers excited because they finally feel that they have tools in their tool belt to reach all students, it is a wonderful thing. Success breeds success, and I would say that Erie’s story is just beginning and our data and student successes in literacy are about to go through the roof.”
From: Sandra Schroeder from Eagle Schools, Colorado writes....
Date: May 8, 2013
I wanted to share a few positive comments about the training:
This was the most intense, valuable, and revolutionizing training in my 23 year experience in education. From start to finish, I was learning, practicing, and applying (in my mind) my new skills. Only rarely does a training offer me so much and in such an organized, appropriately challenging, and "eye on the prize" fashion. Can't thank you enough for your patience, knowledge, and inspiration. I now have a tool to reach the learners that mean so much to me.
Gypsum Creek Middle School