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  • School board needs parental input on proposed changes to reading program

By Myrna Trauntvein
Times-News Correspondent

One program needs to be addressed by the Juab School District Board of Education and that is a new Kindergarten to Third Grade Reading Program but parent input is greatly needed in order to implement it, if at all.
"We need to consider changing the time the classes will meet," said Jim Shank, superintendent. "We are pleased to present a proposed change to our Kindergarten through 3rd grade (K-3) reading program."
The proposed changes, he said, were being presented as a method to increase early reading proficiency and in response to Utah House Bill 513, Reading Intervention Software.
A Literacy Intervention program will help teachers continuously synchronize reading intervention with students' changing needs.
"A change in the instructional time," said Shank, "will have no effect on transportation."
"We propose the following changes to our K-3 reading program," said Shank.
We will add 30 minutes to kindergarten instructional time.
"As a result, morning kindergarten will be extended 30 minutes and afternoon kindergarten will begin 30 minutes earlier," he said. "These additional minutes will be spent on targeted reading instruction using the Imagine Learning curriculum.
Imagine Learning is a computer adaptive program that supports remediation and enrichment for all children.
Under the direction of a teacher and instructional assistant, students will work through each research-based learning module.
"The additional instructional time will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday," said Shank. "Early Release Thursdays will remain on the traditional kindergarten schedule."
The district is also proposing implementing the Burst Early Literacy curriculum into the K-3 reading program. Burst is designed to support teachers in progress monitoring and targeted reading instruction.
"We propose to begin the proposed changes October 29, 2012, first day of second quarter," said Shank.
Cheryl Kay, board member, said that some parents had talked to her about problems this schedule might cause for working mothers since they already had their babysitting schedules lined up for the year.
It was suggested that the board and the administration go to the parent boards and ask what they thought about the change.
As this proposal changes the kindergarten instructional schedule, the district is seeking input.
Those who have concerns are asked to discuss these changes with the elementary school principals, K-3 teachers, elementary Parent Advisory Council, school board members, Shank, and other district employees associated with these grade levels.
"Parent feedback is important and we look forward to hearing from our parents," Shank said.
Imagine Learning is a language and literacy solution, providing award-winning educational software to hundreds of thousands of students in schools across the United States and around the world.
Students receive one-on-one instruction through thousands of engaging activities specifically designed to meet their individual needs and provide real results.
"The headsets needed are quite expensive," said Shank. "A request for proposal (RFP) was issued for suppliers to respond."
Not only are students receiving the one-on-one instruction directly with the computer program, but there are also printouts for teachers to work on individually with the students. Students are not only reading, but also writing. It provides multiple layers of intervention that are then reflected in the classroom.
"I think this will represent another arrow in the quiver," said Dale Whitlock, board president. "It could be a great tool in helping the students of our district."
Burst Reading provides clear analysis and recommendations for high-quality reading instruction designed to develop skills with increasing difficulty until students master them.
This makes it easier for teachers to differentiate instruction that builds a foundation for students to read with comprehension.
"Teachers deliver this differentiated instruction in 30-minute interactive lessons that keep students engaged, inspired, and ready to learn," said Shank.