PLOW In-School Study Progress Report – Early Findings

The Windward/Haskins Laboratories Collaborative Project launched its in-school research study, Predicting Literacy Outcomes at The Windward School (PLOW), last summer and is now entering its second year of the study. Although the pandemic interrupted the original plans for data collection, The Windward School’s Research Leadership Team and Haskins scientists have remained nimble and adapted the structure of the study to continue the research remotely. The Windward students involved in the study have demonstrated continued enthusiasm about their participation. Many have reported they have enjoyed learning about the neural basis of reading and the scientific process.  

Nicole Landi, PhD, leads the Haskins research team of the PLOW study and oversees the EEG lab research. She reported the following findings from the first year.  

1. There is significant individual variability in reading and reading-related skills (e.g., phonological awareness) in terms of single time point measures. 

2. There are medium-size correlations between EEG profiles and reading/reading-related skills. 

3. There appears to be significant variability in EEG profiles, which we hope will be predictive of children’s outcomes longitudinally.  

The Haskins team of scientists are presently scoring and entering data from the spring/summer and will begin multi-time point analyses this fall. Over the course of the past year, Dr. Landi has presented on the Windward/Haskins Collaborative Project at several regional and national conferences and co-published a paper “What’s the Promise of In-School Neuroscience?” in International Dyslexia Association’s The Examiner, Volume 8, Issue 3. The study has also received widespread media attention from Education WeekThe Journal News, the SeeHearSpeak podcast, and more. Several grant proposals to further fund the project, including an NIH proposal that was well-received, will be revised and resubmitted this fall.  

Timeline of the Predicting Literacy Outcomes at The Windward School Study 

June 2019  

· Windward installed EEG labs at both the Manhattan campus and Westchester campuses 

· Haskins researchers established IRB protocol and began designing the study 

October 2019 

· 22 Windward students, or “Junior scientists”, volunteered to participate in the study 

· EEG and behavioral data collection began, led by Haskins scientists 

March 2020 

· Reconfigured study and assessments to online data collection model 

May 2020 

· Began collecting data virtually on behavioral measures of reading (and related skills) from Windward student participants 

· Data collection has been highly successful, with minimal data loss and limited attrition