Success Stories

Longfellow El

Grade Level: Elementary
Region: East

Our Success Story

Every student’s daily schedule at Longfellow Elementary includes a 40 minute block called “Reading Rocks.” This is in addition to the regular reading and writing classroom time.  If you ask students about Reading Rocks, they will tell you that it is one of their favorite times of the day. Today, during his grade level’s Reading Rocks time, Adam and two of his classmates go to an LLI group in the classroom next door. Ben goes to an enrichment room with 30 students. Carlie goes to a Reading Specialist for tier 3 intervention all by herself. Juan goes to bilingual education, and Jenny goes to special education. No one misses any of their regular curriculum, and all of these students receive extra reading.

Reading Rocks was implemented at the start of the 2010–11 school year. Teachers and administrators on the school’s RtI committee came up with the idea after facing huge numbers of students in need of intervention. The committee, members, thanks to previous training in RtI, knew that the best possible solution for students and teachers would be to provide time, training, and materials for exemplary interventions for all students who need it, while further enriching tier I instruction. They presented staff with a preliminary outline and prepared them for a change in thinking. A culture of shared responsibility was born.

Teams discussed who among them had the desire/strengths to conduct literacy interventions and who would be better with large numbers for literacy enrichment. Two or three interventionists per grade level committed to Leveled Literacy Intervention training through a CESA. Three or four teachers per grade level began to plan for larger group enrichment in phonics and comprehension.

Administrators worked to find funding and rescheduled the building so that each grade level could have a common reading intervention time. When students arrived that fall, staff began to “build the airplane while flying.” Teachers administered universal screeners and conducted formative assessments. At grade level meetings, they grouped students by needs using the data from these tests and continued to meet periodically to analyze progress monitoring results and regroup if needed.

When the reading coordinator compared Clintonville’s growth in MAP scores to national norms at year end, the plan was proven with results; enrichment students had made more growth than national norm groups, and intervention students had exceeded both of them!

Submitted by Rhonda Hare, Reading Coordinator, Clintonville Public Schools. Rhonda can be reached at

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105 S Clinton Ave
Clintonville, WI 54929