Students using educational software — achieved the highest scores in New Brunswick on the Provincial Literacy Assessments. 

Five years ago, School District 16 in Miramichi, New Brunswick launched a district-wide
initiative to improve the reading and cognitive skills of all second grade students through the use of Fast ForWord(R) educational software from Scientific Learning Corp.

This year, the district’s seventh grade students — who were the first group of students to participate in the initiative using the educational software — achieved the highest scores in New Brunswick on the Provincial Literacy Assessments. 

“We have a very strong literacy team and our teachers work very hard to help our students excel. We also know that the Fast ForWord educational software program is a critical piece of the puzzle and, without doubt, has had a major impact on these results,” said Bob Gillis, consultant/coordinator for School District 16.

“When we look at our efforts over the last several years, the one change we made for this group of students was introducing the educational software Fast ForWord program when they were in second grade. All other factors were the same. It’s clear to us that the Fast ForWord program has been an important part of our students’ success.”  

District 16 is well known for its progressive programs that address the needs of struggling learners in the early years. After using the Fast ForWord educational software as an intervention for several years, the district decided to implement it system-wide with all second graders during the 2006-07 school year. Today, all second graders use the educational software 40 to 50 minutes a day, five days a week for 12 to 15 weeks.  

“Like any school district, we have a wide range of needs in our classrooms,” said Gillis. “We’ve seen great gains with students of all ability levels who participate in the Fast ForWord program.” 

The Fast ForWord educational software accelerates learning for students of a wide spectrum of ages and abilities — including those working at, above or below grade level — by applying proven research on how the brain learns.

Through individualized, adaptive exercises, students build memory, attention, processing, and sequencing skills in the areas of English language and reading. The strengthening of these skills results in a wide range of improved critical language and reading skills such as phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, decoding, working memory, syntax, grammar, and other skills necessary to become a successful reader. 

“The Fast ForWord educational software products support our existing curriculum — they don’t replace it. They align to district mandates and have been an important factor in our success. And, most importantly, the gains students achieve are lasting — the result of enduring positive changes in their processing skills and learning capacity,” said Gillis. “We are very much looking forward to rolling out the new web-based version of Fast ForWord on the MySciLEARN(TM) platform in the fall and continuing to serve our students with the finest literacy program in Canada.” 

About New Brunswick School District 16  

New Brunswick School District 16 is located in East Central New Brunswick, Canada. School District 16 is made up of 21 schools and three alternate sites. It is comprised of approximately 6,000 anglophone students who live in rural and small urban areas, as well as six First Nations communities. Nine schools in the district offer French Immersion programs to approximately 1,100 students from grades three through 12. There are approximately 436 teachers employed in the district. There are almost 600 First Nations students enrolled in District 16, the highest enrollment in the province. 

About Scientific Learning Corp.

We accelerate learning by applying proven research on how the brain learns. Scientific Learning’s results are demonstrated in over 250 research studies and protected by over 55 patents. Learners can realize achievement gains of up to two years in as little as three months and maintain an accelerated rate of learning even after the programs end. 

Today, learners have used over 3 million Scientific Learning educational software products. We provide our offerings directly to parents, K–12 schools and learning centers, and in more than 40 countries around the world. 

For more information, visit