Headsprout in an Ethnically Diverse, High-Mobility Urban School

Research Applies to: Headsprout

About This Research

This case study took place in an urban school identified as underperforming by the school district, and focused on intermediate elementary students in grades 3 and 4. The Headsprout implementation took place during the second half of the school year and included additional sessions to make up for missed days. The state reading assessment was used to measure the program’s impact.

Main Findings

After Headsprout implementation, school-wide reading proficiency increased by 10% over the previous year in the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP), despite the fact that the school had used Headsprout for only a few months before the testing took place.


Participants were third- and fourth-grade students from an urban, ethnically diverse school which had been identified by the district as underperforming. The school had approximately 900 students in grades Pre-K-4. More than 60% of the students at the school level were English Language Learners.

Study Design and Procedures

Headsprout implementation took place from January 2011 through the end of that spring for this case study. Students used Headsprout during school, and many attended school to use the program on Saturdays to make up for lost school days due to weather.


Learning A-Z (revised 2016, May). Cole Elementary School, Nashville, TN: Turning things around with Headsprout reading tools. Tucson, AZ: Author.

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