Warsaw Schools Celebrates Science Of Reading Initiatives
WARSAW — At a March 14 board work session, Dr. Dani Barkey, Warsaw Community Schools’ deputy superintendent, provided a special academic report highlighting WCS’s recent work with the Science of Reading and Roxie Reading.
“The Early Intervention Grant gave us an opportunity to strategically provide training to a core group of teachers that can now assist with training within their buildings. I want to thank these pioneers for their gift of time; they are furthering their knowledge and honing their teaching craft, as well as Megan Smith and Mandy Duncan for leading this important work.”
The Science of Reading refers to a collection of scientific research that is evidence-based and explains how the brain learns to read. Recent advances in technology have allowed researchers and practitioners who work with typical and struggling readers to understand how reading develops in the brain and the skills that contribute to proficient reading. The human brain is not prewired to learn to read naturally. Reading is a complex process that occurs in three different, but connected areas of the brain.
WCS’ staff understand it is important for educators to understand this body of research because it directly affects how reading is taught. In addition, using methods that are not aligned with research can have a negative impact on students’ reading achievements. As a result, over the past year, WCS has been providing various professional development opportunities for WCS educators in order to ensure students receive the best possible reading instruction.
Thirty-nine WCS teachers have recently completed their Dyslexia Specialists certification; this has been a year-long certification process and 18 are currently still working on their coursework. Later this spring, they will share the work with the remaining teachers in their buildings. In addition, 31 WCS educators are currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Education with a Reading Endorsement from Bluffton University, and 51 WCS educators attended the WCS Summer Literacy Institute to learn about SoR and best practices.
“WCS is so proud and thankful for our teachers,” said WCS Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert. “The Roxie Reading program is designed to provide skills in the Science of Reading to help identify and intervene for students with dyslexia; the practices are universal for all struggling readers. WCS is proud to recognize many WCS teachers who have dedicated hours far beyond their traditional classroom in order to impact developing readers within our schools.”