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SIPPS® (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words)

Essa Rating
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Program Description

SIPPS is a foundational skills reading curriculum designed to help both new and struggling readers in grades K–12. The program’s systematic scope and sequence provides a structured-literacy approach to instruction through explicit routines focused on phonological awareness, spelling-sounds, and sight words. It is based on the premise that beginning literacy is best taught through two distinct strands: one focusing on language comprehension and the other on word recognition.

When used as a core/Tier I program, SIPPS supports the acquisition of grade-level, foundational skills standards. When used as Tier 2 and Tier 3, SIPPS accelerates progress so that students are able to close the gap and engage in grade-level reading. The program is multi-level, addressing students’ word recognition needs at their instructional levels. The program corresponds to three developmental levels of progression in word recognition: simple alphabetic (SIPPS Beginning Level), spelling-pattern (SIPPS Extension Level), and polysyllabic/morphemic (SIPPS Challenge Level); SIPPS Plus addresses the simple alphabetic and spelling-pattern phases, but is designed specifically for older students (grades 4–12).

Initial and ongoing assessment in SIPPS helps ensure that students receive the appropriate instruction and that they move through the accelerative scope and sequence of lessons successfully and as efficiently and as effectively as they can based upon their individual progress. Assessment data determines placement in the program. Students are placed at their points of need within a level and a lesson. Flexible groups that are based on placement test results ensure that students are provided differentiated instruction. Criterion-referenced mastery tests, embedded at designated intervals in the scope and sequence of each level, provide on-going data. The mastery test data not only document mastery of the phonics and high-frequency words in a given group of lessons but also support instructional decisions to guide reteaching, which may include adjusting pacing and delivery.

Program Outcomes

A quasi-experimental evaluation of SIPPS was conducted with over 500 first and second grade students from multiple schools in an urban district in Florida. Nearly 75% of students were identified as economically disadvantaged, 50% were White, and 32% Hispanic. The students identified as needing help with foundational reading skills used SIPPS as a Tier 2 intervention. Students received the intervention daily with an identified SIPPS teacher and progress monitoring was used throughout. The matched comparison group received the “business as usual” interventions offered in their schools. Student reading skills were measured at two points during the 2021–2022 school year: September 2021 (pretest) and at the end of the fall semester, January 2022 (posttest). Students participating in SIPPS scored significantly higher on the DIBELS than students who did not receive SIPPS (effect size = +0.25, p < .05), qualifying SIPPS for a Moderate rating.

Staffing Requirements

Classroom teachers, Interventionists, or Paraprofessionals can implement the SIPPS program. It is designed for use in a small-group format.

Professional Development/Training

In the qualifying research, teachers met with program implementation staff for professional development and support approximately every three weeks. A variety of professional learning offerings and formats are available to meet the specific needs of the school and/or district. Formats include in-person, virtual, self-paced independent learning, asynchronous online learning, and small-group. Resources are included to support teacher growth and development as they engage in teaching the lessons.


A 7-year digital license is included with purchase. This license provides access to the Learning Portal, Collaborative Classroom’s web-based platform. The Learning Portal includes digital resources such as Digital Teacher’s Sets, student reproducibles, planning and professional learning resources, and support. SIPPS teachers also have the option to collect and store student assessment data in the ClassviewPro portion of the Learning Portal.