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Washington County Schools are committed to the success of every student. We continuously seek to improve academic achievement for all students. We believe the best way to pave the road for increased student success is to teach all children to read. Based on this basic premise, we have made a strong commitment to improving reading in our schools and will continue to focus in this direction.
Washington County began its efforts to improve reading achievement in the early years. Research shows the earlier you catch learning difficulties the easier they are to correct. In truth, many learning problems can be prevented with the correct type of intervention. Our goal is to provide early intervention for those children who demonstrate a need. In keeping with this learning philosophy, we revamped our Title I Program to include Preschool and Reading Recovery. Students need to start school ready to learn and we believe our preschool program will assist many children in this area. Also, many first graders who experience reading difficulties have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a trained Reading Recovery teacher for a twenty-week period.
Washington County participates in the state's Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) Program for students in kindergarten through third grade. We screen all K-3 students in the fall and identify those students needing additional instruction in the area of reading. For students who do not meet the state benchmark, we provide two and one-half hours of additional instruction per week, with a student/teacher ratio of five to one. These students are rescreened in the spring to assess their progress.
One of the largest commitments Washington County has made to the area of reading is placing reading specialists in all elementary schools. These specialists provide support to both students and teachers, and are a very valuable resource to the instructional program. They provide intervention services for students who did not meet the state benchmark on the PALS screening, they work with students who are experiencing difficulties in reading, they do diagnostic testing to pinpoint specific reading problems, they develop and/or recommend prescriptive programs to help students improve their reading performance, they are consultants for classroom teachers in the teaching of reading, they provide teachers with staff development and inservice training in reading, and they provide a myriad of other services for the improvement of reading in the schools. Reading specialists are a real asset to our reading program.
Washington County will continue to focus on reading and strive to improve academic success for all students.
To Contact Us:
E-mail Dr. Janet Lester