Haviland Elementary received the Educational Design Solutions’ award for outstanding participation and for exceeding the fidelity criteria in the Kansas Reading Initiative program.

“Our teachers worked really hard to implement the program the way it was designed to be used,” principal Mark Clodfelter said. “Students worked really hard and took the program seriously. They are a big part of why we succeeded. We consider the program an integral part of our reading program.”

The KRI program is a two-year pilot program designed to improve reading outcomes in the state of Kansas using educational technology, specifically Lexia Reading Core5.

“The computer-based program evaluates and provides lessons for students individually,” Clodfelter said. “It moves them to the level they should be at and closes the educational gap. How much time students spend in the program is based on their needs. We use it for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.”

In one year, 41 Haviland Elementary students completed 4905 Lexia Reading Units, each closing a skill gap or deficiency and 90 percent of the students met their year-end benchmarks. The benchmarks align with Common Core and state expectations of the students.

“We intend to stay with the program next year,” Clodfelter said. “We’ve seen great improvements in the students. Our kids are scoring incredibly well on state tests.”

KRI is managed by the Department of Children and Family Services and overseen by the Kansas Cabinet for the Children’s Initiatives Fund. KRI includes a budget of up to $6 million in both 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 school years.

The funds made available by the Tobacco Settlement Funds are providing as many as 50,000 students in kindergarten through fifth grade with free access to Lexia Core5. There is no cost to the schools that choose to participate in the pilot program as long as they continue to meet minimum program usage requirements. Haviland received its second year of funding.

Haviland became involved in the program through a Title I teacher who suggested the district look into KRI.

“It turned out to fit really well with our pathways and journeys reading systems,” Clodfelter said.

Educational Design Solutions, a Kansas based company, is supporting this statewide implementation. EDS, led by Dr. Donald H. Fast, a Kansas educator for 45 years along with a team of education specialists, have been working closely with schools around improving reading and math skills for 12 years.

Lexia Reading Core5 provides explicit, systematic, personalized learning in the six areas of reading instruction, and delivers norm-referenced performance data and analysis without interrupting the flow of instruction to administer a test. Designed specifically to meet the most rigorous state reading standards, this research-proven, technology-based approach accelerates reading skills development, predicts students’ year-end performance and provides teachers with data-driven action plans to help differentiate instruction.

Lexia’s instructional approach has been nationally recognized and proven effective in six peer-reviewed, research-based outcomes studies published in scientific journals such as The Journal of Reading Research and the Bilingual Research Journal. These published reports serve as third-party validation of Lexia’s efficacy research. The program is also a four-time winner of the District Administration magazine Reader’s Choice Top 100 Products Award.

Grants remain available for additional Kansas schools to participate in KRI. Schools interested in participating in KRI may contact EDS representatives at 913-609-3869. An online grant application form is available at

“With the success rate, I don’t see them stopping the program,” Clodfelter added. “The grant may run out eventually but we’ve seen enough of the value of the program that we would try to keep using it as a learning tool.”