The Campbell River School District is creating a new literacy framework to identify why students may be having trouble reading and create tailored strategies to help them improve their skills.
The framework, still under development, was presented by literacy committee members Brenna Ewing, Southgate Middle School principal, and Kimberly Paddington, Sandowne Elementary principal, during the district’s board meeting on June 15.
The plan aims to reverse declining literacy rates and close a widening literacy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, trends apparent in district data over the past 10 years, explained Ewing.
But identifying why a student is having difficulty reading can be difficult, said Paddington.
“What we’re learning in schools is that teachers will know there’s something missing — kids aren’t yet where they want them to be — but they don’t quite know how to identify what is that they’re missing,” she said.
To aid this, the new tiered framework breaks down specific components of literacy, over a Kindergarten to Grade 5 continuum. This will allow teachers to assess whether students have the necessary skills to become strong readers, and intervene early if they need help, said Ewing.
“These assessments are to ensure that we are not missing any students across our district, (so) that we have no students that get into our middle schools or high schools, and we find out that they’re lacking in some of their literacy skills,” she said.
Each school will have a literacy team next year, who along with teachers, will be looking at class and school assessment results to develop strategies and direct staff to target individual learners or classrooms.
The plan considers everyone from the student and their family to teachers, education assistants, the board and senior management.
“We know that everyone has a part to play in growing literacy in our district and supporting our students,” said Ewing.