2014 has been an exciting year for SL3! In February, we founded Speech Language Literacy Lab to offer the Kindergarten Language Benchmark Assessment (KLBA) to other schools. This year, SL3 has helped school districts around the world (including an elementary school in Linz, Austria) to begin using the KLBA to guide their schools' Response to Intervention process for language. Using local norms, we give support to our lowest students, regardless of the cause behind their language struggles. Whether a student is an English Language Learner, too shy to talk, or truly language impaired, all students need a voice and a shared language within the school community. By providing Tier 2 services immediately, these language skills are fostered in order to prevent later reading comprehension struggles
As we approach 2015, we'd like to pause and thank everyone who has come along with us on this journey.
First, we'd like to thank Dr. Quintin Shepherd, Dr. Megan Aseltine, and all the staff at Skokie School District 69. Dr. Shepherd's implementation of teacher "study groups" provided the platform needed for initial development of the KLBA, the flagship product of SL3. As school-based SLPs, we were tired of filling language gaps instead of preventing them in the first place. Too many students were being referred in third grade for difficulties with reading comprehension. We needed to identify these at-risk children earlier, so we could prevent later struggles. No time-efficient assessment tool existed in the commercial market to fill our needs, so we decided to create something ourselves. Dr. Shepherd supported our initial research and development by allowing us to trial the KLBA and Pre-KLBA (to be released summer, 2015) on the students in District 69. Director of Special Services, Dr. Megan Aseltine, also allowed us to create an RTI system based on the KLBA and Pre-KLBA data and provided personnel support to provide Tier 2 services. We also thank all the staff within District 69 for embracing the RTI language process and making it your own.
Another big thank you goes out to Eastern Illinois University for their support. In particular, thank you to Dr. Angela Anthony and Ms. Rebecca Hunt, for conducting independent research on the KLBA and Pre-KLBA and coordinating research projects with University of Utah. We'd also like to thank Dr. Rob Kraemer at University of Utah for believing in the KLBA and Pre-KLBA and using these tools in his own research.
More thanks to the SLPs at St. Charles school district and to the teachers at Linz International School Auhof-Jr for helping us widen our research sample on the KLBA this year to over 500 students. We are so grateful for your time and energy.
Finally, we'd like to thank bloggers Danielle at Sublime Speech and Jenn at Crazy Speech World for their fabulous reviews of the KLBA this fall. You help us spread the word on how to better help kids. Thank you!
Happy Holidays to All!
Jen and Naomi