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Reading grades studied

4 – 6

READ 180 After School

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

READ 180 is a blended learning approach to literacy instruction for struggling adolescent readers that combines teacher instruction, computer-assisted instruction (CAI), independent reading, and small-group instruction. In an after-school adaptation, students received one hour of snack and homework help followed by an hour of READ 180. All students in Read 180 received a whole-class lesson on reading comprehension, and then cycled through individualized CAI, small-group time with the teacher, and independent reading practice with leveled readers.

Program Outcomes

Two studies in urban Massachusetts evaluated READ 180 as an after-school program for upper-elementary struggling readers. One found positive outcomes on SAT-10 measures, qualifying READ 180 After School for the ESSA “Strong” category (effect size = +0.25). However, the second study found no differences, so the overall effect size was +0.13.

Staffing Requirements

READ 180 is delivered in 45- to 90-minute sessions that include whole-group instruction, three small-group rotations, and whole-class wrap-up, all led by the READ 180 teacher.

Professional Development/Training

READ 180 was designed as a comprehensive system of professional development to support teachers and leaders in evaluating and improving their instructional practices. READ 180 requires at least one day of professional development training with a “Getting Started” course.

Schools and districts using READ 180 can support their teachers by purchasing additional Professional Learning Courses and Individual and Team Coaching to ensure teachers are building expertise with the content, instructional practices, and technology. The HMH Professional Services team provides everything from classroom-readiness support to lesson modeling for teachers and works with administrators to monitor and analyze results both on the software and from classroom observations, assuring fidelity and student success.


The program requires that students spend time on the READ 180 student software, which can be accessed on desktop computers, laptops, or tablets with an Internet connection. A device is needed for at least one third of the class at any given time. It is also recommended that teachers have a smart board to display the lessons found in their Digital Teacher’s Edition during Whole and Small Group.  Detailed system requirements can be provided upon request.