For Immediate Release
Ilene Rosenthal, CEO
Middletown Literacy Scores Soar by 175% Despite COVID Challenges
Middletown CT – When Dr. Michael Conner joined Middletown Public Schools in 2017, he rallied the entire community to create “Bridge to Brilliance”, a citywide literacy initiative powered by Footsteps2Brilliance. Dr. Conner’s vision was to eliminate the preparation and achievement gaps. He provided all children birth-3rd grade with Footsteps2Brilliance’s comprehensive bilingual literacy apps to prepare them for kindergarten and third grade reading proficiency. The apps were accessible on any smartphones, tablets, and computers that families already owned.
When COVID hit, Dr. Conner’s proactive citywide literacy initiative prepared his students to flourish. Based on results from the standardized Achievement Improvement Monitoring System, known as AIMSweb, Middletown students increased their literacy skills by 175% during the COVID 2020-21 school year. Moreover, dramatic gains were achieved for historically underserved students, including economically disadvantaged (224% gain), African American (184% gain), Special Ed (141% gain), Latinx (145% gain), and English Language Learners (168% gain).
“We are exceedingly proud of our students, their families, and our teachers for having achieved this phenomenal increase,” says Dr. Michael Conner. “When we think about the ‘after COVID’ stage, we are going to need to think about how we are going to reimagine what our educational system can look like. These results will certainly factor into what the industry can become.”
“While many districts throughout the United States suffered significant learning loss during COVID, we applaud the leadership and foresight of Dr. Conner who created a pre-emptive citywide literacy model that yielded phenomenal results under the most trying times,” says Ilene Rosenthal, CEO, Footsteps2Brilliance.
Enlisting the support of families, schools, and community partners through a Collective Impact Model is at the heart of Dr. Conner’s strategic vision to create an equitable birth through 3rd grade ecosystem. The “Bridge to Brilliance” initiative builds a future sustainable model by (1) harnessing stakeholder and community buy-in, (2) providing equity by closing the preparation, opportunity, quality, and belief gaps, and (3) fostering a city-wide revitalization strategy that provides a return on investment by reducing chronic absenteeism, SPED misclassification, and the dropout rate.
About Middletown Connecticut Schools
Middletown Public Schools educate 4800 students from preschool to high school and offer a robust adult education program. Our school system combines dedication and enthusiasm with current technology and facilities to educate and inspire our students. A wide-variety of course selections and extracurricular clubs, sports, art, music, theater, and academic programs such as STEM, engage our students. Our team of caring educators ensures that
students are well-prepared to pursue their future goals. Approximately 90% of our graduates enroll in college after high school. More at https://www.middletownschools.org
About Footsteps2Brilliance, Inc.
Footsteps2Brilliance, Inc. is the breakthrough early learning platform that accelerates early literacy achievement by uniting the power of mobile gaming technology with the latest in cognitive research. Footsteps2Brilliance provides enticing, interactive, 24/7 learning experiences that digitally link school and home to give students the edge they need for success in school today and the world tomorrow. For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.