Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Bice

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan Isenberg

Third Advisor

Dr. Cindy Vitale


The current system for identifying at-risk students, which employs the wait-and-see method, provides teachers no formal way of getting the necessary interventions needed in order for their students to be successful. The purpose of this study was to determine if the implementation of a research-based intervention program, Response To Intervention, would increase the academic performance of kindergarten students identified as at-risk.

Kindergarten students entering school for the first time were tested for basic knowledge of alphabetical letter recognition and letter sound recognition. Children who demonstrated a deficit were given a series of research-based reading interventions by an intervention specialist to help them gain the basic skills they lacked. During the four months of study, each of these 16 students received the reading interventions in small groups or in a one-on-one setting and for various periods of time based on their individual needs. Of the original 16 students who were identified as below grade level, 14 were considered on grade level, knowing at least half of the alphabetical letters and their corresponding letter sounds, with their peers after four months of interventions.

Students who received the interventions had their reading assessed against the other students enrolled that same year and against historical data gathered during the previous two school years using the Rigby Benchmark Assessments. Statistical analysis of the data concluded that on five of six tests, the intervention process used in this study was statistically significant as a positive way to improve student achievement. The data showed that the growth of the students in the treatment group was significantly greater than their peers on all six tests. The researcher is optimistic that this growth will allow the treatment students to continue to learn on the same level as their peers from the point of this study forward. The information gathered during this study at Harris Elementary School will be the basis for a district wide intervention model in The City of St. Charles School District.


Copyright 2008

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