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News from the District Reading Specialist

District Literacy Policy Review:
•    Our Board Policy 603.12 calls for students to be regularly assessed for proficiency in reading. Students that are not proficient in reading will be provided assistance at school to help them become proficient.

Schoolwide Title I:
•    Greene County Elementary and Greene County Middle School are Schoolwide Title I buildings. This means that all students are eligible for extra support in reading. Support will also be provided to parents/guardians to help the student outside of school.  

Reading Instruction:
•    Elementary students have 90 minutes of research-based reading instruction each day.  This is a state requirement for all districts based on the Early Literacy Implementation from the Iowa Department of Education.  Middle School has a 45-55 minute block of research-based reading instruction.  The High School students have a 60 minute literacy block of instruction.  All three buildings have additional support with targeted reading intervention times.

•    Kindergarten through Sixth grade will be continuing the state required assessment FAST (Formative Assessment System for Teachers).  The FAST assessment will be given three times during the school year.  This test helps teachers identify students who are reading on grade level and those students who may need additional help.
•    Kindergarten through Sixth grade will continue to use the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment. This assessment will be used to determine your child’s reading level.  The information from this assessment  provides information to assist teachers in guiding interventions for students to help them grow as a reader.
•    Seventh and Eighth grade students will still take the aReading assessment through FAST.  It is an Adaptive Reading (aReading) assessment that we will give three times a year.  Adaptive means that it is individualized for each student. The questions and response format used in aReading is similar to many statewide, standardized assessments. aReading has 30 questions for each student. This assessment is not timed.  Through this assessment teachers learn specific skills to target each student’s individual reading needs.

•    Grades kindergarten through fourth grade have an extra twenty five minutes of intense reading skill instruction in addition to their reading block of time.  During these interventions, targeted skills are taught to help your child advance in their reading proficiency.
•    The Fifth through Eighth grade schedules have built in 20 minute reading intervention times.
•    High School teachers have 20 minutes of extended learning time that is taught through seminar. Teachers work with students on reteaching skills that students are having trouble with in classes.  

MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Support)
According to the Iowa Department of Education

    The Iowa MTSS framework is made up of five components.  At Greene County Schools we have addressed all five areas and have implemented all of them into our K-12 reading program.
1.    Evidence-based curriculum and instruction provided at the universal level.
2.    Universal screening of all students.  
3.    Evidence-based, instructional interventions at the targeted and intensive levels shall be provided to each student who needs them.
4.    Progress monitoring for learners below expectations.
5.    Data-based decision making throughout the system.