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 About St. Charles Community Unit School District 303

The district operates 12 elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools and covers almost 60 square miles in the picturesque Fox River Valley, 40 miles west of Chicago. District 303 serves over 12,000 PreK-12 students from the city of St. Charles, plus portions of West Chicago and surrounding areas

Success with Read & Write

Read&Write for Google Chrome is giving thousands of school students in the suburbs of Northern Illinois a valuable literacy boost – at all grade levels and across all classroom subjects..

“Students are engaging in texts that they would otherwise deem ‘too difficult’ or ‘not worth their time’ simply because they could not read it. Instead, students are independently utilizing Read&Write for Google Chrome to complete assignments and tasks with texts that are beyond their decoding level.”

Veronica Lacobucci, 6-8th Grade, Special Ed Teacher

St. Charles Community Unit School District (CUSD) 303

Read&Write for Google Chrome helps every student at CUSD 303

Academic attainment levels are high at CUSD 303, with schools performing well on state standardized tests and other local assessments. Some 93% of graduates go on to college, and three schools in the district have been awarded ‘Blue Ribbon’ status by the U.S. Department of Education for excellence in teaching, student achievement, leadership and parent involvement.

“We’re a very Googly district” observes Sandra Green, Assistive Technology Facilitator. “Right now we provide
Chromebooks for every middle schooler, and we’ll eventually roll them out to our high school students as well.” A long-standing user of Read&Write for Windows, the District has switched enthusiastically to Read&Write for
Google Chrome – the friendly toolbar from Texthelp that assists students with their reading, writing, studying and research.

Now every CUSD 303 student can access the software’s powerful but intuitive literacy support features from their tablet or laptop in any classroom lesson, and even when they’re working at home.

“It’s been a really big step forward for us”, confirms Sandy. “Providing Assistive Technology with Read&Write doesn’t have to mark students out as being ‘different’ any more. As a Google tool it’s just something that’s there all the time for everyone to benefit from. I even use the text-to-speech feature myself, just so I can listen back to proof-read things that I’ve written.”

“There’s been a technological explosion in the last couple of years, and the use of Ed Tech has skyrocketed in
classrooms”, Sandy notes. “All of a sudden, it isn’t something that’s just catering for the ‘special’ kids.

"Nowadays it’s about providing tools that are a central part of every student’s life. Everyone has a Chromebook in front of them – so no-one looks different, even if they need a little extra assistance.”

And while she’s delighted by its Universal Design for Learning (UDL) focus, Sandy particularly welcomes the convenience and accessibility of Read&Write for Google Chrome:

“There are lots of other Google extensions and add-ins that do a specific job, like spell checkers, dictionaries and screen readers. But the glory with Read&Write is that it does everything. It’s so much simpler – and more consistent – to have everything easily accessible in one place.”

As Sandy stresses, the appeal of Read&Write for Google Chrome as a UDL tool stretches right across the curriculum beyond ‘traditional’ classroom subjects where literacy support is provided:

“It’s definitely not just for teaching English in Special Ed lessons. We’ve been getting a lot of interest from our General Ed teachers, who are starting to think ‘this is great for my kids too!’ This year we’ve implemented a brand new science curriculum, and our teachers have been quickly figuring out how they can use Read&Write for Google Chrome in their own classes.”