FAQ

GENERAL PRODUCT QUESTIONS

How is Scholastic Reading Counts! available to schools?

Scholastic Reading Counts! is available to schools in three ways:

  • Scholastic Reading Counts! is available through a locally hosted option with perpetual licenses.
  • Scholastic Reading Counts! is available with perpetual licenses with Scholastic hosting at an additional fee.
  • Scholastic Reading Counts! is available through a Scholastic-hosted option and sold in annual Web Subscription licenses.

What are Web Subscription licenses?

In August 2011, Scholastic Reading Counts! will be available in Web Subscription licenses. For schools and districts Scholastic Reading Counts! will be available through browsers without having to host the program software on locally installed hardware. This method of delivery is ideal for large districts, for district with infrastructure needs, or for any district trying to maintain the capital costs of their technology program.

Will the locally hosted version that I use still be available?

Yes, the current version of Scholastic Reading Counts! remains available. There are no plans to phase out the locally hosted, perpetual licenser version for existing schools and districts. There is no need to move to the Web Subscription model. Schools and districts can continue with Scholastic Reading Counts! on its existing platform. Schools can continue with any current Web hosting services.

What is included with my initial purchase of the Scholastic Reading Counts!® program?

For locally hosted purchases, schools and districts receive:

  • Program Software
  • An Administrator's Kit
  • Welcome Kits at each site
  • Student Licenses
  • Quizzes, which are now downloadable from the Scholastic Achievement Manager

For Web Subscription purchases, schools and districts receive:

  • Welcome Kits at each site
  • Student Licenses
  • Access to the Scholastic server that houses your program and all quizzes.

Providing schools with user names and passwords with the program links is the responsibility of the technology administrator in charge of the implementation.

How do I purchase Scholastic Reading Counts! Web Subscriptions?

Call a Scholastic Representative at 800-387-1437 to begin the Technical Audit process. Once the audit determines that your district has the bandwidth and capacity to access Scholastic Reading Counts! through the Web, a Scholastic Online Administrator will contact your Technical Director to set up an account. From there, your purchase order is submitted and the program will be available in about five working days.

How long does my Web Subscription last?

The term of the Scholastic Reading Counts! Web Subscription is one year. Advance purchases for up to three years are supported. You can add more student licenses at any time; a minimum of 50 licenses apply. When it is time to renew, you will move forward with prorated costs for the new licenses added during the term. You can scale your purchase to more or fewer licenses in the subsequent year.

I am a Web hosting user. How does this new platform affect me?

Scholastic Web hosting is a service for purchasers of perpetual licenses. At any time, a school or a district can end Scholastic Web hosting and install server software on their own servers for student and teacher access. Scholastic Web hosting for Scholastic Reading Counts! includes the Quiz access fee and automatic quizzes uploads as part of that services. If a school or district discontinues the Web hosting services, they would need to pay a Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz Access Fee to continue receiving quizzes. The new Web Subscription model does not directly affect Web hosting users.

If I discontinue Scholastic Reading Counts! in Web Subscriptions, what happens to my data?

We will contact you a few months before your Subscription ends. If you chose not to continue with Scholastic Reading Counts! you should export your data prior to the last day of access.

Is my data secure?

Scholastic recognizes the absolute need to maintain security with student data. Specific questions regarding data should be directed to a Scholastic Online Administrator or a Scholastic Field Engineer.

What are the hardware specifications to run Scholastic Reading Counts!?

Technical requirements, including hardware specifications, are shown on the Scholastic Reading Counts! Technical Support page. To go directly to the technical support page, click here.

PRICING QUESTIONS

What is the cost of Scholastic Reading Counts! Web Subscriptions?

Getting Started Fee Student Licenses Minimum Additional items Term
$350 per site $5.50 per student per year 50 licenses Additional Getting Started Guides available for $55.00 One year with expiration date aligning with first purchase date.

How much does the Scholastic Reading Counts! locally hosted version cost?

Effective August 31, 2011, Scholastic Reading Counts! will feature the one price for all students.

Enrollment Perpetual Licenses(minimum 50 licenses) Student Access Fee Product support plan
All $5.50 $2.00 $250 per site per year

What is the Student Access Fee?

With new student licenses, Scholastic Reading Counts! will sell quiz renewal on an annual basis, meaning that with a renewal fee of $2.00 per student license, schools receive all new quizzes on an ongoing, monthly basis. Quizzes do not ship in December or July. However, these collections are available through email at Scholastic Customer Services 877-268-6871 or email us at ReadingCounts@scholastic.com.

SRC! QUIZZES

How many titles are in the Scholastic Reading Counts! quiz library?

Currently, we have more than 55,000 titles in our library, and we are constantly developing new quizzes! We invite you to visit our new Book Expert Online where you can view our entire listing of quizzes and their associated book title. Each year Scholastic Reading Counts! develops quizzes to more than 2800 children’s fiction and nonfiction titles that are expected to endure in literary value and reader interest.

Is it true that Scholastic Reading Counts! only quizzes Scholastic titles?

Absolutely not! Scholastic Reading Counts! quizzes books from more than 500 publishers including prominent trade house, such as Macmillan, Penguin, and Random House; specialty publishers such as Orca Books and Holiday House; and Library Publishers such as Capstone Press. Because Scholastic often publishes reprints of the best children’s literature, many important titles may be available through Scholastic divisions, such as Book Club and Book Fairs.

Are any quizzes in the Spanish language?

Yes! Scholastic Reading Counts! shas a broad collection of quizzes in the Spanish language. These quizzes correspond to popular titles in English to help ELL students transition to reading in English.

Does Scholastic Reading Counts! write quizzes for basal readers?

At one time Scholastic wrote quizzes for certain basal series. Recently, we have focused quiz production on titles that support the program’s core mission of developing independent reading skills. Supporting instructional texts - many of which have their own publisher provided assessment - in a teacher-supported learning environment might not provide the accurate independent reading score that Scholastic Reading Counts! was designed to provide.

Can I write my own quizzes in Scholastic Reading Counts!?

Yes! You can write new quizzes in Scholastic Reading Counts! and you the ability to export and share your own quizzes among other teachers. There is an unlimited amount of quizzes that teachers can write in SRC!

How much storage does a quiz take?

The individual quiz files that get loaded into SAM or SMS are called .qiz files. They are anywhere from 1 KB to 10 KB. Individually, they are tiny files.

How can I view a list of titles that have been recently added to the Scholastic Reading Counts! quiz library?

You can view all titles on the Scholastic Reading Counts! Product Support site by clicking here. Other useful materials including Educator's Guides are available to you. New titles are also posted on our Book Expert Online. Click on "Search Books and Quizzes Titles" from the Toolbar. This will take you to the Search Title Page. Use the Date search to quickly locate titles added in recent months. Please visit us often to browse our new titles!

Is there any other way to receive quizzes than on a disc through the mail?

Yes! If you are a Web Subscription user, quizzes are automatically supplied to you as Scholastic manages your server. If you are locally hosted user, there is a new utility in SAM v1.9 or higher called SAM Connect. SAM Connect is a conduit that uses the Internet to connect every SAM server deployed in a district to one central server at Scholastic. Essentially, SAM Connect is the pipe that enables a variety of activities to take place over the internet, even if a district is hosting the software locally. For Scholastic Reading Counts! we can push out quizzes to school servers each month.

How do I receive quizzes through SAM Connect?

First all Scholastic Reading Counts! licenses in your district (except those associated with READ180 and System 44) need to have an active Access Fee Plan. When all licenses are associated with an Access Fee, then the district is eligible for SAM Connect updates. Next, the district access SAM Connect Registration Manager, which connects local servers with the SAM Server at Scholastic.

What is the SAM Connect Registration Manager?

The SAMConnect Registration Manager is the first utility that gets used when a district installs SAMConnect. This utility registers the district’s local SAM Server(s) with the central SAM server at Scholastic and lets the central SAM server know what Scholastic applications READ 180, SRI, SRC!, Read About, FasttMath, etc.) are installed on the district’s local SAM Server.

What other utilities launch with SAM Connect?

Once SAMConnect is installed at a district and connected to Scholastic, Scholastic will be able to enable several utilities that will add value for districts, reduce costs for districts and for Scholastic, and improve our ability to provide service, such as technical updates.

TECHNICAL QUESTIONS

What is a Product Support Plan?

Product Support and Technical Maintenance Plans are vital components for the Scholastic Achievement Manager (SAM) suite of products READ 180, Read About, Scholastic Reading Inventory, Scholastic Reading Counts!, System 44, and Scholastic Phonics Inventory. In addition to unlimited Technical Support, point release and version updates are part of the plan. These will be shipped twice a year with feature enhancements for SAM and its related programs.

SAM requires that all versions for all products be in the same release and the way to obtain these releases is through the Product Support and Maintenance Plans. For more information about technical issues and to view Scholastic Reading Counts! Technical FAQs, visit the Technical Support Page.

What are point releases?

Point releases are scheduled and periodic updates to Scholastic’s technology program. Some enhancements include feature improvements for users and others are platform-based technology improvements. Rather than issue major new releases that demand a large conversion, Scholastic has elected to build out enhancements and features on a more periodic basis.

These small scheduled releases are timed to work better with the school calendar and are easier for teachers to master as they extend the existing program and keep users familiar with a fewer number of changes as they occur. We believe that smaller, more incremental steps over the course of the products’ life works better in learning communities than large sweeping changes that occur every four or five years.

What about bugs and known errors?

Patches for bugs and known errors are on the Technical Support Page as free software updates.

How much do Product Support Plans cost?

There are a number of plans that are based on the number of sites and programs used. Effective September 1, 2012, the Basic Plan, which would suit the needs of Assessment products like Scholastic Reading Counts!, is $350 per site, per product.

Do I need a Technical Support Plan if I am a Web Subscription user?

The technical support plan is included in the cost of the student license, so no additional purchases are needed.

ORDERING SCHOLASTIC READING COUNTS!

How can I order Scholastic Reading Counts!?

You can purchase Scholastic Reading Counts! by calling your Scholastic Sales Representative at 1-800-387-1437. You may also request more information by clicking here.

My school owns Accelerated Reader and we want to move to Scholastic Reading Counts!

Good move! With its foundation in The Lexile Framework for Reading and the deep bank of items that support most quizzes, Scholastic Reading Counts! is always the best choice for busy educators. To trade up to the Student License model, Scholastic offers discounted initial licenses at $3.50 per student. This one-time-only offer entitles your school to all currently published quizzes. Call 1-800-387-1437 for details.

PRODUCT FULFILLMENT QUESTIONS

What method of shipment is used for my Scholastic Reading Counts! order?

All Scholastic Reading Counts! items are shipped to you via UPS ground. If your address contains a P.O. Box, we will ship the order via USPS.  UPS does NOT deliver to P.O. Boxes. We do not recommend P.O. Box shipments as we have no way of tracking the order.

Will my order arrive in one single shipment?

All items will arrive in one shipment. The number of cartons you receive is dependent on the size of your order.

How long will it take to receive my entire order?

All currently available software and incentives in your order will be delivered to you within 7-10 business days of the date of your order.

What if I want to have an order sent overnight?

Assessment products do not offer overnight shipment. We offer rush shipping, which will reduce delivery from 7-10 days to 3-5 days.

May I provide an alternate Ship To address for any backordered items?

Yes, you can contact a Customer Service representative to provide an alternate address for any backordered items. Please email us at ReadingCounts@scholastic.com or call us at 1-877-COUNTS-1. If you need to update your Ship to address for your next order, please contact Customer Service at 1-877-COUNTS-1.

IMPLEMENTATION QUESTIONS

How do I get started?

In the Scholastic Reading Counts! Welcome Kit, librarians, teachers and administrators will have a special guide that helps with implementation. The Teacher’s Guide included with the program shows how to access and create reports and work with Scholastic Reading Counts!

What is a Lexile measure?

A Lexile measure is a unit for measuring text difficulty based on the variables of syntax and semantic difficulty. Semantic difficulty refers to the level of familiarity or frequency of the text’s vocabulary and syntax refers to the level of difficulty in terms of sentence length. The Lexile scale is a developmental scale for reading that ranges from below 200L for beginning-reader level to 1700L for advanced level.

Do states require reports in Lexiles? How many Lexile States are there?

Quite a few states show reading achievement by Lexile measures. Overall there are 21 states that do. Many more states use Lexile measures among other metrics to demonstrate reading skills. The Lexile states are:

  1. Arizona
  2. California
  3. Florida
  4. Georgia
  5. Hawaii
  6. Illinois
  7. Kansas
  8. Kentucky
  9. Minnesota
  10. Missouri
  11. Nevada
  12. North Carolina
  13. Oklahoma
  14. Oregon
  15. South Carolina
  16. South Dakota
  17. Tennessee
  18. Texas
  19. Virginia
  20. West Virginia
  21. Wyoming

Do Lexiles measures correspond to grade levels?

Lexile measures represent a range of proficiency that relate to grade level expectations.

Performance standard proficiency bands for SRI, in Lexiles, by grade.
Grade Below Basic Basic Proficient Advanced
1 - 99 and Below 100 to 299 401 and Above
2 99 and Below 100 to 299 300 to 600 601 and Above
3 249 and Below 250 to 499 500 to 800 801 and Above
4 349 and Below 350 to 599 600 to 900 901 and Above
5 449 and Below 450 to 699 700 to 1000 1001 and Above
6 499 and Below 500 to 799 800 to 1050 1051 and Above
7 549 and Below 550 to 849 850 to 1100 1101 and Above
8 599 and Below 600 to 899 900 to 1150 1151 and Above
9 649 and Below 650 to 999 1000 to 1200 1201 and Above
10 699 and Below 700 to 1024 1025 to 1250 1251 and Above
11 799 and Below 800 to 1049 1050 to 1300 1301 and Above

Note: The original standards for Grade 2 were revised by Scholastic Inc. (December 1999) and are presented above. The original standards for Grades 9, 10, and 11 were revised by Scholastic Inc. (January 2000) and are presented above.

Why doesn’t a book have a Lexile?

There are some texts that are not given Lexile measures, including many graphic novels, reference books, and wordless books.

Some titles are listed with a special code. What does that code mean?

The following designations are used in conjunction with the Lexile measure of a text to indicate special characteristics of the text. This information can be used to target texts in special situations.

  • Illustrated Glossary (IG). A text designated as “IG” consists of independent pieces of text such as in the glossary of a book. These independent pieces may be interchanged without affecting the flow of the text. “IG” texts typically contain some or all of the following characteristics:
    • The definitions of words (using such indicators as “or” or a dash) or their pronunciations are contained directly in the text.
    • Technical vocabulary is printed in a contrasting type (e.g., bold, italic).
    • Each topic is presented on one to two pages, with titles and/or captions for each paragraph.
    • Illustrations are incorporated into the text.
    • Texts designated as “IG” are good resources when conducting research on an unfamiliar topic.
  • Non-Conforming Text (NC). A text designated as “NC” consists of semantic difficulty (vocabulary) and semantic complexity (sentence length) that is inconsistent with the developmental appropriateness of the text. Typically these texts are written at a higher level than would be suggested by the content and the format of the text. Texts designated as “NC” are useful when matching advanced readers with text at an appropriate developmental level.
  • Beginning Reading (BR). A text designated as “BR” is any text that has a Lexile measure of zero or below. The measure is shown only as “BR” without the zero or negative number appearing.
  • Non-Prose (NP). A text designated as “NP” is any book whose content is at least 50% nonstandard prose. Some examples are poems, plays, songs, and books with incorrect or no punctuation.
  • Adult-Directed (AD). A text designated as “AD” is one designed to be read to or with readers. The following guidelines should be used when examining an “AD” text:
    • Text Placement
    • Sentence Length
    • Font Size and Placement
    • Basic Word Usage
    • Illustration Context
    • Book Size
    Texts designated as “AD” are useful when reading to a group and can be used to improve listening comprehension skills (e.g., making predictions, engaging in discussion, identifying meaning, and acquiring vocabulary).
  • The colors bands are not adjustable but refer to the expected grade level of the test. The other content on the labels (Lexile level, GRL, points) can be selected and incorporated on the label.

What determines the number of points a book has?

Points are determined by a combination of word count and interest level.

Why aren’t points related to Lexiles?

Lexile levels do not determine points.  Points are determined by a combination of word count and interest level.

Scholastic Reading Counts! has a scale of 1-100 to determine the point value of the title. The points are determined by an editor-managed algorithm based on the number of words of the text and interest level of the text. The median point of the scale falls in the lower end of the bell curve - as length of a book tends to drive up the points assigned and few books on the lower level are voluminous.

While most titles fall in the lower range of the scale - a few books, such as Abraham Lincoln: the Prairie Years by Carl Sandburg carries 81 points. This book has 435,314 words with a HS interest level.

To illustrate, the above title Lexiles at 1140L; another book by Carl Sandburg entitled Abe Lincoln Grows Up carries 10 points. It has a middle school interest level and has less than 1/10th of the words - 35,702 but has a 1260L.

Points are a reward for effort and provide other validations that may resonate with students who may require extrinsic motivation. These can be readers at any level. However students who do not progress with reading development as quickly as they like may welcome this supplement.  Teachers can use this point system when frustration is an issue.

What do I do if I see an error in the quiz? What if the content of the quiz does not match the books?

Please send your quiz concerns to Scholastic Reading Counts! Customer Service. Email us at ReadingCounts@scholastic.com or call us at 1-877-COUNTS-1. In order to best answer your query, the following information is most useful:

  • What is the quiz number, book title, author, ISBN, and the copyright date? Other additional info is also helpful, such as if the book seems to be an adapted, edited, condensed, or abridged version or if it is a certain volume in a series.
  • Do all the quiz questions appear wrong or just one?
  • If just one or a few questions seem wrong, which ones and how? State the question (not just the question number) and list all distracters.
  • If all the questions appear to be wrong, then either the customer has the wrong version of the book, or the problem is due to a technical error
  • Your query will then be passed along to Technical Services and Scholastic Reading Counts! editorial.

The quiz complaint will be researched and a new, corrected quiz will be automatically provided to all customers on their monthly quiz updates.

What is a “movie-proofed” quiz?

A “movie-proofed” quiz is a rewritten quiz for books upon which a new first run movie has been released. The purpose of the movie proofed quiz is to focus on items and topics in the book that are not present in the movie. This prevents students from viewing the movie instead of reading the books. For older books/films, we have to take them under consideration. After they are written, movie-proofed quizzes will be included in all monthly quiz releases. These quizzes will replace the previous version of the quiz.

How does Scholastic Reading Counts! select titles? Can publishers submit books to you for inclusion in your program?

Scholastic Reading Counts! selects books on the basis of reviews in library and education journals, curriculum support, and wide reader interest. For publishers wishing to be considered for our program, please send two copies of two representative children's or young adult books to: Managing Editor, Scholastic Reading Counts!, 524 Broadway 1129B, New York, New York 10012.

What if I would like to see a certain book quizzed?

Scholastic Reading Counts! produces robust quizzes that support titles that are of high quality and are quite varied in reading level and interest. Most of the books supported are K-8 and Hi-Lo titles because this is the customer demand. If there are in-print titles and series you would like to see quizzes for, please feel free to suggest them.

In our selection of titles, Scholastic Reading Counts! gives precedence to those that attract favorable critical attention. One book in a trilogy or series may have received a starred review or an award, and this may be why we have included it in our program and not others. Also, on occasion a few books in a series are done but the series is discontinued due to lack of sales. If we are missing the first title in a trilogy or series, please point it out to us and if the book is not out of print we can develop a quiz for it.