The Literacy Associate Program at White Oaks:
Early Intervention for Reading Support
All of the schools in San Carlos maintain programs to address the needs of struggling readers, with the goal of supporting every child's academic success. Here at White Oaks, our Literacy Associate provides that valuable service.
The program consists of pull out instruction for students who have been identified as performing below grade level in reading, providing immediate additional support when it is required. The goal is to eliminate gaps in student learning that might otherwise grow into more challenging reading difficulties. Students enter and exit the flexible program as their performance dictates; at any given time, our Literacy Associates serves approximately ten percent of our student population.
Our Literacy Associate works with selected students four days a week for 30-minute sessions, providing two hours of individualized reading remediation per week. They communicate regularly with classroom teachers about their pupils, are available to attend Student Success Team (SST) meetings, and provide data for parents and teachers to measure student progress.
Emphasizing earliest intervention, our Literacy Associate focuses first on struggling Kindergarten and First Grade students. Identification of students in need of Literacy support is determined by classroom teacher referral and by school-wide Kindergarten and First Grade "DIBELS Benchmark" assessments (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) conducted in September, January, and May.
Once in the program, each student's progress is regularly monitored using specific DIBELS assessments. This makes the program flexible and efficient, capable of serving and releasing many students over the course of each year. Children who are shown to be performing at grade level are exited, making room for students newly identified as needing support to be entered into the program.
The focus of each Literacy session is determined by the needs of the students being served. Emerging readers are taught segmenting and blending skills, sound-symbol relationships (phonics), word attack skills, and accuracy and fluency in reading text. Developing readers learn to observe punctuation, develop their vocabulary, and improve their reading comprehension. Students are taught to read and spell high frequency words for their grade levels. Research-based materials are used, including the interventions materials newly adopted by the district in 2009-10 for use in classrooms, Literacy Associate programs, and Special Education settings.
On an as-needed basis, students identified as "Beginning" English Language Learners by the California Early Language Development Test (CELDT) may also work with our Literacy Associate using Language For Learning, a district-adopted structured language program addressing concepts important to both oral and written language.