Panther Post: Century Leadership Team developing local literacy plan
Minnesota has the second largest achievement gap in the United States. In an effort to close this achievement gap between different ethnic groups, the Commissioner of Education reminds us that all students must be ensured equal access to rigorous courses and innovative educational practices.
Schools all over Minnesota are challenged in meeting the needs of our youngest learners as only 51 percent of incoming kindergarteners are ready for the demands of our standards. We know the importance of ensuring all students are at grade level by the end of third grade. Being able to read well by third grade is one of the many milestones for children. Literacy development starts at birth and extends through our adult lives. Reading well by third grade ensures a child has a solid foundation of literacy skills to continue to expand their understandings of what they read, make meaning, and transfer that learning across all subject areas. High level instruction in reading is the basis for this learning. By ensuring children can read well by third grade and beyond will close the achievement gap and ensure that all students are ready for the demands of college and the workplace.
From the moment students enter school, a sustained effort must be made to create a quality literacy environment. As written in Minnesota Statute, a school must adopt a local literacy plan to have every child reading at or above grade level no later than the end of grade three. This plan must include a process to assess students' reading levels, notify and involve parents, intervene with students who are not reading at or above grade level, and provide research based professional development for staff.
Our Century Leadership Team is now developing this plan. Our local literacy plan will be posted on the District's website by June 1. This document will be a continuous work in progress as we strive to ensure each child is reading well by third grade. For more information on Read Well by Third Grade you may visit the Minnesota Department of Education website at http://education. state.mn.us/MDE/EdExc/Read Well/index.html.