School year 2021-2022: How will NYC select students for literacy skills in grades K-2?

STATEN ISLAND, NY – As part of its commitment to early literacy in New York City schools, the city is investing in screening and intervention for 200,000 K-2 students .

The city announced that engagement is a critical area in the universal school recovery plan, unveiled in July with the aim of assessing the learning loss that every child has suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19 ).

The city is investing $ 49 million in funding for early literacy, with the goal of having all students read at grade level by the end of second grade. To do this, schools will use a universal literacy filter for all students in kindergarten to grade two, according to the city’s Department of Education (DOE).

Literacy experts told Chalkbeat that the filters are not designed to identify students at risk for dyslexia, but can identify learning gaps in skills that are often associated with common learning disability.

The reviewer is also expected to identify other printing challenges and handicaps. The schools will then implement intervention plans based on the results.

But experts say the success of the filters will depend on how schools use the information and the interventions they offer, according to Chalkbeat. While screening is important, implementation by schools and educators will be key, Sarah Part, policy analyst at Advocates for Children, told the outlet.

Chalkbeat said the city has earmarked $ 36 million for additional screening this year, including the cost of training teachers to use the screens. About $ 3 million of that total will be used for K-2 literacy assessments, media education officials said.

Literacy tests should be taken at least three times per school year. Older students in Grades 3 through 12 will also be tested throughout the year, using different assessments in English and math to allow educators to understand where students are and track their progress, according to Chalkbeat. .

The early literacy screening tool that is to be used by DOE schools is Acadience Reading, a latest version of a screening tool called Dibels (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills), Chalkbeat reported.

It tests young students on their ease in naming letters and their ability to pronounce letters. Another assessment asks students to read absurd words aloud to understand their decoding skills.

DOE officials told Chalkbeat that students identified as needing extra help will receive instruction at Orton-Gillingham several times a week, which is a multisensory, phonetic-based approach to teaching reading.

The DOE also plans to support schools throughout this literacy intervention process by increasing the number of universal literacy reading coaches to around 500. This will provide all grades of early childhood and early childhood. Kindergarten to Grade 2 literacy coach, as well as training for educators.

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Dwight E. Schulz