Exemplary Reading Program Award Englewood Englewood Elementary School’s commitment to Literacy is felt as soon as you walk through

the doors. Our teachers, students, support staff, community and parents all work together to ensure the highest quality of education is happening with regards to Literacy. Being a school of poverty we are committed to providing all students access to Literacy. We know that Elementary Literacy is an indicator of student success in the years to come. Our journey to these high standards has involved hard work and commitment at all levels. We have evolved as a school in the area of literacy and are honored to be recognized with this nomination.

Consistent Sound Research and Theory: We are very committed to best practice at Englewood School. Our professional development journey began 5 years ago with a change in leadership and a commitment to change. Our district adopted a comprehensive Literacy model outlining a balanced literacy program. As a staff we were hungry to learn. We dove deep into the components of a balanced literacy program and as a staff we developed a common vision for Literacy at Englewood. We began to look at how we would incorporate modeled, guided, shared and independent reading instruction into our Literacy Block. We looked at many models of a reading workshop, read “The Daily Five” and “CAFÉ”. We knew that the overall goal of Literacy was for students to be able to make meaning of text, and we looked at such programs as “Making Meaning” and the ‘Comprehension Toolkit”. We wanted to tie Reading and Writing and Speaking and Listening together and make it as authentic and purposeful as we could for our students. In the end, we found that we would adopt a workshop model where the teacher was conducting a modeled mini lesson, which focused students learning. This combined with time for students to navigate authentic texts at their level, and guided groups working collaboratively with the teacher to provide extensions and interventions, as well as review skills and strategies. This journey became our mission. We worked collaboratively and we sought out resources and materials, we visited other classrooms and shared ideas. We knew that what we were doing was what was best for students. We worked to create common units of study and used curriculum maps provided by our district as our guide. We committed to provide solid, standards based instruction that met the diverse needs of every student in our classroom. Facilitates Student Learning: Our number one goal is to meet the needs of our students. In order to do so we must be conscience of their needs at all times. We are committed to solid instructional practices that provide access to all students dependent on student level. We asked ourselves; how do we make our whole group modeled mini lessons comprehensible at all levels? How do we challenge students to reach their full potential? What do we do when

students are not learning? Our Literacy Model was perfect for this type of differentiation and we became masters at it. We were able to progress monitor student’s reading level on a regular basis to diagnose their needs, specifically we were committed to standards based instruction, and we were diligent about extending learning to reach maximum potential. We created a school wide reading intervention block. This block of time was designated to provide an extra 30 minutes of differentiated instruction in Literacy. Data was analyzed in our PLC teams and interventions were created. Instructional assistants were all available during that time to help facilitate the instruction and together the entire school did everything in their power to respond to student needs in Literacy. Access to a Wide Variety of Reading Materials: With all of the work that we had been doing to change our literacy practice at Englewood, we found a significant need for authentic and purposeful materials for students to be successful. We wanted more than a basal, we wanted to create a love of reading and we needed books. Being a hundred year old school, we found that many materials were outdated and in need of replacement. We purchased leveled classroom libraries for each room, with high interest, content connected materials; we put together kits for teacher checkout with interactive mentor texts connected to content standards. But we didn’t stop there. We saw a need for interactive, technology based, reading applications for our literacy blocks. We have teachers using I-pads for reading and writing. I-touches for students to record and analyze their fluency, we have smart board activities that are providing access to the far reaches of the world for our students who may have never been beyond their own neighborhood. Students Demonstrate Success: We wanted to know if our instruction was working. We saw gains in the state test, but wanted a more systematic way of monitoring our students’ progress over time. At this point our assessment system included a screening type of assessment, a summative assessment and our own teacher made formatives. We wanted to see if our students were making progress at a rate conducive to closing the achievement gap and we wanted to intervene in a proactive manner. That was when we put into place our progress monitoring system. We were able to track our students based on individual student needs and provide timely and target interventions when students needed support. We were able to implement this program school-wide and use our collaborative professional learning communities to analyze data and plan interventions. After the implementation of school wide progress monitoring and a commitment to conducting them with fidelity, we really saw achievement sky rocket. Our students were out performing other similar SES schools by significant margins. Student performance in the classroom was felt and success in other content areas began to increase. Student engagement was improving and we were even more committed to providing solid instruction in Literacy.

Cross Curriculum: With our new found success in Reading, we began to see the connections in other content areas and we began Professional Development to infuse Reading and Writing across the content areas. We looked at sheltered instruction protocols and took best practice from GLAD, Systematic ELD, and Constructing Meaning to create a culture of Literacy in our building. Students were Reading, Writing, and Speaking, in every subject. They began to meta-cognitively think about how they learn in a literacy rich environment. Students knew that comprehension of text was a way to learn information. They were able to use comprehension strategies learned in the Reading workshop to derive meaning from the process grid in Science, or the text they were exposed to in Social Studies, or communicating their thinking in Math. Listening, Speaking, Viewing, and Writing are integrated into and support the Reading Program. Our comprehensive Literacy Model specifically outlines the need for purposeful speaking and listening as well as word study and purposeful writing. We know that readers are writer and writers are readers and we continued to make that connection everyday for the students. Responding to reading through writing, structured oral practice as a daily routine during the literacy block as well as systematic English Language Development in our ESOL classrooms is paramount to our programs success. We created bulletin boards to display student writing, with buttons for students to take home that proudly said, “My writing is displayed at Englewood School. Ask me about it.” were given as awards for posted work. We also created a way that students showing improvement and consistent commitment to learning could be acknowledged. We held monthly award assemblies and invited parents to celebrate student success in Literacy. Administrator and Teacher Leadership: The administration at the school and district level has been integral in our school success. They lead the way creating assessment systems, common curriculum mapping, and our district wide literacy model and concrete guides to propel our professional growth. They gave the teachers the freedom to use their professional judgment to decide how best to meet the goals laid out in a systematic way. We had the support of Reading Specialists and Instructional Coaches to help us with resources, and professional development. Most important to our success was the commitment of the staff at Englewood. At one point or another EVERY staff member has taken a leadership role to make our dream of literacy for all a reality. We created school-wide committees to facility site based decisions and commitment to writing, language development, differentiation, and assessment. Over the years each committee has worked tirelessly to meet these common expectations and help to continuously improve Literacy Instruction. School and District Support: The school’s commitment is clearly based on Literacy and there is consistent support at the school district and community level. Just last year the school invested $5000 to create immersion kits for the writing curriculum. The cross curricular, genre specific mentor texts will allow students access to solid writing exemplars as well as

interactive read alouds that support our year long units of study. We have access to any curriculum that we feel is important to our program. We are provided an instructional coach for support as well as district literacy specialists and program assistants that are happy to help out with anything that we need to be successful. Literacy Activities Outside of School: Our staff is committed to continuous learning opportunities outside of the school day. As a response to intervention we put together an after school program referred to as Eagle Academy to give students support in Literacy. Licensed teachers work with identified students to improve their Reading and Writing skills. We also have a community Summer Library Reading Program that allows students access to instruction and reading materials over the summer. Students and parents participate in teacher led lessons and then are able to check out books over the summer. Community Involvement: The community is greatly involved in Literacy at Englewood. With the population we serve, you could often find this difficult, but not at Englewood. The community has put together an Exemplary SMART reading program that employs many parent and community volunteers. We have volunteer readers outside of the program who attend school weekly to read with students. Our parent Club supports and donates snacks to our after school program. The local pizza parlor every year donates a pizza to students meeting their reading goals. We have junior and senior high students return to the school and read with students. We have a local author who every year comes and donates his time to talk to our students about Literacy. There is definitely a culture of Literacy at Englewood. Our school’s common vision has become that of the community as well, and together we are raising expectations for all.

Englewood continues their commitment to Literacy. We work everyday with our student’s best interests in mind. We continue to work in our committees, collaborate in our PLC’s, seek out new research in best practice, and continue to grow as professionals. We are honored to be recognized for this award, although our most lasting achievements are the lifelong readers we have created at Englewood Elementary School.

Professionals who contributed to this form: Sarah Hayden Instructional Coach Teri Birkel 5th Grade Teacher Jeff Lutz 2nd Grade Teacher Katy Naff Principal