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What is lexile?

What is Lexile®?

20+ years of scientific, research-based approach to literacy


Used every year by over 35 million children in the US alone, the Lexile framework is a proven tool to measure and forecast reading ability. Scientifically validated by over 1,000 external studies worldwide, including Johns Hopkins University, a Lexile assessment allows you to personalize and optimize a child’s education by finding books that are just the right “fit.”

While many metrics only measure the complexity of a text, the Lexile framework also measures the ability of the child. This allows a child to be matched with texts, from among over 100 million books, articles, and websites, that fall in their “zone of proximal development.”

This critical “ZPD” is the sweet spot where the magic in reading progress really happens -- children are matched with books 100 Lexile points (100L) below to 50 Lexile points (50L) above their lexile score.

Within LightSail Reader, a parent can enable a powerful tool called Flip-Flop Mode. In this mode, your child toggles between being required to read a “Power Text,” from within that crucial zone of proximal development, before switching to “Free Mode,” where they are allowed to read any book in their library. After reading a book of their choosing, they are flipped back to only “Power Texts” for the next reading selection. This ensures that your child is reading the content that will truly help them progress, while giving them freedom to also read what they like.

This is why the Lexile Framework for Reading is at the heart of LightSail Reader. Every 15 days your child’s Lexile score is automatically updated so that every aspect of their literacy experience can be dynamically tailored to their needs and parents always have real-time analytics on their child’s reading progress and future projected growth.

Matching Readers

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Typical Lexile Reader Measures

by Grade for English Text

Grade Reader Measures, Mid-Year 25th percentile to 75th percentile (IQR)*
1 BR120L to 295L
2 170L to 545L
3 415L to 760L
4 635L to 950L
5 770L to 1080L
6 855L to 1165L
7 925L to 1235L
8 985L to 1295L
9 1040L to 1350L
10 1085L to 1400L
11 & 12 1130L to 1440L
*IQR - Interquartile Range Source: lexialearning.com

The Lexile® Framework places both the reader and text on the same developmental scale, making it easy to connect your child with books targeted to their reading ability.


West Virginia Takes Steps to Ensure All Students Are Prepared for Success in the Workforce

The West Virginia Department of Education leverages Lexile and Quantile measures to provide teachers, parents and students with important information for personalizing learning and charting growth toward college and career readiness. Lexile and Quantile student measures are reported from summative assessments in grades 3-8 and from SAT scores for grade 11. State leaders collaborated with MetaMetrics to develop a Lexile and Quantile Parent Report that effectively communicates information about students’ Lexile and Quantile measures.

The report features the Lexile and Quantile Growth Planners that help forecast student reading and math growth starting at third grade and compare that forecasted performance to text and math demands of college and careers. With the Growth Planners’ career exploration feature, students and parents can select from hundreds of careers to evaluate a career’s educational requirements, salary range, job demand and much more.

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North Carolina Students Use Lexile Measures to Build Reading Skills

K-5 educators face unique challenges. In addition to teaching and preparing students for high-stakes tests, successful teachers of young children also create lifelong readers. This responsibility weighs heavily on the shoulders of Susan Sidden, K-5 supervisor of reading and writing for the Wilkes County School District in North Carolina. Wilkes County is a quiet, largely rural county located in the northwest part of the state, at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains.

With a spread-out population of about 66,000 and a 45-minute drive to the nearest major metropolitan area (Winston-Salem), Wilkes County—and, by extension, its school district—is self-sufficient, self-reliant and determined to excel. It was that determination that led the district to turn to Lexiles to help its students build literacy skills.

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South Florida Middle School Uses Lexile Measures to Map Path for Meeting State Learning Standards

As every educator knows, reading must be taught on an ongoing basis and throughout the curriculum—not just in Reading and Language Arts classes, but in all classes, particularly in elementary and middle school.

As students progress up the educational ladder, they must use their reading skills to interpret and analyze materials in every subject area. At Boca Raton Community Middle School in Florida, a new program is putting The Lexile Framework for Reading to work throughout the school's curriculum, helping teachers to ensure that students meet state learning goals.

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Lexile Measures Help Alaska Elementary School Foster Strong Reading Habits, Increase Student Reading Proficiency

Schools everywhere are grappling with balancing the ever-increasing emphasis on standardized test scores while ensuring that each student's individual learning needs are met. A small Alaska elementary school has achieved that delicate balance. East Elementary School in Kodiak implemented a school-wide reading initiative that is instilling a lifelong love of reading in its students and making their scores on the Alaska state reading assessment skyrocket.

Part of the Kodiak Island Borough District, East Elementary is located on an island off the southern coast of Alaska, where it serves 320 students from the town of Kodiak and the nearby Coast Guard station. School principal Ron Fried and reading specialist Margaret Reed embody the independent, self-sufficient attitude for which the forty-ninth state is known, and in 2002 created an in-school reading program using The Lexile Framework for Reading.

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Using Lexile Measures to Build a Community of Readers in Houston

Houston Independent School District (HISD) is no different from most major urban school systems. As the largest public school system in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States, HISD faces the challenges of serving a socio-economically and ethnically diverse student population with a wide variety of learning abilities and educational needs. Under the leadership of Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra, Ph.D., the district is dedicated to giving every student the best possible education.

Jim Hundemer, HISD's library services manager, attended the first Lexile National Reading Conference in Dallas. There, along with hundreds of his colleagues from Texas and around the country, Hundemer learned more about The Lexile Framework for Reading and the power that it could have for helping improve student reading abilities at HISD.

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30 Minutes a Day + 5 Days a Week + 3 Months = GUARANTEE your child’s independent reading level will improve.*

* Measured by Lexile® level after completing the Power Challenge and by then reading Power Texts on LightSail's Platform.

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How many parent accounts are included with a childs license?

Every family account includes 2 parent accounts

I am part of a homeschool group and we share teaching responsibilities. How can I access those accounts?

LightSail has created a Teacher/Coach role that can connect with multiple accounts. This is available as an add-on purchase. This account acts as additional parent with full teacher control to all connected accounts.

Is your platform only Faith-Based?

LightSail is available for both Faith-Based and Non Faith-Based families. A parent can choose to allow Faith-Based content or hide Faith-Based content including Library Collections and Lesson Plans. LightSail has created hundred of Faith-Based and non Faith-Based Library Collections, Bookmarks, Quotations, and Lesson Plans.

If I want to purchase a book with your E-Commerce store, do I have to buy a copy for each license I purchased?

No, when you purchase a book using our E-Commerce store you only need to purchase 1 copy for your entire family. Your purchase includes unlimited checkouts.

How does LightSail’s childsafe protection work?

At LightSail, a parent’s ability to oversee their child’s online experience and align it with their faith and values is of the utmost importance. To this end, LightSail contains an entire suite of parental control features and never-before-seen ChildSafe Content Controls giving parents ultimate peace of mind.

These content controls contain dozens of nuanced subcategories for potentially objectionable material based on both maturity and religious factors. Then, it shows parents if a book contains a reference to any of those subcategories and allows them to block or allow single titles or entire subcategories for each child individually. Our ChildSafe Content Controls offer unprecedented insight into and control over the content your children consume without the need to read every book in advance.

  • Block or allow individual pieces of content.
  • Block or allow entire subcategories of content.
  • Require a child to request parental approval before opening entire subcategories of content.
  • Block, allow, or require requesting parental approval for all Classics library content.
  • Block or require requesting parental approval for all unrated content.

Click here to learn more about all of our parental controls.

About Us

We are LightSail for struggling readers - a complete language arts platform built on the shoulders of LightSail Education, advancing the literacy skills of struggling readers through individualized, evidence-based strategies and content.

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