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95 Phonics Core Program

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

The 95 Phonics Core Program (PCP) is a whole-class, supplemental phonics curriculum. This Tier I program is designed for students in grades K-5 to address and prevent reading gaps using explicit, structured phonics instruction for 20-30 minutes per day. Instruction is based on a scope and sequence with 25 lessons for Kindergarten and 30 lessons for each of Grades 1-5. For example, the First Grade Scope and Sequence includes 30 lessons disaggregated into seven topics (Introduction, Short Vowel CVC, Consonant Blends, Consonant Digraphs, Long Vowel Silent-e, Phonograms, and Introduction to Second-Grade Skills). Each lesson focuses on specific phonics skills, provides examples of high-frequency words, and contains information about other skills addressed within the topic. The 95 Phonics Core Program offers a kit for each grade, including a teacher’s edition, student workbooks, manipulatives, and a digital presentation. The 95 Phonics Core Program also aligns with assessments and interventions (such as Phonics Lesson Library) offered by 95 Percent Group to ensure consistency.

The program includes three volumes of Teacher’s Edition, Student Manipulative Kit, Sound Spelling Cards, and four Student Workbooks (Volumes A, B, C, & D). Digital presentation files are complimentary for the initial year of implementation.

Program Outcomes

The 95 Phonics Core Program (PCP) has two qualifying studies, one randomized and one matched, both demonstrating positive effects on student literacy growth. The first study was carried out in a Missouri school district during the 2021–2022 school year. A total of 14 schools and more than 3,000 K-2 students participated in this randomized control trial, where treatment schools were assigned to use PCP as a replacement for the regular phonics instructional lessons that were part of the core curriculum. Compared to control schools, schools that replaced their phonics teaching with 95 Phonics Core Program significantly increased their composite scores of the Acadience Reading assessment (effect size = +0.09), qualifying the intervention for a Strong ESSA rating. Highlighted findings for each grade include: Kindergarten students in the treatment group demonstrated significantly more growth in Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (PSF) and Nonsense Word Fluency Correct Letter Sounds (NWF-CLS) scores than students in the control group; First-grade students in the treatment group demonstrated significantly more growth in NWF-CLS scores than students in the control group; and Second-grade students in the treatment group demonstrated significantly more growth in composite and Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) scores than students in the control group. The second study was carried out during the 2022-2023 school year with just over 400 K-1 students in a district in Arizona that serves a population in which 29% are Hispanic/Latino and 27% are Indigenous. Kindergarten and first grade students from two schools that volunteered to use PCP were matched with students from three demographically similar comparison schools. On the aimswebPlus assessment, students in 95 PCP schools demonstrated significantly more growth in early literacy scores than comparison schools (effect size = +0.29). Across the two studies, one designated “strong” and one “moderate” based on study design, the average effect size = +0.11.

Staffing Requirements

No special staffing requirements.

Professional Development/Training

Initial 3-hour training with follow up one-hour questions and answer sessions during each semester along with onsite coaching is recommended. Minimum is 3-hour initial training.


No special technology requirements. HTML digital presentation files are a digital teaching tool that allow the instructor to facilitate the lessons at an appropriate pace and enhance student engagement. The presentation slides support visual access to the instructional steps and routines that are embedded in the daily lessons. Teachers access and use the presentation files on our website and can be displayed on any device.