The study utilized a samples drawn from four different states - OH, TN, SC, and GA. The program was conducted in the classrooms with students with high needs. Teachers were given reading instruction frameworks to implement in the schools.
Students in the intervention group were aged 6-9, had difficulty with beginning reading, had a learning disability and an IEP that identified progress in reading as a goal, needed special education services for reading, worked with an alternative reading program, were one grade behind age peers in reading achievement, and were at the beginning reading stage. The full sample was primarily male (65%), and mostly white (60%), though 21% of students were African-American and 19% were Latino. Most students (70%) were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Seventeen percent of students were English language learners. Most students were in second or third grade and on average 7.6 years old.
The HEROES intervention was designed to serve young (age 6-9) high need students who have difficulty with reading. Teachers receive a reading instruction framework composed of five lesson components: word work, writing, taking running records, familiar rereading, and reading new books. Teachers are allowed to focus on the elements of the framework they believe to be most critical, allowing for natural variation. In the study, the HEROES intervention differed during each implementation year. During the first year teachers were provided with the five optional lesson components and could focus on what they deemed most critical. In the second year, taking running records, familiar rereading, and reading new books became mandatory components while the others remained optional. In the third year, teachers were instructed to focus on the practices most consistently predictive of student reading growth: taking running records, familiar rereading, and reading new books. The author did not specify the expected frequency of use or time used.
The comparison group did not receive the intervention. The author did not specify that they received anything other than business as usual.
At study entry, most students (68.9%) were receiving a classroom reading program with modifications, though some received a classroom reading program without modifications (19.9%) or alternative core reading program (10.6%). Most received instruction from a classroom teacher (50.9%) or classroom teacher and intervention specialist (44.1%), though some received instruction from an intervention specialist (4.3%). Most (83.9%) received modified reading instruction in addition to core. Instruction was typically in small groups (80.7%) though some students experienced small groups (3.1%).
Support for implementation
The author does not describe support for implementation.