Local Literacy Plan

Local Literacy Plan Requirements Specified in Statue 120B.12:

Literacy Goal: It is the goal of the Moose Lake Elementary School to have all students reading at or above grade level no later than the end of grade 3 and that teachers provide comprehensive, scientifically based reading instruction.

School Board Approved: May 21, 2012

Reading Proficiency Goals and Objectives

The Moose Lake Elementary School will conduct reading instruction in each classroom every school day and through a variety of different instructional means.

Our literacy plan for all of our ECFE classes, birth – age 5, is that we teach parents the importance of reading to their children and teach children the enjoyment of reading. We do this through many parenting resources. A few of these resources include early childhood websites, curriculum for infant and toddlers and shared resources from workshops and other programs. We base our entire curriculum for families and children on the Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress. Our goal for all of the families is that by the end of our ECFE classes, each family has as many ideas and activities as they need/want to take home for their children. Our goal for the children is that they begin showing interest in songs, rhymes and stories. We also want to see them developing an interest in books and starting to recognize and understand symbols (words, print signs, etc.). We accomplish these goals by providing as many books as we can for the children, both inside and outside of the classroom. We also provide families with simple crafts to do with their children. At our circle time we sign songs, read stories and do finger plays together with our parents, children and staff. All of these things are done each week to meet our literacy plan for our ECFE classes.

Kindergarten classrooms will use strategies such as read alouds (shared and choral reading), read to self, read to someone, guided reading, word work, writing (interactive/shared), and modeling to engage students to think, make connections, pose questions, visualize, make predictions and retell stories. Based on these activities and strategies that have shown success for students in the past, the goal by the end of kindergarten is that every student can recognize upper and lowercase letters and their sounds, as well as begin phoneme segmentation, in order to be proficient.

Reading efforts and goals transform into grade one classrooms where the vast focus is on knowing sight words, decoding and segmenting words, and recognizing/reproducing upper and lower case letters and their sounds. The emergence of beginning readers is fostered by students utilizing their independent skills through reading grade and skill level appropriate fiction, non-fiction, and picture books. Based on these activities and strategies that have shown success for students in the past, the goal by the end of grade one is that every student can recognize upper and lowercase letters and their sounds, have a clear understanding of phoneme segmentation, and begin reading simple text passages in order to be proficient.

In grade two, reading fluently with understanding becomes the main focus of the curriculum. In order to achieve this, teachers review current students’ first grade AimsWeb results in order to have an understanding of their reading level. In addition to this, teachers administer the STAR test and fluency assessment at the beginning of the year. Once this has been done, teachers analyze the effectiveness of the current curriculum and supplemental literacy materials in order to adjust them to the needs of their students. Based on these activities and strategies that have been effective in the classroom, the goal by the end of grade two is that every student reads fluently as well as has strong comprehension in order to be proficient.

Grade three focuses on a variety of reading opportunities to ensure phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary development, comprehension, and sight vocabulary proficiency. Based on these activities and strategies, the goal by the end of grade three is that every student is reading fluently, becoming more of an independent reader, and continuing to have strong comprehension skills.

In our special education program, an ongoing analysis of current practices is done including effectiveness of core literacy instruction for all and, more specifically, student groups that have not been making adequate growth to meet grade level objectives. In grades K-3, SLD students receive all of the direct general education instruction that their grade level peers receive. Students receive inclusion SLD services in their reading homeroom or resource room services during non-core reading instructional times. An analysis is done of current practices and supports that have demonstrated success and provided data leading to improved results for groups of students not yet proficient. Students K-3 who receive SLD resource room services in reading, participate in scientifically researched-based curriculum that includes the reteach portion of the curriculum adapted by the school for their grade level. Additionally they work with scientifically researched-based curriculum along with best practice strategies that focus on mastering grade level standards and standards that are specific to that student’s present level of performance as determined by the IEP team.

Reading Proficiency Assessments, Results, and Parent Communication

Moose Lake Elementary School performs various assessments completed throughout the year in order to measure each kindergarten through third grade student’s reading progress. This information is used to determine which students are not yet reading proficiently and parents are then informed of the results. Each student has specific assessment measures used based on their grade and the time of year.

Our literacy plan for the school readiness children is based on the Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress. We make sure that all of the activities and curriculum relate to these indicators. We do this by checking daily lesson plans with the ECIP’s and making sure that we are teaching all domains. In our School Readiness program we focus on a different letter of the alphabet each week. We plan many activities, books, and lessons around that specific letter of the week. The lesson ideas come from many different sources: Literacy, The Creative Curriculum Approach, Mailbox, Brigance Learning Activities, resources from websites and other publishing companies. Our main goal is that each of these lessons correlates with the ECIPs domains. Our desired outcome is that by May each of our children in the School Readiness program will meet the indicators of progress outlined in the ECIPs Language and Literacy Development Domain. We also want them to score in the above-average score in the Language Development and Literacy Domain using the Brigance Screening Tool. This is the screening tool we have chosen to use in Carlton County to assess children in kindergarten readiness.

In kindergarten the students are given a kindergarten evaluation five times a year. This includes a kindergarten assessment based on letter recognition, sounds, and rhyming words in the fall, a writing assessment involving their name, the alphabet, and numbers five times a year, periodic reading curriculum unit assessments, and the AimsWeb test done three times a year, which focuses on letter naming and sounds in addition to phonemic segmentation. Based on these assessments the goal by the end of kindergarten is that every student can recognize upper and lowercase letters and their sounds as well as beginning phoneme segmentation in order to be proficient.

In grade one, the students are given similar assessments to measure reading proficiency. The AimsWeb test is given three times a year and focuses on letter naming, letter sounds, phoneme segmentation, and, later on, reading fluency/words read per minute. The other forms of assessment include unit test scores, weekly spelling tests, letter sound assessments, letter naming assessments, blending assessments, and sight word assessments given periodically throughout the year. Based on these tests, the goal by the end of grade one is that every student can recognize upper and lowercase letters and their sounds, have a clear understanding of phoneme segmentation, and begin reading simple text passages in order to be proficient.

Second grade also has various measures of reading assessments that focus on fluency and reading comprehension. These measures include fluency tests given several times a year, weekly spelling tests, the STAR test, curriculum unit tests throughout the year, and NWEA Map tests in the fall and spring. In addition to testing, second grade teachers make observations of reading ability and skills between assessments to determine a student’s proficiency. Based on these assessments and observations, the goal by the end of grade two is that every student is reading fluently as well as having strong comprehension in order to be proficient.

Third grade has a wide range of assessments given over the course of the year that measure a student’s reading proficiency. These include Basal selection weekly assessments, Basal unit assessments, and Basal fluency assessments given throughout the year. The results of these tests are communicated weekly for the selection assessments. In addition to the Basal tests, spelling tests are given weekly, unit assessments are completed every six weeks, fluency tests are generally done two or more times a year, and these results are shared at conferences and posted on the parent portal. Based on these assessments, the goal by the end of grade three is that every student is reading fluently and independently as well as having a strong comprehension in order to be proficient.

Special education identifies diagnostic assessment processes and data that support staff in matching student needs with instructional practices that have the greatest likelihood of closing the gap. SLD diagnostic assessment tools include the Woodcock- Johnson Tests of Achievement. The data that may be collected from this assessment tool include: basic reading skills, reading comprehension, and broad reading skills. Sub-tests include: letter-word identification, reading fluency, story recall, passage comprehension, story recall-delayed, word attack, reading vocabulary and sound awareness. This data is matched with instructional practices and curriculum that best meet the student’s needs.

Also included is the progress monitoring process and data that support staff in evaluating the effectiveness of instruction and adjusting instruction as needed to maximize growth towards proficiency. SLD student’s IEP goals and objectives in reading are determined by the IEP team and are based on the student’s needs and present level of performance. Objectives are updated when a student meets the criteria of the objective based on the IEP goal/objective requirement. Progress reports on goals and objectives are required for SLD students at the same rate as report cards are delivered to general education students. They are delivered to parents based on the methods determined on the student’s current IEP. A communication plan is outlined and timelines are put in place for sharing screening, diagnostic, and progress monitoring data and results with parents or caregivers for all students not meeting grade level proficiency expectations. SLD students must have an annual IEP meeting during which annual reading goals/objectives are discussed and planned by the IEP team based on the student’s present level of performance. Progress reports on reading goals/objectives are delivered at the same rate as report cards are delivered to general education students.

For all grades, communication with parents is shared at prearranged parent/teacher conference times in the fall and late winter, Special Education IEP meetings throughout the year, Title One parent nights three times a year, and through periodic phone/email contact with parents when necessary. The parents will also receive a letter at the end of May informing them if their child is not reading at grade level proficiency.
Notifying Parents about Their Child’s Literacy Development

Each student at Moose Lake Elementary school is frequently assessed throughout the year in order to monitor their progress and update parents on their child’s reading proficiency.

All of the reading curriculum used in the elementary classrooms is scientifically based and has been aligned with the Minnesota academic standards in order to make sure each student’s needs are being met and meeting the state’s expectations. The curriculum used in the special education and Title One classrooms also follow the Minnesota standards as well as focus more intensely on each child’s individual needs. The students are assessed consistently throughout the year so that struggling readers can be identified and put into the necessary specialized services or given the classroom intervention that they need. Teachers meet and discuss each struggling student to determine which services would be appropriate to meet their specific needs and monitor their progress throughout the year to determine if further services are needed. This also aids teachers in adjusting their curriculum and teaching methods to meet the needs of their specific class/students. There is a strong level of communication between the classroom teachers and specialized teachers regarding student updates, which helps when communicating with parents about their child’s progress. If the child is greatly struggling they are referred to the elementary CARE team (Children At Risk Educationally) and various additional interventions or assessments are discussed with the team and classroom teacher to further help the student.

Teachers and staff work to inform parents several times throughout the year of their child’s needs and abilities as well as additional strategies that can be used at home to help further their child’s reading proficiency. This is done through methods such as parent activity packets, reading websites and games, practice sheets, book bags, and sending reading materials home such as sight words, weekly basal stories, and phonetic and vocabulary stories. Parents are given this information at conferences, through letters sent home, phone calls, Kinder camp in August, Kindergarten Round up in May, Kindergarten transition nights for preschoolers and their parents, the “I Love to Read” month when students engage in reading goals for the month of February, and Title One parent nights. Each parent of a student not reading proficiently will be notified by May 30, 2012, and will be provided with a list of strategies and materials to work on reading with their child over the summer.

Interventions and Instructional Supports

Core instruction is aligned with state standard benchmarks and differentiated based on student needs. Students not reading at or above grade level will be provided with interventions and instructional support. Title I instruction will be provided based on student qualifications through NWEA, AimsWeb, MCA, Title I assessments, and teacher recommendation. Services will be provided every day for thirty minutes and parents will be informed of student progress throughout the year.

A collaborative plan for interventions and instructional support is implemented when students are referred to the Moose Lake Elementary School Children At Risk Educationally (C.A.R.E.) team. The first step begins when the regular classroom teacher has a concern about the student’s reading ability. The classroom teacher fills out a C.A.R.E. referral form, contacts parents to discuss concerns and collects data from the student by utilizing AimsWeb scores, Star Reading scores, number of sight words memorized, or results from the classroom reading tests. The teacher begins baseline data and forwards the referral form to the C.A.R.E. team. Once the team receives the referral form interventions begin. Reading interventions could include: CARS/STARS, Read Naturally, Great Leaps, paired reading, assisted reading, etc. The C.A.R.E. team, along with the regular classroom teachers, will meet to discuss the student. Parents are contacted to inform them of the intervention.

After being referred to C.A.R.E the classroom teacher begins the first intervention, which lasts four weeks. During this time the teacher monitors student progress by continuing to take data regarding the student’s reading skills. After four weeks, the team, along with the regular classroom teacher, meets to see if any progress has been made. If progress has been made the teacher continues the intervention. The teacher again contacts the parents to communicate whether the first intervention will continue or if a second intervention is needed. If progress was not made, then the regular classroom teacher begins the second intervention. This intervention also lasts four weeks and the teacher again monitors progress during this time. If the team decides that neither intervention had adequate results, the student is then referred to the Child Study Team (C.S.T.). The CST team decides if special education testing is appropriate.

Instructional support is also provided to some students through the Foster Grandparent program, which includes community volunteers, and the Genereaders program. Our “Genereaders” reading program is a partnership between elementary teaching staff and the Community Education Department that enhances literacy and mentoring opportunities for our youth. Older adult community members are paired one on one with a youth to foster a friendship and a love for reading.

Selected second and third graders meet with their mentor every other week for approximately forty-five minutes. Mentors listen to their student read, engage in story comprehension, help with AR tests when applicable and practice word lists with their student. This program has not only fostered friendships among the older adults and students, but among the students as well. The students feel very comfortable in this reading experience and often ask to participate more than twice a month. Our adult mentors are deeply committed and have expressed concern and affection for their young friends.

Starting in the summer of 2012, the Moose Lake School District will host a three week Summer Literacy Camp targeting “at risk” readers in Kindergarten – Grade 3. The purpose of the camp is to allow these students the opportunity to get some supplemental reading instruction and time to read during the summer months. This camp will help sustain and foster any possible regression of skills and development that the students have acquired in their previous grade. The goal of the camp is to close the achievement gap of these emerging readers as they continue to attain skills to be independent and sustained readers. Camp attendees will get approximately three hours of daily (fifteen hours weekly) reading instruction at their current level. The camp staff will consist of teacher(s) and paraprofessional(s) and students can attend free of charge.

Professional Development for Teachers on Reading Instruction

The mission of the Staff Development Committee at Moose Lake Schools is to develop an environment that encourages teachers and staff to develop new methods, techniques, and strategies through researched development opportunities to better provide Moose Lake Independent School District with an educational environment that meets the goals of the district. In regards to scientifically based reading instruction, our district attempts to provide different methods of staff development opportunities to our teachers.

Teacher workdays are made available for grade levels on request to collaborate on reading and instructional strategies for their grade level needs. In addition, the Moose Lake District now has monthly staff development time, which is made available during our district’s Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s). These PLC’s allow teaching staff to collaborate and discuss reading research, student data, and assessment preparations. Typically, teachers have an additional opportunity to attend one workshop each year that aligns with our district’s staff development mission and is approved by our staff development committee. Teachers also attend an annual in-service, and multiple reading instruction sessions are made available for all staff. In addition, our special education staff has been provided specialized training opportunities for Special Education teachers through disability specific in-services that include reading strategies and available curriculum that have proven to be scientifically researched based. These strategies and curriculum could be implemented at both the intervention stage and for Special Education teachers to use in their resource rooms.

Moose Lake Elementary Reading Instruction

State statute 122A.06 focuses on providing instruction programs and practices based on valid, replicable evidence and when used, students can be expected to achieve, at a minimum, satisfactory reading progress. The programs must also provide instruction in all five areas of reading: fluency, phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, and reading comprehension.

The core instruction in the classroom has many components that focus on all areas of reading. All of the curriculum used is scientifically based and has been aligned by grade level teachers with the Minnesota academic standards. Teachers use fluency and comprehension test scores taken throughout the year to place students in leveled reading groups. After each reading unit, teachers give a test to measure a student’s understanding of the content. There are also weekly spelling tests given in first through third grade based on the spelling curriculum. In the classroom, teachers use AR testing which focuses on a student’s understanding and comprehension of a book they read at their recommended reading level. Using this information, teachers are able to make adjustments in their reading instruction to fit the specific needs of the students in their classroom and cover each of the five areas of reading.

In Title I and special education, scientifically based curriculum is also aligned with the standards and targets each student’s reading needs. Students are assessed throughout the year using programs such as Cars/Stars (comprehension), Read Naturally (comprehension and fluency), SRA’s (phonemic awareness and vocabulary development), and AimsWeb (fluency, phonics, and phonemic awareness) to determine which areas of reading the student struggles with. Curriculum is then adjusted to meet these needs.

Teachers, staff, parents, and our data team process the data from the tests throughout the year. In August, the data team meets to discuss the scores of the students and how effective the tests and assessments were. They also use this information to inform staff of which areas of reading particular classes struggle with. Curriculum committees take this information and use it to determine which curriculum would best fit the needs of the students while continuing to align with the standards.

Teachers attend in-services and meetings throughout the year to see state testing results and learn how to access and effectively use this information to differentiate instruction in their classrooms and teaching.

Meeting Students’ Diverse Needs

In-services, workshops, and our PLC’s would be optimum collaboration times to address any student diversity and cultural setting needs when these certain situations arise. However, the Moose Lake schools have a very small percentage of diverse students. We will continue to serve any ELL students as the need arises and mandated by the MDE.
Post-Assessment Methods and Data

There are several forms of assessment given throughout the year to measure a student’s progress in various areas of reading.
• In kindergarten there is a fall assessment given at the beginning of the year that focuses on letter names, letter sounds, rhyming words, beginning sounds, and writing their names. They are also given the AimsWeb test three times a year to test letter names, letter sounds, and phonemic awareness; a kindergarten evaluation given writing their name and the alphabet five times a year; and kindergarten reading curriculum unit assessments.
• In first grade the students are also given the AimsWeb test, which focuses on letter names and letter sounds at the beginning of the year and then moves on to phonemic awareness and reading fluency. They are also given unit tests and letter/word assessments throughout the year.
• In second grade, the students are tested on their reading using the NWEA MAP testing, STAR and AR tests done in the classroom, as well as unit and fluency tests.
• Third grade students take the NWEA MAP test, the MCA test, the Basal selection weekly assessments, Basal unit assessment, Basal fluency assessment, AR tests, STAR tests, unit tests, and fluency tests.

A trained administrator collects data and tests such as MCA, NWEA, and AimsWeb in the fall, winter and spring. Other tests such as the unit tests, fluency tests, and letter assessments are done weekly, monthly, or quarterly in the regular classroom.

These tests help the teachers make decisions for each of the students in their classroom. The information helps determine if a student needs specialized services and interventions. It also determines which reading group they are placed in within the regular classroom. The teachers use this information to differentiate their instruction based on their class’s specific needs.

Teachers, administrators, and school staff are regularly updated and involved in regular data review. The data team meets in August to review the scores from the previous year and the information is presented to the staff in the fall. The team periodically reviews the data throughout the school year as well. The staff also meet once a month on PLC days and are shown how to access scores, how to share this information with parents, and how to use this information to help with differentiation in their classroom.