Bergen Meadow Primary School is a public school serving nearly 300 students in grades preschool through second grade. Its sister school, Bergen Valley Intermediate, serves just over 200 students in grades 3-5.

Five years ago, the reading scores for Bergen Meadow had plateaued. Teachers wanted to have a deeper understanding of how students learn to read, as well as a set of powerful strategies for helping students become successful readers.

The leadership, which was already familiar with the Orton-Gillingham method, decided to send the SPED (special education) team to an IMSE training. The learning specialists in both Bergen Meadow and Bergen Valley all completed their 30-hour IMSE Comprehensive Orton-Gillingham training within the first year. By the beginning of the second year, everyone on staff had participated in a five-day training – a massive accomplishment.

Almost immediately, Bergen Meadow’s DIBELS scores went up: reading speed, letter recognition, knowing the sounds of the letters, and pre-reading and reading skills. The school’s SPED data also improved; the school had fewer primary students on a reading plan. As of last year, Bergen Meadow’s third graders had been learning with Orton-Gillingham since kindergarten, and the school achieved the lowest number of reading plans ever for the third grade in the school’s history – and that was during the pandemic!

Bergen schools experienced incredible growth last year despite learning through a pandemic. The systematic Structured Literacy with Orton-Gillingham Instruction Bundles, which provide an engaging way to create online lessons, enabled teachers to deliver seamless instruction both remotely and in-person and proved to be highly effective.

To learn more, download the complete Bergen Meadow case study here