Littleton Public Schools
Littleton Public Schools increased student confidence and independence
Littleton Public Schools (LPS) is a premier school district located a few miles south of downtown Denver. LPS is nationally known for its academic excellence. The district serves 28 square miles and includes the majority of the city of Littleton, town of Columbine Valley, and portions of the municipalities of Bow Mar, Centennial, Greenwood Village, and Englewood. With a student population of approximately 15,000, LPS offers a comprehensive education from preschool through Grade 12. LPS offers National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence and a high school International Baccalaureate program. LPS has become nationally recognized for its pursuit of excellence in the field of educational technology. From intervention software for math and literacy, to assistive technologies to help students with different needs, to its use of Chromebooks and G Suite for Education, technology is in wide and effective use in every school.
In August of 2013 Littleton Public Schools adopted Chromebooks and netbooks in all of its schools and the Assistive Technology Coordinators were looking for a word prediction product for its students identified on 504 plans or IEPs and for those students who had difficulty reading and writing. At the time, LPS was using a product on the market but it was not supported on Chromebooks and their students struggling to read and write needed a better solution.
After conducting a 30 day trial of Texthelp's Read&Write for Google Chrome, LPS originally intended to purchase 150 seats, but after surveying their schools to find out how many teachers would use the product, they decided to increase their original purchase to 900 seats due to the high demand for Read&Write. LPS discovered the simplicity of the toolbar for not only students with educational disabilities, but also many other students in general education who struggle with reading and writing.
Michelle Butler, Assistive Technology Facilitator in Littleton Public Schools immediately saw the benefits of Read&Write for Google Chrome, “It's very easy to use. The simplicity of the toolbar itself is ideal. It works in Google docs, on the Web and in PDFs and many our students can use the tools independently within the first 1-2 times of using it.” Read&Write for Google Chrome also helped in the classroom with general education teachers as an intervention piece. “The other big draw was that by giving our gen-ed teachers access to Read&Write for Google Chrome they can expose students who are struggling with reading and writing to the tools in Read&Write to see if the technology could help their students prior to accessing for a disability. It is a powerful tier 2 intervention tool,” added Michelle Butler.
While the majority of the 900 Read&Write for Google Chrome seats are used by students with IEPs or who are on 504 plans, Michelle projects that more students and teachers will be adopting and using it as an intervention tool spanning many grade levels and abilities.
LPS has found Read&Write for Google Chrome to be an incredibly easy tool to use, with very little training involved. The students using it have found reading and writing to be more enjoyable and the school has seen drastic improvements in independence and confidence.