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SIPPS is a Structured Literacy program that describes itself as “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.” The program includes the explicit instruction of phonological awareness, phonics, fluency (via repeated reading), and comprehension. The program also makes use of the principles of mastery teaching, scaffolding, and differentiation. 


Previous Reviews:

Evidence for ESSA has completed a review of the SIPPS program. They rated the research rigor of one study as moderate and found a mean effect size of .25. 


Our Review

I searched for SIPPS studies on Google, their company website, Education Source, and Sage Pub. I as able to find two studies done with sufficient data to analyze with a meta-analytic lens, meaning they had control groups and enough statistical data to find effect sizes. For these two studies the authors had calculated their own effect sizes with Cohen's d. The first study was conducted by the SIPPS company in 2002, in Nappe California. This study looked at 1 year of SIPPS instruction for 547 grade 1-3 students. The second study was a doctoral thesis by John Thomas, conducted in 2004. His study looked at 1 year of SIPPS instruction in a California School, and compared it to a school in the same district that did not use SIPPS. Both studies were quasi-experimental, meaning they used control groups, but were not randomized. Both studies only looked at decoding outcomes. Both studies were on grades 1-3 students.


SIPPS has all of the most important principles of any evidence-based literacy program. However, of the two studies we have on it, the outcomes are very low, for reasons that I honestly, cannot discern. There might just not be enough research yet on SIPPS or the program might have aspects that are challenging to execute on. 


Final Grade: B
-The program principles are evidence-based, but research studies showed a mean effect size below .30


Qualitative Grade: 8/10

The program contains the following essential types of instruction: individualized, direct, scaffolded, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency and comprehension.


Disclaimer: Please note that this review is not peer reviewed content. These reviews are independently conducted. Pedagogy Non Grata, does not take profit from conducting any program review found on this website.  

Written by Nathaniel Hansford: teacher and lead writer for Pedagogy Non Grata

Last Edited, by Elizabeth Reenstra, and Pamela Aitchison, on 2022-07-24


SIPPS SIPPS. (2002). Nappe California Case Study. Retrieved from <>. 

J, Thomas. (2004). Field-Test Evaluation Of The Child Development Project. PhD Thesis. Retrieved from <>. 


SIPPS. (2022). SIPPS: Accelerative Foundational Skills Instruction. Retrieved from <>. 

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