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CPAA Resulted in 50% Decrease in Special Education Referrals

Angelica B. Nieto
Principal, Robert F. Kennedy Pre-K Academy
Ysleta Independent School District, Texas

After one year of using Children’s Progress assessments in English and Spanish, a principal saw the impact on student achievement through measured reduction of students referred for special education services.

Students at Robert F. Kennedy Pre-Kindergarten Academy face a variety of challenges. Many students come from single-parent families, families with very young parents, or families who lack English language skills. As a result, many students at RFK have delays in both Spanish and English language skills, which too often lead to delays in learning and academic achievement. Administrators needed an assessment to help differentiate between students with potential learning problems and students lacking skills.  The School implemented a pilot program using Children’s Progress Academic Assessments in Spanish and English, and teachers were thrilled with the results.

"At Robert F. Kennedy school, assessment drives instruction,” according to Principal Angelica B. Nieto. “We used the tools available to us to improve our instruction and target specific areas of need. Children's Progress was a tremendous tool that not only provided each and every teacher with an individualized snapshot of the student's progress, but also revealed strengths and weaknesses in our teaching practices. Children's Progress provided us with specific strategies to address those weaknesses. Our faculty and staff then included these strategies in our pyramid of interventions.”

According to the Principal, “The result was a 50% decrease in the special education referrals. At the end of the 2005-06 school year, we had 35 referrals compared to 90 the previous year.”

Principal Nieto explains, “Precise assessment such as Children's Progress Academic Assessment was the key component in our arsenal of tools. This assessment allowed for more targeted instruction in the classroom, and afforded our parents critical interventions that they could continue to implement throughout the summer months."

View TV segments about this school's success on KFOX News or Univision News (in Spanish).

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