Read Well by Third Grade Plan

The Journey School, District 4258-07

2020 – 2021

As written by Minnesota Statute 120B.11, a Minnesota school district must adopt a local literacy plan to have every student reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade.  The local literacy plan must have a process to assess students’ level of proficiency, notify and consult with parents, and intervene with students who are not reading at or above grade level.  In addition, the district must have a staff development plan to assist students in meeting these goals.  The district must also post its literacy plan on its public website.

Reading well by third grade is one of many developmental milestones in a child’s educational experience.  Literacy development starts at an early age and is the basis for academic success.  Reading well by third grade ensures that a student has a solid foundation of literacy skills to continue to expand their understandings of what they read, make meaning, and transfer that learning across all subject areas.  Instruction that provides the basis for all students to read well by third grade and beyond will help close the achievement gap and ensure that all students are ready for the demands of college and the workplace.  

What is the purpose of this plan?

The purpose of the literacy plan is to provide an overview of how our staff will continually work to improve the academic achievement of all students by identifying needs, implement research-based instruction, engage in on-going professional development to improve the practice of teaching, and involve parents and the community in a partnership to meet the needs of our students.  

This plan will develop over time.  

What are our literacy plan goals?

  • All students who are not meeting grade level expectations will be provided support to close the gap of achievement and reach grade level.
  • All students who are exceeding grade level will be provided instruction to challenge them and increase their learning.
  • All stakeholders in the district will be informed of the efforts to ensure all of our students will be reading “well” by third grade.

How will we know if our students are reading well by third grade?

  • Our students in grades K – 3 will be assessed ongoing using the AIMSweb assessment program as well as the MAP Reading Fluency.  Reading proficiency will be defined as reading at or above benchmark and who perform at grade as defined by AIMSweb and MAP Reading Fluency benchmarking in the classroom.  Reading proficiency will be ensured for all students in kindergarten through third grade by multiple measures of assessment, data driven instruction and a response to intervention approach to build literacy skills.  Students not reading at grade level will receive support, intervention and progress monitoring until proficiency is attained.  Intervention will supplement not supplant reading instruction.
  • The Journey School is joining the Groves Literacy Initiative for grades K – 3 for the 2020 – 2021 school year.  Within this program our teachers will be using a researched based reading curriculum, be observed weekly by a master reading teacher, and have ongoing professional learning through the Groves Literacy Initiative. 
  • The Journey School is also engaging in NWEA / MAP assessments for all students in grades K – 3.  We are assessing students in fall, winter and spring using this test.  The teachers receive feedback immediately once the tests are completed as to student progress. 
  • Teachers are engaging in bi-weekly assessments in reading comprehension and vocabulary to have current data with which to do instructional planning.

What kind of assessments will be used and when?

All students will participate in the MAP / NWEA assessments and will be benchmarked in MAP Reading Fluency by September 30,2020.  We will use the MAP Reading Fluency tools to develop a more comprehensive view of each student and their progress. Students will be assessed in the fall, winter and spring for growth comparison. 

In addition, all students in grades K- 3 will be benchmarked in AIMSweb by September 30, 2020.  Teachers will be able to begin to schedule interventions for Tier II and Tier III students after the initial benchmarking.  

There will be ongoing progress monitoring for Tier II and Tier III students throughout the year.  There will a second MAP Reading Fluency benchmarking in December 2020, and AIMSweb in January, 2021.  Our third AIMSweb and Map Reading Fluency assessment will be in   May 2021 that will help determine growth. 

MCA testing will be completed as scheduled in the spring of 2021 for students in grade 3.

District screen, Kindergarten: 

  • Self-made Assessments in:  Phonemic Awareness, Letter Naming, and Letter Sound Correspondence
  • AIMSweb Assessments in:  Concepts of print, Letter Naming Fluency, Letter Word Sounds Fluency, Phoneme Segmentation, Word Reading Fluency, Auditory Vocabulary
  • NWEA Assessment in:  Word Reading Fluency and Vocabulary

District screen, Grade 1: 

  • Self-made Assessments in:  Concepts of Print, High Frequency/Site Words, Vocabulary, Comprehension, Teacher running record of student’s fluency and comprehension quizzes
  • AIMSWEB Assessments in:  Oral Reading Fluency
  • NWEA Assessment in:  Oral Reading Fluency, Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension

District screen, Grade 2: 

  • Self-made Assessments in:  Oral Language Development, High Frequency/Site Words, Assessments for each ELA Standard, given and monitored by the teacher.
  • Journeys Assessments in:  Phonics / Decoding, Vocabulary, Comprehension. 
  • AIMSWEB Assessments in:  Oral Reading Fluency, Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension.
  • NWEA Assessment in:  Oral Reading Fluency, Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension

District screen, Grade 3: 

  • Self-made assessments in:  Phonemic Awareness, Letter Sound Correspondence, High Frequency/Site Words, Vocabulary.
  • AIMSWEB Assessments in:  Oral Reading Fluency, Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension.
  • NWEA Assessment in:  Oral Reading Fluency, Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension

What norms will be used to inform us of how students are doing?

We will use the AIMSweb Assessments and MAP Reading Fluency benchmarking from fall, winter and spring to help us determine student growth in reading.  In addition, we will use the outcomes from fall to spring to give us information on how the students have grown during the school year.

How will parents be informed if their child is not reading with proficiency?

  • Teachers will report student diagnostic and progress monitoring to parents at fall and spring parent/ teacher conferences.  
  • Parents will be invited to a literacy session where there will be information on how to improve their students reading skills.  
  • Staff will send parent newsletters with literacy tips for families.
  • Grades are reported quarterly which will indicate the areas of need and whether students are reading at grade level.

What instructional supports and interventions will be used?

Intervention programs provide support for students who are struggling with literacy.  Based on diagnostic assessments and teacher observation students will receive multi-tiered levels of intervention support that is based on researched based interventions.  These interventions provide support in the areas of phonics, comprehension, vocabulary and fluency.  

Tiers of support:

Tier I:  Core in-class instruction

All students receive core in-class instruction.  The school will use the Daily 5 plan to develop literacy skills in all students.  Students who are at or above the benchmark as indicated by AIMSweb and MAP fall testing and making sufficient academic growth, will have their needs met in the core in-class instruction.  Students who are below or significantly above grade level benchmarks will receive additional reading services on top of regular instruction in Tier 2 or Tier 3. 

Students have a 90 minute consecutive block each day and an addition 30 minutes block in reading each day.  There is a total of 120 minutes of literacy instruction each day.

The Journey School will use a researched based curriculum is coordination with the Groves Literacy Initiative for all students in grades K – 3.

The Journey School uses the Journeys curriculum which is aligned with Minnesota standards for all students in grades K – 3.

Tier II:  Extra support

Students who are below grade level through classroom small group and individual instruction.  This instruction is based on AIMSweb and MAP Reading Fluency screening as well as NWEA MAP testing.  AIMSweb and MAP Reading Fluency benchmarking will happen three times as well NWEA MAP testing so students who improve have a chance to exit Tier II or Tier III.  Additional support is provided during a schedule block or “response” time.  To gauge the effectiveness of instruction, staff monitors students’ progress through the AIMSweb and MAP Reading Fluency program.

  • Students scoring in the “green” level:  Progress monitoring done monthly
  • Students scoring in the “yellow” level:  Progress monitoring three times a month
  • Students scoring in the “red” level:  Progress monitoring weekly

If students score above their goal three to five consecutive times, including once above the benchmark score, this intervention may be discontinued.  However, teachers will continue monitoring progress to ensure mastery.

Instructional supports can include:

  • Researched based interventions based on the desired skill.
  • Added time to reinforce taught skills.  All students receive grade level instruction and then additional support as needed. 
  • Small group instruction supported by paraprofessional support within the classroom.    Depending on size of group, the teacher may do the intervention group and a support person will work with the students that need more challenge in the class.

Tier III:  Intensive support

Students who are significantly below grade level are supported by programming and instruction that may occur outside the classroom.  Interventions are performed by trained staff three to five times per week.  To gauge the effectiveness of interventions staff will progress monitor students using the MAP Reading Fluency program.  Students who score above their goal three to five consecutive times, including one above their benchmark score may have their intervention reduced or discontinued.  However, teachers will continue to monitor progress to ensure mastery.  We will have intervention time that is in addition to the general curriculum time in reading each day. 

Intervention programs may include:

  • After school tutoring with teachers
  • Online work
  • Referral to discuss pre-special education referral interventions
  • Depending on intervention outcomes, possible special education referral

What supports are in place for ELL students?

The Journey School will contract with an ELL teacher who will administer ACCESS testing for all students.  The ELL teacher will do a professional development program that focuses on the “can do” indicators so that staff will have an idea about what students are capable of doing.  For those students that score lower level ACCESS scores, the ELL teacher will work with all classroom teachers to help design programming for higher need students.  The ELL teacher will work with the students by pushing-in for whole group work multiple times each week.  The ELL teacher may pull students that need intensive or extra support as needed.

How will the district screen students for dyslexia?

 Dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words. Also called specific reading disability, dyslexia is a common learning disability in children.

Symptoms:

A person with dyslexia may have a hard time with:

  • Identifying words
    • Recognizing the sounds that make up words
    • Understanding and remembering what is read
    • Translating printed words into spoken words
    • Spelling
    • Organizing or sequencing thoughts
    • Rhyming words
    • Learning the alphabet and numbers during preschool and kindergarten

Screening: The Journey School will make an effort to screen and identify students with dyslexia and students with convergence insufficiency disorder by using the Shaywitz Dyslexia Screener for those students in grades K – 3 through AIMSweb.  Parents are contacted and encouraged to bring their child to their pediatrician if the student “flags” for dyslexia.  In addition, these findings are taking into account when The Journey School has problem solving meetings regarding student progress.

If a student scores below benchmark on the school’s reading screening, a dyslexia specific screening assessment will be administered. Parents may also request a dyslexia specific screening if they have concerns. 

How will the district screen students for convergence insufficiency disorder?

Convergence insufficiency Disorder is a common eye muscle co‐ordination problem in which the eyes have a strong tendency to drift outward when reading or doing close work.

Symptoms:

Signs and symptoms occur while you’re reading or doing other close work and may include:

  • Eyestrain
    • Headaches
    • Difficulty reading – words blur or seem to move on the page
    • Double vision
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Squinting or closing one eye

The Journey School will provide professional learning around dyslexia and convergence insufficiency disorder during the summer and fall 2020 workshops and again if we have new staff members that join the staff during the school year. 

What opportunities do teachers have for professional development?

Professional development is inclusive for all teachers at The Journey School.  It is delivered in a variety of formats and is aligned to district and school goals.  

  • There are 26 professional development days for all teaching and support staff.  
  • Teachers meet weekly to review student progress, collaborate on instructional practice and to build skills on Minnesota academic standards.
  • The focus of staff training for 2020 – 2021 will be to continue to develop skills in identifying strategies for comprehension (both reading and math) as well as vocabulary building for all learners.  Staff will continue to work collaboratively to define mastery of the standards and to review student work to discuss student progress in relation to comprehension and vocabulary.
  • The administration will use formal and informal evaluations to assist teachers in developing their overall practice.
  • Staff input will be taken throughout the year by survey to gain insight into teacher needs for professional learning.
  • Each teacher will have three formal classroom observations with pre-meetings and post meetings.  All staff have been given and trained in the observation tool. 

What is our plan to report our annual student data and report to our stakeholders for feedback?

Spring AIMSweb and NWEA MAP data will be reported to the Commissioner of the Department of Education.  Data will include students who are proficient in K, 1 and 2.  Due to the COVID outbreak in March 2020 The Journey School can report on NWEA reading progress from Fall only. 

The Journey School’s Read Well by Third Grade plan will be posted to our school website by July 1 each year.  A survey will be accessible through the web page where stakeholders can provide feedback on:

  • Accessibility of information
  • Usefulness of information
  • Support for implementation of strategies at home

Next steps:

During the 2020 – 2021 school year The Journey School will continue to work at improving the academic skills of all of our students.  We will critically review our Read Well by Third Grade and Literacy Plan and make changes to address the needs of all of our students.  We will analyze data to assist us in developing our strategies.  We will use our data and staff input to develop our staff training plan.  Through staff meetings we have determined that our staff learning priorities are comprehension and vocabulary across the curriculum.  This includes both academic vocabulary as well as content specific vocabulary.  The comprehension indicator includes all subject areas.

DATA REVIEW FROM 2019 – 2020 SCHOOL YEAR

Assessment used in grades K – 3:  NWEA Reading

Number of students meeting growth goals from Fall 2019

GRADE K =10                                  8 of 10 (80%)

GRADE 1 = 3                                     2 of 3 (67%)

GRADE 2 = 4                                    1 of 4 (25%)

GRADE 3 = 4                                    2 of 4 (50%)

GRADE K – all students completed assessment

GRADE 1 – all students completed assessment

GRADE 2 – all students completed assessment

GRADE 3 – all students completed assessment