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Elementary School Reading Improvement Plan

Elementary School Reading Improvement Plan

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Published by Jeff Bergosh
A bottom-up, focused approach to inexpensively increase elementary reading achievement at an individual school site utilizing monetary incentives to motivate an entire schools' staff to participate.
A bottom-up, focused approach to inexpensively increase elementary reading achievement at an individual school site utilizing monetary incentives to motivate an entire schools' staff to participate.

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Published by: Jeff Bergosh on May 23, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Elementary School Reading Improvement PlanOverview:
This plan is contemplated as a means of achieving measurable results in reading on aclass by class, student by student basis at the elementary school level, In lieu of hiring anadditional site based administrative position—reading coach-- for an individual school.The logic behind this plan is that it will:1.Include multiple stakeholders (all of a schools’ teachers)-each with a vestedinterest in nurturing and encouraging greater student reading achievement2.Foster a sense of teamwork toward a common goal among staf3.Financially reward those that produce high student achievement4.Empower site based administrators to make staff choices to lead the program.These components will lead to a more focused use of resources to attain a wider  bottom up opportunity for success throughout an individual school.
The cost of the program at each school will mirror the cost of providing that school witha full time reading coach, approximately $60,000.00 yearly. (Costs associated with pre-tests and post tests are specifically excluded from the cost of this plan, as these costs will be borne out by the district regardless of what program will be utilized to realizeenhanced reading achievement at each school.)
The Program
The program is quite simple in concept. The principal at each school will pick twoteachers to serve as “Reading Ambassadors” for their school. Any teacher may apply, butthe final decision on what teachers will be chosen rests with the site Principal. These twoteachers will, ideally, be among the strongest performing teachers at each school in theopinion of the Principal and Assistant Principal. The Reading Ambassadors will beidentified by June 30
of the summer prior to the start of the school year. Each ReadingAmbassador will be given an initial bonus of $2,500.00 for taking on the significantduties and responsibilities associated with being a Reading Ambassador at their school.The initial bonus will be payable in two installments, one payment of $1,250.00 on thefirst paycheck of the school year of plan implementation, and a second payment of $1,250.00 on the last paycheck of the calendar year, prior to the Christmas Break.
What Do Reading Ambassadors Do?
Over the summer prior to the start of the school year, each Reading Ambassador will betasked with formulating an innovative strategy for increasing reading achievement at
their schools. The Reading Ambassadors will be charged with utilizing
resources only to target grade level appropriate lesson plans, as no additional budgetdollars will be allocated for implementation. Reading Ambassadors will be encouragedto use new ideas, strategies, and implementation methods that they will research, study,and present for approval to the School Principal no later than two weeks prior to the startof the School Year.The School Principal will divide equally the number of teachers in the school and eachReading Ambassador will be assigned half of the teachers to work with. The ReadingAmbassadors will still maintain responsibility for their own classrooms, but the twoteachers chosen as Ambassadors will each receive one additional duty free “period” per day (in addition to any regular duty free periods ) to utilize for managing their program.Additionally, it is understood that Reading Ambassadors will need to work longer hoursand stay later, as required-- and with no extra pay, to successfully implement their readingstrategies.Reading Ambassadors will need to utilize technology to maximize the efficiency of their time. A weekly email blast to all of their assigned teachers would be an effective way toimpart a week’s lesson, with the email containing a link to a lesson plan idea, or the nameof a book or other reading program designated for that weeks’ use. Face to face meetings between the Reading Ambassador and his/her team of teachers will be encouraged aswell, as often as schedules permit. A total of 25 weekly lessons, spread throughout theyear, will need to be formulated by the Reading Ambassadors and forwarded to eachteacher in each Ambassador’s group in adequate time for each teacher to implement thelesson. Emphasis will be on the creative use of inexpensive or free resources to developthese weekly lessons to drive student reading progress. Cross-curricular lesson plans,utilization of games, music, science, history, social studies and/or art will be highlyencouraged. Open Source reading instruction resources, such aswww.creativecommons.org,www.free-reading.net,or www.scribd.commay also be good resources for use by Reading Ambassadors to develop their weekly reading lessons.Additionally, Reading Ambassadors will be free to, with their principal’s approval, utilizeother creative methods to enhance parental participation in these efforts by forging partnerships and buy-in among the PTA, local charitable organizations, our local military,or other appropriate community stakeholders.Reading Ambassadors will be encouraged to act as mentors to the teachers assigned tothem, regarding the implementation of these reading lessons. The Reading Ambassador will keep track of the progress of their team’s teachers, and will meet with the schoolPrincipal or Assistant Principal regularly to update the progress of the implementation of the reading program. The Reading Ambassador will need to be adaptable, making program adjustments as necessary to keep the program on track and to maximizeopportunities for success.
Evaluations and Rewards
 Near the conclusion of the school year, district level post-tests will be conducted that will be narrowed to a class by class level. An analysis of the learning gains made in theclasses of participating teachers will be utilized to reward those teachers that have produced the highest learning gains among their students. The criteria for assessmentshall be equally weighted in the following way. More than 65% of each class’s studentsmust have made gains in reading, AND more than a minimum of 33% of the lowest 25%of reading learners must have made reading gains (Or other grade level, schooldemographic, and/or special or site appropriate school district mandated benchmark) inorder for each classroom teacher to qualify for a reward.
Individual Classroom Teacher Awards for Top Performers (40%)
Rewards for individual classroom teachers based on the learning gains of their studentsfrom the beginning of the school year to the end of the school year will equal 40% of thetotal program budget ($24,000.00). These rewards will be paid out to the top 15 teachers by rank and score based upon the learning gains they helped their individual studentsaccomplish in their classrooms. Monetary rewards for these high performing teacherswill be as follows:1. $3,600.00 (15%)2. $3,360.00 (14%)3. $3,120.00 (13%)4. $2,880.00 (12%)5. $2,640.00 (11%)6. $1,440.00 (6%)7. $1,200.00 (5%)8. $960.00 (4%)9. $960.00 (4%)10. $720.00 (3%)11. $720.00 (3%)12. $600.00 (2.5%)13. $600.00 (2.5%)14. $600.00 (2.5%)15. $600.00 (2.5%)
Shared School Improvement Bonus (35%)
All School Employees (all teachers, teacher assistants, janitors, administrative andsecretarial staff) will receive a bonus equaling a share of the 35% of the total program budget ($21,000.00) if the school (as a percentage taking all classes into account) makes

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