Success Stories

Beaver Dam Mid
Beaver Dam

Grade Level: Middle
Region: East

Our Success Story

Beaver Dam Middle School had been looking at some fairly discouraging data regarding our students’ reading proficiencies. Last year, we formed a literacy team, and together we are working on strengthening our tier 1 instructional practices. At the same time, we began aggressively implementing a plan for additional targeted interventions aimed at bringing all of our students to proficiency levels. We now have 11 staff members doing reading interventions and over 150 students with reading interventions built into their schedules.

This system, “Reading Academy,” is extensive. Based on teacher observation, WKCE, MAP, and AIMSweb data, students were scheduled into the intervention we felt best fit their need. We looked at whether students were struggling with motivation and attention, comprehension, or decoding, and scheduled them accordingly.

In the sixth and seventh grades, reading teachers use one period a day in lieu of a study hall and use that time to do more intensive, targeted work with students, then follow up in class to see whether there is transfer happening. Also, sixth and seventh grade offer two 45-minute sections of READ 180. Students who are identified specifically with comprehension issues take READ 180 in addition to their regular reading class and language arts class. We are no longer using this program to supplant regular instruction. Finally, for those students who struggle with decoding issues, we are using the Barton Spelling and Reading system, an Orton-Gillingham based phonemic awareness system. These students are working one-on-one with a reading teacher to systematically untangle the confusions that are getting in their way of being successful readers.

In eighth grade, we offer a co-taught EEN reading class and a co-taught ELL reading class that students take in addition to their regular language arts class. These classes support the literacy learning happening in all classes with additional time offered to help them through the work of composing meaning through the reading and writing requirements.

So far, our data is showing improvement. More importantly, students are benefitting. Last week during eighth-grade Reading Academy, Veronica announced, “I feel like I’m getting smarter!”

Our School

School Website


108 4th St
Beaver Dam, WI 53916