ASBURY PARK, N.J., April 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of Superintendent Dr. Lamont Repollet's ongoing efforts to raise achievement for all students in the Asbury Park School District, the Board of Education has approved a broad-ranging initiative focusing on literacy, the cornerstone of all learning. Complete with professional development for teachers, digital programs to promote blended learning in classrooms and reading materials for students, Asbury Park teachers in grades Pre-K to 12 and district leaders will begin preparation this spring with Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company. The district will implement a full-suite of proven-effective instructional programs from the Company to support students of all proficiency levels in the 2015-16 school year.
Quotes regarding this initiative:
Dr. Lamont Repollet, Asbury Park School District Superintendent, said, "We are in the midst of 'Building a Brighter Future' for Asbury Park and changing the paradigm of how we approach serving our students. To achieve that, improving reading skills has to be embedded as our foundation. Through this program with Scholastic, we intend to engage the entire community to show the far-reaching benefits of literacy, from academics to personal growth in students of all ages."
Sancha Gray, Asbury Park School District Director of Curriculum and Instruction, noted, "We are eager to begin working with Scholastic because we know the experts and programs now available to us come with a proven track record of raising achievement and an unwavering belief in the ability of all students to learn, grow and succeed. This literacy-focused effort will help Asbury Park School District succeed in our vision to increase instructional rigor while providing comprehensive interventions to address the needs of all students."
Francie Alexander, Scholastic Chief Academic Officer, shared, "Scholastic has seen first-hand that children of all ages thrive when given support from teachers and parents to become confident readers. Dr. Repollet and the entire Asbury Park School District are dedicated to ensuring success for all of their students starting with enhanced literacy skills. Scholastic is inspired by the leadership in this District and we are honored to serve as a partner in their vision."
Through this initiative, Asbury Park School District seeks to:
Build Literacy through Research-Based Curriculum
In the early grades, classroom materials and digital programs will focus on closing the achievement gap before it begins.
Sixth to eighth grade students will learn vocabulary, comprehension and writing through an English language arts curriculum designed to assist learners in meeting higher standards.
English language learners will find added support to strengthen their academic literacy skills with a language development program tailored to meet their individual needs.
Support Students in Need of Reading Intervention
Students in grades 3-12 who are already struggling will enhance their skills through a blended learning model provided by READ 180® and System 44®, the leading intervention programs proven to raise reading achievement. With this model, students benefit from small group instruction, skill-building on computers or tablets, independent reading time and more one-on-one time with their teachers, who can focus on the specific skills needed for advancement.
Increase Access to Books
Middle school students will receive customized book packs to take-home as part of a summer reading initiative to help them avoid the "summer slide"—the loss of literacy skills during summer months, which research has shown can be responsible for as much as 85% of the achievement gap between students from low-income and high-income families.
Elementary school students will continue to enjoy school-wide book fairs with high-interest and affordable titles from which they can personally choose the books they want to read.
Provide Professional Development for Teachers and Support for District and Building Leaders
In order to support the implementation of the new instructional programs for students, Asbury Park teachers will begin receiving training this spring.
Educators will receive ongoing professional learning and coaching throughout the year.
District leaders will receive support from thought leaders at the International Center for Leadership in Education to build sustainable systems that promote rigorous and relevant instructional practices and a student-centered culture of excellence and high expectations.
Engage the Community
To kick-start this initiative, the Asbury Park School District will host a Parent Literacy Conference on May 30 at the Asbury Park Middle School. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore the technology-based programs from Scholastic first-hand, join in conversations about literacy and celebrate the joy and importance of reading. All community members are welcome.
READ 180 will also be made available in Asbury Park School District's Second Chance Academy which supports adult students who have yet to complete their high school education. The District is also offering this opportunity to parents of all students in the community.