What exactly is "Reading First"?
Let's start with the facts. In the United States 37 percent of students read below the basic level as reported by the Nation's Report Card (NCES, 2003) In fourth grade only 31 percent can read proficiently. Among students eligible for free or reduced price lunches, only 15% are proficient readers (2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress) Reading proficiency is the most fundamental skill critical to academic learning and success in school. Moreover, in the U.S. the ability to read proficiently is significantly related to how much a person can achieve in his or her personal and professional life. (Lyon, 2002; Shaywitz, 1999). Encouragingly, these trends in reading failure can be reversed. That's where Reading First comes in. The No Child Left Behind Act established Reading First (and Early Reading First for pre-school aged children) as a new high-quality evidence-based literacy policy and national program to provide excellent literacy instruction to all primary-aged students in America. It is a bold, national initiative squarely aimed at helping every child in every state become a successful reader. In Hemet, several of our schools qualified to receive money from a Reading First Grant. They are McSweeny, Hamilton, Whittier, Winchester, and Ramona. The moneys we have received provide literacy coaches on each site, SB 472 training for teachers, Administrator training, and assessments (SCOEs) to guide our instruction including an Online Assessment and Reporting System (OARS). Reading First differs from earlier initiatives in that it is a classroom-focused nationwide effort. It establishes clear, specific expectations for what can and should happen for all students. Reading First specifies that teachers' classroom instructional decisions must be informed by scientifically based reading research. Through fidelity to our adopted Open Court Reading Program students in Hemet are systematically and explicitly taught five key early reading skills: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension.
Fully implement OCR on RF sites so all children are proficient readers by the end of third grade.
Fully support teachers, principals & our team in successful high quality implementation of OCR.
Our Team Expectations
Continually seek knowledge & skills to support, collaborate, & empower teachers & principals as we work towards our common purpose.
Our Team Processes