“READ WELL BY THIRD GRADE”
Our mission for Centennial School District 12 is to prepare students for life through academic, emotional, and social development. The Centennial Public Schools District Literacy Plan describes current efforts to support this mission and to reach the goal that each student in the Centennial Public Schools will read at or above grade level by Third Grade. This meets the requirements of Minnesota Statute 120B.12 enacted because research consistently supports the foundational importance of early reading success. This plan is ongoing and will be updated yearly.
The Centennial Public Schools community is committed to ensuring that each student reach or exceed grade level standards and benchmarks. These benchmarks are crucial in reading; research strongly points to the fact that students who are not reading at or above grade level by Third Grade have difficulty catching up later in school. As part of this literacy milestone, the Minnesota State Legislature adopted statutes to frame the work that ensures that all students Read Well by Third Grade.
Minnesota Statute 120B.12 requires that all school districts:
- assess students’ level of reading proficiency and identify students not yet reading at grade level.
- notify and involve parents/guardians of students who are not yet reading at grade level.
- intervene and accelerate learning growth for students who are not yet reading at grade level.
- ensure that elementary teachers have appropriate training and support to provide comprehensive, scientifically-based and culturally sensitive instruction.
- adopt and post a “Local Literacy Plan” to ensure that all students are reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade by July 1 of each year.
The goal for all students to Read Well by Third Grade requires sustained engagement and commitment from our community of stakeholders. The Centennial Public Schools curriculum is designed to provide a solid base for instructional planning. School board members can make policy decisions and provide resources to support and maintain an excellent program that meets our students’ needs. Administrators and the Systems Accountability Committee can provide resources and equipment needed to support and maintain an excellent program that meets our students’ needs. Teachers use research-based instructional strategies and engage in professional development on scientifically-based reading instruction. Parents/guardians can talk to and read with their children at home, thereby building strong foundational literacy skills. Students can engage in literacy play and study. With ongoing support and engagement from all of our stakeholders in the literacy needs of our children, we believe that we can prepare each student to achieve success.
STATEMENT OF LITERACY GOALS
Centennial Public Schools is devoted to ensuring that all students are grade-level proficient in reading. We realize that all students are unique and that each arrives with certain literacy capacities. For example, some Kindergarteners know letter names, some read fluently, and some are beginning to develop print awareness.
Our mission is to prepare students for life through academic, emotional, and social development. We believe literacy is the cornerstone of this mission. Therefore, the ability to read and use language has a direct impact on student learning, the ability to demonstrate standards’ proficiency, and the quality of our students’ lives.
We believe that the core curriculum and the tiered interventions we have in place provide an excellent way for our students to achieve the goal of grade-level proficiency. Our ongoing commitment to excellence in teaching and learning to ensure reading proficiency for all students in grades K-3 is grounded in:
- Ongoing assessment of each student
- 2020 Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in English Language Arts
- District/School Improvement Planning
- Classroom curriculum and materials (research-based, implemented and revised through a curriculum review process)
- Research-based teaching and learning practices
- Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
ASSESSING LITERACY PROFICIENCY
Centennial uses multiple data points to make instructional determinations and to assess students’ reading proficiency. These include standardized tools and classroom-based assessments that are administered in both whole-class and individual settings throughout the year by the students’ classroom teacher(s) and other trained professionals. These provide teachers, parents/guardians and students with specific information beginning the first month of Kindergarten and continuing over the course of each year. Teachers also informally assess and work with students to build confidence and a love for reading. The table below outlines the assessment schedule and the areas addressed by each in grades K-3.
Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)
Developed cognitive abilities (verbal, quantitative, nonverbal)
October/November (2.5 hours)
Fall, Winter, Spring (3 minutes)
Phonemic Awareness, Phonics
Fall, Winter, Spring (5 minutes)
Fall, Winter, Spring (30 minutes)
Benchmark Advance Weekly/Unit Assessments
General Reading/Comprehension, Language, Foundational Skills
At least one per instructional unit
Our definition of “proficiency” is based on Minnesota Language Arts Standards’ benchmarks at each grade level and percentile rank based on national norms. We also use multiple data points (FastBridge, MCA, classroom assessment, teacher observation, etc.) to further define proficiency. The table below provides specific targets that demonstrate risk of not reaching end-of-grade level proficiency.
|<15th Percentile||15-40th Percentile||40-70th Percentile||>70th Percentile|
|Does Not Meet (D)||Partially Meets (P)||Meets (M)||Exceeds (E)|
Teachers use progress monitoring data, classroom assessments, professional observation, and diagnostic assessments to ascertain student growth, benchmark students’ achievement in grade level standards and plan instruction to target student learning goals. Staff regularly review student data to help inform the literacy instruction that is most appropriate for all students. Intervention services are considered for students who score in the lowest quartile (25th percentile and below).
Results from assessments outlined above are frequently disaggregated and analyzed at the district, site, program and classroom levels, and are monitored for grade-level performance. This analysis occurs in school and program improvement/curriculum planning. The results guide instructional decision-making. As well, this analysis identifies students in need of additional instruction and time to reach grade level proficiency in reading as well as those who require extensions. Students enter and exit interventions throughout the school year to ensure that students are working toward proficiency whenever data indicates they need additional instruction and time to achieve grade level benchmarks.
PARENT/GUARDIAN NOTIFICATION AND INVOLVEMENT
A strong partnership with parents/guardians is crucial. Parents are informed of student progress with regular progress reports and teacher communications at least three times per year. Parents/guardians are informed primarily by the classroom teacher, who also communicates with the intervention teachers. Parents/guardians are informed of the assessment data in a timely manner via fall and winter parent/teacher conferences, report cards and electronic communication. Each elementary school also offers monthly newsletters, online resources posted on the district website, parent advisory groups, parent literacy workshops, and parent-teacher conferences where a variety of supportive literacy resources are available.
Teachers provide progress updates regarding reading abilities to parents/guardians at conferences in the fall and spring, which most parents/guardians attend. If a parent/guardian is unable to attend conferences, every effort is made for timely communication in person, by phone, or electronic means. Interpreters are provided for parents/guardians who request them.
When students are identified as in need of additional instruction and time to reach grade level proficiency in reading, parents/guardians are notified by the classroom teacher and engaged in discussion of the student’s performance as well as the intervention plan that is designed to support the student to reach grade level achievement.
The District Literacy Plan information is available to parents on the Centennial Public Schools website. The district and the elementary school websites (Blue Heron, Centennial, Centerville, Golden Lake, Rice Lake)offer additional resources and tools for parents/guardians, caregivers and/or community members to support literacy at home. Some websites staff and parents may choose to access in regards to literacy development include:
- Parent and Family Engagement at Ed.Gov
- Reading Rockets– Resources for teaching kids to read and helping those who struggle
- Read Write Think– Resources for developing literacy inside and outside of school
- PBS Kids– Reading Games and Activities
- Help Me Grow: Parent Resources on Reading, Literacy Development, and More
CORE INSTRUCTION, INTERVENTIONS, AND SUPPORTS
Centennial uses the Benchmark Advance curriculum for literacy instruction, which provides a solid base for all students. The curriculum provides grade-level materials for all students along with leveled texts to match student reading abilities for small group and independent instruction. There are also specialized instructional materials for English Language Learners as well as an intervention materials. This curriculum has been aligned to the Common Core standards and incorporates scientifically based reading instruction. Teachers receive training on how to consistently implement this program. All students benefit from whole group and small group instruction and other interventions as deemed necessary. Grade levels spend a minimum of two hours daily on reading instruction employing whole group, small group and individual instruction as needed.
Centennial’s framework for literacy development provides a tiered model of instruction and supports for all students. Core elements include: clear identification of students’ needs, a tiered system of support that is based on strong core instruction, regular, frequent monitoring of all students and changing interventions when students are not making progress to their expected level. Interventions and instructional supports are available to students not reading at or above grade level in grades Kindergarten through Grade 3. The goal for all students (whether those below, at or above grade level) is to make one or more year of growth in reading every year.
All students are instructed in their targeted growth areas by a licensed teacher. Some identified students receive additional minutes of reading instruction in their school week. Services during the school day are provided in a variety of formats based on student needs. Models of intervention include, but are not limited to:
- Additional instructional flexible group with classroom materials
- Example: Phonemic Awareness lessons
- Example: Phonics work with Phonics Readers and making words
- Example: Fluency work with repeated reading of classroom text
- Example: Comprehension work with strategy application, discussion and writing to read strategies
- Direct instruction with a research-based reading intervention program and practice with teacher
- Benchmark Spring Forward (phonics/word recognition, phonological awareness, print concepts, fluency, and text comprehension)
- Benchmark Steps to Advance
- Direct instruction in targeted goals with CERF teacher, Title I teacher, or MN Reading Corps Member
- Benchmark Advance Steps to Advance
- Benchmark Spring Forward
- MN Reading Corps interventions
TIERS OF INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT
Tier One: Core Classroom Instruction
Tier one instruction is the core instructional program for all students. All classroom teachers are expected to employ best-practices instruction and the district adopted materials. Teachers teach students in flexible groups and with leveled text that allows students to practice and build reading skills and strategies. Teachers create flexible groups using assessment data to support student growth. Students in Kindergarten through Third Grade receive two hours of literacy instruction per day. The students who are not yet reading at grade level need supported interaction with grade-level and above-grade-level texts in order to:
- build background knowledge,
- experience excellent writing and language models,
- build oral language and vocabulary through rich discussions,
- meaningfully engage with text through a variety of genres.
Tier Two: Additional Instruction and Intervention
The second tier of instruction includes targeted interventions for students who may need more time and may need supplemental or different materials or instruction to accelerate growth and reach grade level benchmarks. The goal of reading is making meaning from text; therefore all interventions are designed to support achieving the goal of comprehension. Depending on a student’s needs, the intervention may focus on increasing capacity in phonemic awareness, phonics/word study, vocabulary, fluency, or comprehension.
The Centennial Early Reading Foundations (CERF) program provides individual and small group reading instruction to students in grades K-3 who qualify for additional reading support based on screening results from AIMSWEB, MAP scores and teacher input. At Centennial Elementary and Golden Lake Elementary, students in grades K-3 may also be eligible for Targeted Title I services as well as the CERF program. At-risk students at Blue Heron, Centerville and Rice Lake Elementary Schools receive support through CERF. Parents are informed of their child’s eligibility for these services. These services are provided in addition to their core literacy classroom curriculum, and include targeted instruction with highly qualified reading teachers. The instruction focuses on the five main pillars of reading as identified by the National Reading Panel – phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency.
In the third tier, students receive increased instruction and may use an alternate curriculum to meet standards and make a year or more of academic growth. They may be taught by a special education teacher. Centennial Public Schools provides a comprehensive program for students with disabilities.
Identification and Support for Students with Dyslexia
Students who demonstrate persistent difficulty with phonological awareness and processing language despite ongoing interventions but have strengths in oral communication, reasoning, and complex thinking may exhibit characteristics of dyslexia. These students will be further assessed for characteristics of dyslexia using a screening tool developed by the district following guidance from the MN Department of Education memo "Revising Local Literacy Plans to Include 'Efforts to Identify Student with Dyslexia.'" For students with these and other observable behaviors, interventions at any tier will focus on increasing accuracy and efficiency in decoding and will include appropriate accommodations for slow and labored reading rates (i.e. alternate forms of text, extended time, smaller reading chunks).
Identification and Support for Students with Convergence Insufficiency
Centennial School District follows the Minnesota Department of Health recommendations for vision screening and follow-up. Vision screenings for school use are not available for diagnosing convergence insufficiency disorder. Parents with concerns about the condition should see their licensed eye care specialist for assessment and treatment. Students with a diagnosis of convergence insufficiency disorder from a licensed eye care specialist may receive academic interventions focused on skills that were missed due to limitations with coordinating vision. Additionally, parents and school personnel may conduct an evaluation for a 504 plan for classroom accommodations to address limitations with stamina and fatigue that become barriers to accessing the general curriculum.
The district-wide calendar sets a minimum of 6 days of professional learning each year. Each elementary site embeds professional learning time into a combination of meeting schedules for all staff, grade-level teams, and professional learning communities. In addition to a variety of literacy-focused professional development activities designed and facilitated by each elementary school, the district is engaged in an in-depth study of literacy practices as part of a continuous improvement process for instructional review. This review is led by members of the school district’s Department of Teaching and Learning team with collaboration from site administrators and teacher leaders. This team plans district-level professional development activities, assists in aligning standards with instruction, assessments, and materials, and engages all teachers in reflection and participation around evidence-based and promising practices in literacy. Additionally, the district has created a peer coach position in partnership with Minnesota State Mankato which will serve to support teachers expanding their instructional craft with literacy being a significant focus.
SCIENTIFICALLY BASED READING INSTRUCTION
Scientifically-based reading instruction is consistently implemented throughout the elementary grades. The Centennial Language Arts Curriculum Grades K-5 is comprehensive and standards-based. Each aspect of the curriculum has been aligned at each grade level with the Minnesota Language Arts Standards (2010).Students are engaged in Language Arts instruction a minimum of 120 minutes each day in Kindergarten, First, Second, and Third Grade.
We have reviewed new state standards and aligned current BenchmarkAdvancereading materials to grade level standards. In order to implement the 2010 Minnesota Language Arts standards in Centennial Public Schools, teachers:
- Use Benchmark Advancematerials (write-in readers, leveled readers, reader’s theater, assessments)
- Use other district-selected materials (selected novels, informational text, choice materials both in digital and print formats in the classroom, and media center)
- Employ flexible grouping and guided instruction
- Utilize classroom assessments
- Employ district approved interventions
STUDENT SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR ENGLISH LEARNERS
Centennial has made resources available to all staff to respond to our students’ diverse needs. Currently, staff receives training and support in the literacy needs of their English Learners on an as-needed basis. Benchmark Advance,our core reading curriculum, also incorporates specific supplemental reading materials and instruction for meeting the needs of EL students. Based on current data, additional training and support may be needed. The district employs EL teachers to provide specific instruction for EL students. For further questions contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASSESSMENT METHODS AND DATA
Throughout the school year, teachers, administrators and school staff are involved in regular data reviews to help inform instruction. These regular reviews of student data ensures that each student, regardless of their level of reading ability, receives appropriate instruction geared to meet their needs. Where student achievement data suggests any student or student group is not making adequate growth to meet grade level expectations, a system of instructional supports and interventions will be employed.
Post-assessment literacy data is submitted to the Minnesota Commissioner of Education. Our goal at Centennial public school is for students to meet or exceed grade level state benchmarks and standards in reading, as demonstrated by the following performance indicators:
GRADE LEVEL PROFICIENCY
FastBridge earlyReading Composite
At or Above the National 40th Percentile
FastBridge earlyReading Composite
At or Above the National 40th Percentile
At or Above the National 40th Percentile
At or Above the National 40th Percentile
Meets or Exceeds
REFLECTION AND REVIEW
The Centennial Public Schools core curriculum and tiered interventions are effective for many students. Based on the previous five years of data, Centennial Third Graders have consistently outperformed the state average as well as surrounding districts on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments. Results of the 2019 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment released by the Minnesota Department of Education revealed that Centennial Public Schools students continue to achieve at high levels in reading as 74.5% of Centennial’s third graders met or exceeded the standard. This is an increase from 2015-2016 when 69.8% of Centennial’s third graders met or exceeded the standard.
Our interventions are working for most, but not all students. We will continue to improve our ability to use data to ascertain student learning objectives, personalize the intervention, and measure its effectiveness. Continued staff collaboration between classroom teachers, interventionists, and specialists to align instruction and intervention, with parents/guardians as partners, will allow us to continue to increase the number and percentage of students reading well by third grade.
CERF teachers from each elementary school, the District Literacy Coordinator, elementary principals, the Director of Teaching and Learning and the School Board were all involved in the creation of this working document. As part of continuous improvement within the Centennial Public Schools, the plan will be evaluated and updated with the goal that all Centennial Public School students “Read Well By Third Grade.” We will continue to solicit community, parent/guardian and staff input about this plan throughout the upcoming year.