EDUCATION: Houston schools picked for cutting edge study

By Floyd Ingram/Chickasaw Journal

HOUSTON – A cutting edge study implementing a new learning initiative and research study will begin in the Houston Upper Elementary School after the first of the year.
Dore – an individualized, cerebellar development program – will be brought to Houston schools by two educators from Mississippi State University who want to use data collected to determine the effectiveness of the program.
“We have been associated with Dr. (Sandy) Devlin and Dr. (Penny) Craven for a number of years,” said Lisa Blue, director of special education at Houston School District. “They know us and we know them, and I think this is a big opportunity for our students.”
The study will be conducted over two years and involve 70 students from the upper elementary school. No new teachers or instructors will be hired.
Implementing Dore in a district typically costs about $5,000 for five kids for one year. Since Devlin and Craven are conducting research on the program, Houston will spend $10,000 for the two-year program.
“Dore’s drug-free program consists of daily, physical activities that aim to improve things like reading and writing, attention and focus, social skills, or athletic prowess,” said Devlin. “It basically retrains the brain to retrieve information quicker.”
Devlin said the study will target students with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and Asperger’s.
Houston Upper Elementary School Principal John Ellison said the program will touch approximately 20 percent of his students, and he hopes it will improve test scores and better prepare students for the jump to middle school.
Students in the program will be involved in two sets of exercises (approximately 10 minutes each), one in the morning (session 1) and one in the afternoon (session 2) every day, leaving at least 4 hours between sessions
Teachers and directors will have daily access to myDore.com, a virtual Internet-based guidance and coaching system that lets them assess how a child is doing.
Teachers will periodically return assessments to Devlin and Craven to monitor progress.
Other schools in the area using Dore are: Calhoun Academy, Hebron Christian School, Kirk Academy, Webster County School District, Winona Christian School and Winona Elementary School.
Devlin and Craven will submit their paper with their findings and observations at the end of the study.