Success Factors

Implementing Once requires careful consideration of students, staff and current programming. The best implementations integrate Once into existing school systems and goals, and administrators and teachers must be willing to modify the school staffing model and schedule. For Once to succeed, the entire school team must see Once as part of the school’s core work and a path toward overall academic success—rather than as an optional add-on. Schools should start these conversations as early as possible and help the entire team see how Once will help meet specific school goals.

Prioritizing daily one-on-one reading instruction requires making trade-offs. Once may result in students missing small chunks of non-core instructional time. During parts of the day, assistant teachers may be unavailable to pass out papers or accompany students on restroom breaks. These adjustments can be challenging but are ultimately worth it, because they free up staff and student time to consistently teach students how to read fluently and independently.

Critical Success FactorsPotential Pitfalls

Instructors are dedicated resources who are assigned to a group of students and expected to consistently deliver Once instruction for their scheduled hours and should not be pulled for any other role.

The most common pitfall of a Once implementation is a lack of clarity around the new role and responsibilities of the Once instructors. Asking Once instructors to forego instruction to act as a sub or support classroom transitions creates a lack of consistency that impedes student growth.

There is total buy-in from school administrators, classroom teachers, and instructors to ensure a consistent delivery of the program.

When school administrators, lead classroom teachers, or even the support staff assigned to provide Once are not invested in the program, the end result is that instructional sessions and coaching sessions are missed and students do not make their expected progress. It is imperative that school administrators, lead classroom teachers, and Once instructors understand how Once supports Tier I classroom instruction and have clear communication channels internally and with Once if they do not feel invested in the program.

Together, Once and the school create and communicate a workable schedule that includes transition time and a designated learning environment.

Slow transitions into and out of Once instruction can deprive students of up to 70% of their scheduled Once instruction, since each daily session is only 15 minutes long. Each school must ensure that instructors have an instructional space close to the classroom. Instructors also need clear systems for dropping students off and picking students up to minimize disruption to the classroom.

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