In the Elk Grove Unified School District, only 46% of third graders are reading at or above the proficient level. (Source 2016 SBAC Standards Met or Above). With reading proficiency by the end of the third grade noted as a key predictor of high school graduation and career success, the need for an On Grade Level Reading training program was critical. Statistics show that more than 80% of children from low income families miss this crucial milestone making learning more difficult as students mature. Studies also highlight that 88% of students who did not read proficiently by 3rd grade do not earn a High School Diploma.
To ensure that every student reads at or above grade level by the end of third grade and continues to progress in reading proficiency so that he/she can read, comprehend, integrate, and apply complex texts needed for secondary education, college and career success, the Board of Education approved the implementation of the District’s On Grade Level Reading program, which complements the utilization of newly Board adopted English Language Arts curriculum. Additionally, the board has allocated funds for high quality first instruction for teachers in transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade.
To best provide teachers with the support and training that they need to successfully implement the On Grade Level Reading program, the training focuses on and includes the eight early literacy skills necessary for students to be on grade level for reading. These key components are:
- Print concepts
- Phonemic awareness
- Oral language development
- Reading/listening comprehension
Each teacher is provided three full days of training per year in small groups as well as in-class support if requested. The trainings are provided by grade level coaches or specialists and are tailored to the needs of the school sites. Additionally, school administrators are provided with the training they need to support their teachers.