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Empowering Young Readers: RCSD’s Literacy Initiative

Empowering Young Readers: RCSD’s Literacy Initiative

The Clifford School classroom buzzed with excitement as kindergarten students gathered on the colorful rug, their eyes wide with anticipation. Their teacher, Ms. Metro, sat at the front, a big smile on her face holding her hands up as she explained the rules of the rollercoaster game they were about to play. Each student wiggled with excitement, eager for the signal to begin their rollercoaster journey.

Promoting a culture of academic achievement and student-centered learning, tailored literacy instruction is reaching young readers across Redwood City School District (RCSD). These targeted interventions are designed to address individual learning needs, complementing the daily curriculum.

RCSD’s Literacy Initiative is in place to ensure that every child receives the support they need to excel academically.

At the heart of RCSD’s initiative lies the Learner Framework, a blueprint for cultivating Empowered Learners, Knowledge Constructors, Effective Collaborators, and Creative Communicators. As RCSD students navigate their literacy journey, they not only master essential skills, but also embody the spirit of lifelong learning.

Tailoring instruction to students’ needs begins with assessment.

Following a scope and sequence, students are assessed on the skills that they have learned and practiced in class. Students who have not yet mastered those skills receive additional instruction and practice during dedicated targeted skill time.

During this dedicated time, teachers use routines, resources, and instructional sequences that include multiple modes of representation and expression so that students can access the information and demonstrate their learning.

Teachers, administrators, and Reading Specialists across RCSD have received continued professional development, such as the California Reading and Literature Project (CRLP) training which covers Science of Reading and Structured Literacy. Teachers can adapt these researched-based, interdisciplinary approaches to district-adopted curriculum and resources.

Clifford Kindergarten Teacher Erica Metro Leads her Students in a Classroom Lesson

Clifford Kindergarten Teacher Erica Metro leads the “rollercoaster” game in which students slowly raise their hands together identifying the sound in the middle of words as they get to the top of their rollercoaster ride

In addition to science-backed curriculum, students practice skill sets needed through a variety of programs, according to their individual needs, to give them the boosts to instruction fit just to them.

In small groups, growth can be measured frequently. Teachers and students can integrate these gains with the district’s reflection and goal setting cycles, promoting student ownership of their learning and boosting confidence.

Clifford Students Use their "Letter Trays" to Build Word Blends

Using their “letter trays”, Clifford Kindergarten students build word blends. In this specific lesson, they are building words with the letter “R”