Reynolds Middle School, Oregon

When Principal Stacy Talus informed his teaching staff at Reynolds Middle School that their myON subscription was at risk for budget reasons last school year, they pushed back. “Teachers really want it, they are passionate about it and our best teachers said ‘we really need this,’ so I figured I’d better find a way to fund it,” he explained. Initially, a Title I purchase, myON is now covered by general fund dollars.

The Reynolds team works hard to accelerate reading and math skills among their more than 900 students in grades six through eight—many of whom arrive at middle school two to three grade levels behind—to give them what Talus terms, “a fighting chance to graduate from high school.” myON is a valuable resource because it engages every student, enables staff to differentiate instruction, and allows kids to read at their own levels while finding topics that excite them. 

The master schedule was built to ensure that there is time for students to meet the 30 minutes of reading time expected in language arts and Title I reading classes, which are part of the district’s Individual Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) framework. They may spend the additional 30 minutes of required daily independent reading time at home or in the afterschool program, which is staffed by classroom teachers, as they work to achieve grade-level proficiencies. 

“Technology is never going to replace a great teacher. But I absolutely believe that a tool like myON can take a great teacher and augment what they do in a huge way. If we had to cut all other software licenses, this would be the one we would keep. "

Integration of myON into other content areas is underway. As part of a math technology grant, the teacher incorporates myON resources that reinforce and extend current lessons. The instructional coach sees great potential in the nonfiction resources for social studies and science. Staff training on myON is folded into weekly PD sessions, further supporting teacher utilization.

Talus is working toward a goal of every teacher using myON to support what they already do. “Technology is never going to replace a great teacher,” he said. “But I absolutely believe that a tool like myON can take a great teacher and augment what they do in a huge way. If we had to cut all other software licenses, this would be the one we would keep.”