Riverside Insights Wins Excellence in Equity Award for Accessibility Features

ITASCA, Ill. – Riverside Insights®, a leading developer of research-based assessments and analytics, today announced that it won Best Accessibility Solution in the inaugural Excellence in Equity Awards program presented by the American Consortium for Equity in Education. The Riverside Insights’ solutions were selected because they are designed to serve learners of all ability levels – from those with physical or cognitive difficulties to gifted students seeking to challenge themselves . All of the Riverside Insights products are designed to maximize accessibility for all learners, including assessments with the options of large print, audio directions and braille, as well as creating versions to accommodate English learners.

“Equity is foundational to our mission of elevating the potential of all learners,” said Dr. Sarah Holman, a former special education administrator and bilingual evaluator who now serves as a marketing director for Riverside Insights. “We live out our commitment through our people, our processes, our products and our professional development to ensure each learner has the chance to lean into their strengths.” 

“This category is particularly meaningful to us. Across our portfolio, accessibility, translation, adaptation, as well as local, regional and national norming, are core tenants of our product development roadmap as we seek to ensure that teachers, learners, families and communities are not left behind,” said Anna Houseman, former elementary school teacher and assessment director, who now serves as a product director for Riverside Insights. …Read More

Why universal screening is a more equitable identifier of gifted and talented students

School districts have historically relied on a referral-based process to identify students for gifted and talented programming. This means that teachers or parents nominate their students to take selected achievement and/or cognitive aptitude tests, frequently used as a screener for gifted and talented placement.

Unfortunately, relying on referrals alone results in overly homogenous gifted and talented programs that are predominantly white, middle class, and male. Research shows that referral-based identification excludes too many students from enrichment and advanced academic opportunities.

But districts are slowly starting to change their identification processes. Instead of using referrals to determine which students take the specified tests, districts have begun universally screening every child to make the identification process more equitable, especially when districts use cognitive aptitude tests for all students, not just a select subset.…Read More

How to build deep relationships with students

In order for students to actually learn, they need to feel engaged on a cognitive and emotional level. They also need to feel safe. 

Take a minute and think about that: students need to feel safe. 

The first step in students feeling safe in school is having a positive relationship with the adult who is leading their educational journey. As Rita Pearson details in her famous TED Talk, every child deserves a champion or an adult who can make them feel safe and insist on them being the best they can be.…Read More

Don’t wait: The importance of early dyslexia intervention

A learning disorder that can impact a child’s ability to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols—but that doesn’t affect general intelligence—dyslexia often goes unnoticed until a student displays significant struggles with reading and/or writing. The most common of all neuro-cognitive disorders, dyslexia impacts about 20 percent of the US population and represents 80-90 percent percent of all individuals who have learning disabilities.

In some cases, a dyslexia diagnosis doesn’t happen until a student is in second grade, with some cases going unnoticed until the learner is already in high school. With research showing that interventions are the most effective when they are done in kindergarten and first grade, the earlier the intervention the better.

To avoid an even bigger learning gap, we need to take a closer look at early identification, the early warning signs to look for, and what steps to take if you suspect dyslexia. …Read More

Capstone Interactive eBook Platform Relaunches With Enhanced Accessibility for Children

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – August 17, 2022 – Capstone, an innovative learning company merging children’s content with easy-to-use edtech tools for K-5 classrooms, libraries, and home, announces substantial enhancements to its Capstone Interactive eBooks platform. Among the improvements, the eBook platform and reader will be Section 508 compliant and WCAG 2.1 rated, ensuring Capstone Interactive is accessible to children with vision, cognitive, physical, and hearing disabilities.

Another significant update includes its integration within Capstone’s PebbleGo environment, the subscription-based content hub for cross-curricular instruction and research. Educators and students can easily discover and begin reading Capstone Interactive eBooks through a new “eBooks” tab as part of their subscription, reducing the need for keeping track of additional logins and website URLs. Educators can also easily share a direct link to an eBook, allowing students access with a single click.

The platform will also be mobile-responsive, improving student’s experience through intuitive touchscreen navigation and providing at-home and on-the-go access on smartphones, tablets, and computers to support school-to-home programs and independent learning.…Read More

3 ways coaches can refine their practice this school year

When teachers and leaders have effective coaching, student outcomes inevitably improve. According to Rebecca Frazier, author of Coach Happy, coached teachers outperform non-coached teachers in 22 areas of instructional practice by four to five times. 

Effective coaches must possess the ability to actively listen, decipher teachers’ needs, and build capacity based on the strengths of teachers. All of these skills take a huge amount of cognitive load for a coach and require intentional practice.

While some of these skills might be a little rusty after a summer off, the beginning of the school year is the perfect time to focus on coaching practices. Below are three ways for coaches to get started.…Read More

Riverside Insights Joins Forces with Renzulli Learning to Foster Instructional Equity through Engagement

ITASCA, Ill. – March 16, 2022 – Riverside Insights®, a leading developer of research-based assessments and analytics, today announced a new partnership with Renzulli Learning, an interactive online system for whole school enrichment that provides students with personalized learning resources based on their unique interests and learning preferences. With this new partnership, educators can now readily combine the ability insights from Riverside Insight’s Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT®) with Renzulli Learning’s dynamic library of resources to better differentiate instruction and engage all learners in the classroom.

Riverside’s CogAT enables educators to understand students’ potential for learning while Renzulli Learning allows them to leverage students’ interests and preferences to unlock that potential. Educators can attest that aligning instruction with student interests encourages strong levels of engagement from all learners. Paired together, CogAT and Renzulli Learning provide a powerful combination to make learning accessible and fun for every student.

“Riverside Insights’ partnership with Renzulli Learning is a first step in our commitment to support the whole child and their ‘Limitless Learning’ to reach their full potential,” said Riverside Insights’ CEO, Rajib Roy. “We know students learn best when they are invested in the content. CogAT’s unique Ability Profile™ for each student combined with Renzulli’s interactive resources will empower educators to meet every student’s needs through interest-based instruction.”…Read More

Arizona Department of Education Selects Riverside’s CogAT for Statewide Universal Screening of all Second-Grade Students for Gifted Education Services

ITASCA, Ill. – Feb. 23, 2022 – The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) selected Riverside Insight’s Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT®), the most respected and widely used test of student ability, to screen Grade 2 students state-wide for gifted programs. The ADE’s assessment choice supports the Department’s vision of promoting equity for all students to help them achieve their full potential. CogAT was specifically developed to be accessible to the broadest range of students and to ensure the greatest equity with valid and reliable results for identification and placement. 

“We are excited to provide this opportunity that will help our schools more equitably identify our state’s Gifted learners,” said Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. “Universal screening removes barriers to access and is a proven strategy to help identify students that have been traditionally underrepresented in Gifted Education programs – especially students who may be culturally, linguistically and socioeconomically diverse.”

CogAT, the #1 ability test in the market, according to an EducationWeek report, is the assessment tool that most effectively addresses the challenges of equity by identifying each student’s unique learning potential and empowering educators with the insights to help them achieve it. With demonstrated effectiveness with special populations, CogAT is uniquely positioned to meet the ADE’s requirements, supporting all learners including students with a disability or students acquiring the English language. CogAT is standardized with a representative sample of students from across the nation to provide both national and local norms, and it offers age-based Standard Age Scores (SAS) for the most fair comparisons of young students at different development and maturation levels.…Read More

How coding shapes students’ future success

With unpredictability fast becoming our daily bread, what can be more important than preparing the next generations for future challenges? Every parent wants to secure the best foundation for their children, be it for primary school education, academia, work, or life in general. 

In this sense, research has shown us how coding can be relevant across school subjects and academic disciplines. Now it’s time to talk about the other advantages it brings, including the cognitive effects of coding on children’s brains.

This is how coding shapes the future prospects of children.…Read More

How positive psychology reduces stress and boosts reading comprehension

Learning to read is a higher brain function. Reading comprehension activates the cerebral cortex of a child’s brain. This part of the brain is important for complex cognitive tasks, but it’s also the part of the brain that’s the most sensitive to the harmful effects of stress.

Because stress impairs both learning and memory, teachers can improve reading comprehension and enhance classroom learning by reducing student stress through positive psychology.

The psychology of happiness and learning…Read More