Countywide Literacy Programs
Project Criss Website Project Criss was evaluated and the decision was made not to continue with this program.
Instructional approaches in teaching reading and writing at the elementary level vary across the county from school to school and teacher to teacher. In order to reach consensus about best practice in the area of literacy, the Consortium on Reading Excellence (CORE) was identified as a valuable resource in assisting elementary leaders in defining effective literacy practices. HCPS administrators, central office personnel, and teachers used the concepts from the work of this Consortium in order to define what best practice in the county is.
Students at the secondary level also need support in literacy skill development. This is critical to their success in all core areas because of the heavy dependence on reading and writing skills.
In August, 2007, all elementary principals participated in a two-day training around the concepts from the Consortium on Reading Excellence (CORE). This created a common vocabulary around literacy and began a rich dialogue on the topic with regard to practice in HCPS. The Elementary Literacy Plan and a PowerPoint presentation will be provided to each elementary principal in August 2007, for the purpose of utilizing them with school faculties. The literacy leader in each building (the principal) will be leading the staff development on Oct. 8 around CORE ideas. They will also work with their staff to determine where the school is on the continuum of best practice. There will be a significant focus on observation and feedback around the teaching of reading and writing during the 2007-2008 year. (CORE website: http://www.corelearn.com/)
At both the elementary and secondary level Project CRISS has been piloted as a program with the potential to provide students with literacy and learning strategies that will make them successful. Other programs and strategies will be explored over the six-year plan.
Timeline for this Initiative:
2008-09 Advanced Language Arts and the William & Mary Integrated Curriculum
In the 2008-2009 school year, 6th grade advanced language arts teachers will begin teaching a new advanced program of studies. The curriculum is based on the Integrated Curriculum Framework from the William and Mary Center for Gifted Education. This curriculum will be woven into the existing pacing guide to extend the learning opportunities for those students taking advanced language arts in 6th grade.
The Curriculum Framework:
Specifically, the units designed for language arts “develop students' skills in literary analysis and interpretation, persuasive writing, linguistic competency, and oral communication, as well as to strengthen students' reasoning skills and understanding of the concept of change” (http://cfge.wm.edu/curr_language.htm). The Unit of Study entitled “Autobiographies” was chosen as the basis for the 6th grade curriculum. This unit most closely aligns with the newly adopted 6th grade language arts textbooks.
Introducing the Curriculum to HCPS:
Implementation of the Curriculum: