Norwalk Public Schools in Connecticut Expands Fast ForWord Implementation to Close Gaps and Build a Growth Mindset in Reading

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OAKLAND, CA  (March 26, 2019) After successfully implementing the neuroscience-based Fast ForWord® program to close gaps in reading among struggling readers and students with special needs, Norwalk Public Schools in Connecticut has expanded its use of the program to include students in 14 of its 20 schools. Developed by Scientific Learning Corp. (OTC PINK:SCIL), the program is an online intervention that targets the root causes of reading struggles for fast results.

“We’ve expanded our use of the Fast ForWord program to accommodate the needs of students at every level,” said Leah Zilich, the assistive technology specialist for grades K-5 in Norwalk Public Schools. “It aligns with our curriculum and prioritized standards, presenting exercises in a game-based manner, which keeps students engaged. The program presents data clearly, which is helpful for data-driven instruction, decision making, and sharing information with parents.”

Located 45 minutes from New York City, Norwalk Public Schools first began using the Fast ForWord program with selected students who were performing below grade level in reading or receiving special education services. This school year, the district expanded the program with site licenses for three elementary schools. It also purchased licenses to serve students in 11 additional elementary, middle, and high schools. The program is now used by general education students who need support in reading, students participating in Connecticut’s Scientific Research Based Interventions (SRBI) process, and students in special education.

“Our goals with Fast ForWord are to address reading deficits early, close gaps, and improve students’ academic growth. When students work on the program, they see that they can change their brain to make it stronger, tying into the growth mindset ideology. With Reading Assistant Plus, which is included with the program, we’re also targeting students’ reading fluency and accuracy,” said Zilich. “After students utilize the program, they feel more confident in their reading skills, which improves their confidence across other content areas as well.”

The Fast ForWord program uses a unique three-step approach to deliver fast gains to struggling students. It provides students with the foundational language and cognitive skills, intensive practice, and guided reading support that they need to catch up, once and for all.

For information, visit


Richard S. Cheng
Scientific Learning Corp.

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