The ability to read and comprehend is a skill that furthers a person’s success at every step of life. To help ensure our students master this crucial ability, CNE has been dedicated to incorporating the “Science of Reading” on a district-wide level, which is a body of research that guides the best practices in reading instruction, reading intervention, and early identification of at-risk readers. This program ensures all students are explicitly taught literacy skills included in the 5 Big Ideas of Reading, which include phonemic awareness, phonics, and comprehension; as well as writing. CNE has earned three grants to support the work being done in the Science of Reading, which allows the opportunity to systematically teach reading and intervene with students who are not making expected progress using these strategies and materials.
The Science of Reading includes:
Phonemic (sound) awareness and phonics within K-2 instruction
90 minutes of evidence-based reading instruction at the Elementary level
A more concentrated focus on comprehension and writing for the older Elementary, Middle, and High School levels
By utilizing the Science of Reading, the district is able to monitor student progress systematically and regularly in order to respond to student needs. Data is collected weekly to ensure instruction is being absorbed appropriately, and adjustments are made to whole-class instruction, small group intervention, and individual intervention as needed.
In order to provide evidence-based instruction on this level, district employees have participated in several trainings and workshops, including:
LETRS training (Language Essentials for all Teachers of Reading and Spelling
The Writing Revolution
Orton Gillingham training
Heggerty training (phonemic awareness)
Acadience and PELI
The district is also working to incorporate ways that parents/guardians can help their students to become better readers. A couple examples of this include our regular Literacy Nights, as well as one-on-one meetings to discuss individual student reading data and progress with parents of students who are struggling, while also providing suggestions of tactics to implement at home to support interventions in the classroom.
CNE has seen a remarkable amount of improvement in student reading success in the past four years since beginning this initiative and intends to keep developing the curriculum appropriately for our students.