Special Ed Gets Fresh Look in Minnesota Schools

Monday, February 13, 2012

Nancy Cooley has spent 20 years helping struggling young readers build a foundation for academic success.

Each day, Cooley works individually with students like Gavin Bass, a Rosemount first-grader, who need extra help mastering specific literacy skills using a program called "Reading Recovery." Interventions like these can help get a student back on course, possibly avoiding a learning-disability classification.

"It is designed to catch kids early on, before they feel like they are not successful," said Cooley, a teacher at Diamond Path Elementary School for International Studies in Apple Valley. She will work with students such as Gavin for a half-hour each day - drilling, quizzing and practicing early literacy concepts to improve core skills.

For Gavin, the program has been a big confidence boost, said his mother, Sarah Bass.

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