Book with words flowing out from pagesLiteracy refers to the ability of our students to read and write in any context and in any subject. This includes the ability to comprehend or understand information and communicate and use language for specific purposes. In SRSD, literacy is our first divisional priority, with a focus on increasing comprehension and the ability to use what students read to connect with life and school experiences, other people and ideas, and for the student to communicate his/her own ideas and learning.

To assess literacy growth, in fluency (ability to read) and comprehension (ability to read, to understand and to use what they are reading), teachers use a variety of assessments and observations to monitor student progress. All Gr. 1-9 SRSD teachers assess the reading level of their students a minimum of twice per year. Gr. 1-8 teachers also monitor student progress using the SRSD reading and writing continuums. In Kindergarten/Maternelle we use the BOEHM assessment tool to determine language readiness. At the Gr. 1 level (and Gr. 2 for French Immersion) we use the Marie Clay assessment as well as the Fountas and Pinnell (F&P) assessment.  Students in Grades 2-8 are also assessed using the Fountas & Pinnell assessment.

For more advanced readers at Middle Years, and for our Grade 9 students, we use the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI). In French Immersion, we assess the French reading level of grade 2 - 8 students twice a year using the GB+ program.  This is in addition to the provincial assessments for reading at grades 3, 4 (Immersion only), and 8. The results help individual teachers design learning experiences to meet the individual needs of their students. The results are also kept centrally to allow us to determine the areas of need and the trends in our students’ achievement across the division.

In addition to teacher-generated reading and writing strategies, our teachers use a variety of reading and writing programs such as the Daily 5/Café, 6+1 Writing Traits, F&P and Leveled Literacy Intervention System (LLI). Teachers receive training and support on an ongoing basis to engage our students in meaningful literacy work using fiction and non-fiction material. Our school division has also developed a writing folder for all Kindergarten to Grade 8 students so that writing progress is noted and celebrated. Strong literacy skills are a foundation for all other learning and communication.

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