A Mixed-Method Program Evaluation of Tier 1 LETRS Training in an MTSS Framework

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.S. in School Psychology


Department of Counselor Education and Human Services


Elana Bernstein


U.S. students' reading scores fall farther behind each year (Sparks, 2017). Schools have addressed this by focusing on teaching using the science of reading (Moats, 2020). For teachers to teach based on the science of reading, they need to be trained (Bates & Morgan, 2018). LETRS is a professional development (PD) that focuses on the science of reading (Moats, 2019). This mixed-methods study examined if the LETRS PD program made an impact on kindergarten through third grade teachers’ classroom Acadience reading composite scores (RCS) and explored their perceptions of the program and their student’s data. Participants included six kindergarten through third grade teachers from one rural elementary school in southeastern Ohio who participated in the LETRS PD program with instructional coaches. Analysis of the data revealed that for a majority of teacher, as they attended more of the LETRS PD, their students RCS increased. Through a content analysis, the qualitative data revealed four common topics among teachers which included, COVID-19 made a significant impact on student scores; teachers felt they had better phonics instruction after attending the PD; teachers overall had positive perceptions of the LETRS program; and other factors such as parent support, changes in grades taught, difference in students’ performance each year, attendance, availability of classroom aides, and number of students made an impact on their classroom data. Implications for these findings and possible rationale are discussed in this thesis.


LETRS, Science of Reading, Acadience, Professional Development, Early Elementary

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