The Pathways Program

An intensive early intervention program designed to help Kindergarten, first, second, and third grade children acquire early literacy skills

The Pathways Program identifies Kindergarten, first, second, and third grade students who are having reading difficulties and provides them with literacy assessments, intensive reading intervention, and consistent progress monitoring. This early intervention helps students become accurate decoders and fluent readers with strong comprehension skills.
 
The Pathways Program uses a team approach to provide students with multiple opportunities for reinforcement.
 
The goal is to have all Gordon students reading competently and confidently by the end of third grade.

The Pathways Program: Kindergarten
Kindergarten students are identified and placed into the Pathways Program if they consistently perform below benchmarks for their age and grade level on standardized assessments such as DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills). Kindergarten Pathways students immediately begin individual and small group literacy instruction with their classroom teacher, as well as home practice. 
 
If progress is not observed or additional difficulties are noted, the Kindergarten teacher and Early Childhood Division Director may recommend a diagnostic one-to-one tutorial. 
 
Before the end of the year. the Kindergarten teacher, the Lower School Literacy Specialist and the Early Childhood Division Director will develop a summer plan for each Pathways student.

The Pathways Program: first grade
During the first few weeks of school, all first grade students take the DIBELS first grade benchmark assessment. Students who began the program in Kindergarten, and continue to present an atypical trajectory of reading skill acquisition and score below the benchmark for the grade, will continue in the Pathways Program. Students who did not participate in Kindergarten, but present the need for Pathways in first grade,will be recommended for an individual Pathways Learning Plan.
 
The Pathways Learning Plan is shared with parents in a meeting with the classroom teacher, the Lower School Literacy Specialist, the Lower School Division Director, and any individual tutor that may be working with the student. This team will meet with parents every five to six weeks to report progress and revise the plan, as needed, and they will develop a summer plan for each Pathways student at the end of first grade.
 
All first grade Pathways students meet five days a week with the Lower School Literacy Specialist in a small group setting, following an individualized pace and structure, with more practice than can be provided during in-class instruction. The Literacy Specialist also provides home reinforcement work. Students use Lexia, a web-based literacy program that provides differentiated literacy instruction and practice. Pathways students may also receive reading instruction in their classrooms, or receive one-to-one tutoring, as part of their Pathways Learning Plan. 
 

The Pathways Program: second and third grade
During the first few weeks of school, all students take the DIBELS second or third grade benchmark assessment. Students who continue to show the need for added intensive intervention and continue to score below benchmarks for the grade are recommended to continue in the Pathways Program. An updated Pathways Learning Plan is developed and shared with parents in a meeting with the classroom teacher, the Lower School Literacy Specialist, the Lower School Division Director, and any individual tutor that may be working with the student.
 
The Pathways Program in second and third grade mirrors the first grade structure. For both grades, a summer plan is developed by the same team that creates the Pathways Learning Plan.
 

The Lower School Literacy Specialist Minna Ham oversees the Pathways Program. 
 
She holds a MS in elementary education and, along with her colleagues in Kindergarten, she is trained in the Telian Method and Project Read, phonetic approaches to reading instruction including Orton Gillingham, and she is also trained in Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment. 
 
All first and second grade teachers are Orton Gillingham trained. 
 

Additional support
A consultation with a neuropsychologist may be recommended in order to better assess a child’s learning strengths and challenges so that more specific individualized intervention can be planned. 
 
If this is the case, these neuropsychological and educational evaluations are paid for by the family. 
 
If individual tutoring is recommended by Gordon, there is a tutorial fee paid by the family in addition to tuition. 
 
Families can apply for financial aid for both the evaluation process and the one-to-one tutoring.