Primary learners in SD8 perform below grade level in reading and writing: report

According to the 2022 Annual Literacy Report, a significant number of elementary learners in School District #8 perform below grade level in reading and writing.

Produced by School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake), the report notes that for the past five years, SD8 kindergarten assessment and third-grade reading data showed a drop in reading and writing tests. for primary learners.

“Furthermore, the data also indicated that many children who had lower grade-level performance in the primary years moved up to the middle years, lacking confidence and mastery of their reading and writing skills,” the report says. report.

The results are taken seriously in the school district, SD8 Superintendent of Schools Trish Smillie said, and the district has made it a priority to improve literacy skills for all learners in kindergarten through 12th grade. year.

To ensure that learners have the best possible chance of improving their literacy skills, a three-year district literacy plan focused on improving literacy outcomes for all learners from kindergarten through Grade 12 was worked out, she said.

“SD8 is supporting a district-wide literacy initiative in the elementary grades (K-3 grades) to better understand the challenges children were facing in learning literacy and to alleviate those challenges by supporting teachers with the necessary resources and tools,” Smillie said.

The Early Literacy Profile helps elementary school teams analyze their school’s literacy data to prioritize supports and resources as needed.

“The alignment of district staff and resources, in addition to a collaborative and inclusive approach to working with all learners in the classroom, has resulted in a system-wide change in philosophy, pedagogy and practice at primary level,” she added.

“This will ensure that SD8 is on track to meet the goal of every student completing Year 3 with the skills and confidence to be a proficient reader and writer.”

SD8 has also created a Digital Literacy Resource Center on the SD8 website which includes videos, literacy lessons and tools and links to literacy resources. This digital hub is a “one stop shop” that all teachers can use as a support to design and teach a balanced literacy program to best meet the needs of all learners.

Smillie said that for the upper grades, SD8 students in grades 4 and 7, the 2020-2021 provincial Basic Skills Assessment (FSA) data in reading and writing shows that children in SD8 are achieving results comparable to the provincial average.

“Furthermore, the provincial Grade 10 literacy assessment, a requirement for high school graduation, shows SD8 students are on par with Grade 10 students across British Columbia” , she said.

Overview of Primary Literacy

(kindergarten to 3rd grade)

The Primary Literacy Coherence Model is a three-year initiative.

For the 2021-2022 school year, the focus is on building the capacity of 1st and 2nd grade teachers. Next year, the focus will be on 2nd and 3rd grade teachers.

The evidence of success after the first year with the new model of primary literacy coherence is already apparent.

One teacher shared, “Using a one-page class profile takes the guesswork out of what I need to focus on to support my students. I can’t wait to see how this model will follow my kindergarten students through their elementary schooling.

From a principal’s perspective, “This early literacy profile that we put in place in elementary school is the best example of consistency I’ve seen in our district. Equity is addressed through differentiation and allows us to select groups of students to meet learning needs as they arise.

Source: Extract from the annual report on literacy 2022

Overview of Literacy and Assessment for Learning

(intermediate to secondary (grades 4 to 12))

Student learning survey data indicates that students would like more information about what they are learning and how they are doing it.

The district will strive to find opportunities for school teams to support inclusive and engaging student activities and opportunities, as well as find ways to support student voice and choice in what they learn and in how they demonstrate their learning.

Additionally, the implementation of the SD8 Laptop Initiative at the 7th and 10th grade levels will help support this goal.

The SD8 data also shows a notable trend regarding students’ academic self-efficacy. As students progress through higher grades, their self-efficacy seems to decline, even though they try their best to improve.

In addition, corresponding provincial literacy assessment data also indicate significant differences in reading achievement for students with diverse needs and students of Aboriginal ancestry.

The development of a professional learning series focused on classroom assessment strategies such as assessment for learning, the use of BC Performance Standards, and the use of assessment models. students to support planning, teaching and assessment in the classroom will further support learners.

A district literacy toolkit to support students with diverse needs will be housed on the district literacy hub. Finally, ongoing collaboration with Indigenous Academic Success teachers will continue to focus on integrating Indigenous content and perspectives into the curriculum and meeting the academic needs of students of Indigenous ancestry.

To ensure that all learners improve their literacy skills, ongoing collaboration with all education partners, including school staff, Indigenous education staff, and traveling district staff, will occur. in developing a three-year district literacy plan.

This will include a focus on data analysis and improving participation rates; develop sustainable and collaborative communities of practice focused on literacy instruction and assessment strategies; and ensure that inclusive literacy resources are made available to schools and students.

Source: Extract from the annual report on literacy 2022

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