Hamilton Grade 1 students nearing reading target

News Oct 25, 2019 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

Despite once again falling shy, Hamilton’s public school board has taken a big step toward a goal of having of having 75 per cent of Grade 1 students reading at the provincial standard by their final report cards.

The latest annual Student Learning and Achievement Report shows that 71 per cent of first graders achieved the desired B-minus or better in June, up five percentage points from last year and 10 points from 2017.

Senior administrators told trustees in April they were confident students would hit the 75 per cent success target in June, a forecast board chair Alex Johnstone called “high, high hopes” given past results.

Associate director Peter Sovran said this year’s improvement is nonetheless a reason for celebration because research shows that students able to read by the end of Grade 1 do much better academically and socially as they progress through school.

“Reading is an extraordinarily complex skill that must be taught. If it’s not taught, it’s never learned,” he told trustees at the board’s Oct. 22 program committee meeting.

“If we look back at many of the students who are struggling and don’t end up graduating, one key variable when we dial back is that their literacy acquisition has not been what we wanted in terms of reaching those key milestones.”

Program superintendent Bill Torrens credited the better results in part to a 2017 strategy to deploy reading specialists to work with teachers and students at all but 20 elementary schools, and consultants at the remainder.

He said that administrators and teachers are also better monitoring students’ progress to identify areas where they need extra help.

“We know where kids are and we know where we need to take them next,” he said.

Torrens said other contributing factors include having Grade 1 students start their day with 100 minutes of uninterrupted literacy work, whether as a class, in groups or individually.

Kindergarten teachers are also expected to incorporate phonics — learning how groups of letters translate into sounds and words — into play-based activities, he said.

As in the past, students at 20 high-priority schools in areas with higher poverty rates didn’t do as well, with 62 per cent getting a B-minus in June.

But that’s also a marked improvement, up six percentage points from the year before and 14 points from 2017.

Torrens said the reading strategy is providing extra resources to high priority schools, including early childhood educators for all kindergarten classes.

“Also, fundamentally, we continue to ensure that we have good fits as school leaders, our principals and vice-principals,” he said.

Hamilton Grade 1 students nearing reading target

June report cards show 71 per cent hit provincial standard

News Oct 25, 2019 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

Despite once again falling shy, Hamilton’s public school board has taken a big step toward a goal of having of having 75 per cent of Grade 1 students reading at the provincial standard by their final report cards.

The latest annual Student Learning and Achievement Report shows that 71 per cent of first graders achieved the desired B-minus or better in June, up five percentage points from last year and 10 points from 2017.

Senior administrators told trustees in April they were confident students would hit the 75 per cent success target in June, a forecast board chair Alex Johnstone called “high, high hopes” given past results.

Associate director Peter Sovran said this year’s improvement is nonetheless a reason for celebration because research shows that students able to read by the end of Grade 1 do much better academically and socially as they progress through school.

“Reading is an extraordinarily complex skill that must be taught. If it’s not taught, it’s never learned,” he told trustees at the board’s Oct. 22 program committee meeting.

“If we look back at many of the students who are struggling and don’t end up graduating, one key variable when we dial back is that their literacy acquisition has not been what we wanted in terms of reaching those key milestones.”

Program superintendent Bill Torrens credited the better results in part to a 2017 strategy to deploy reading specialists to work with teachers and students at all but 20 elementary schools, and consultants at the remainder.

He said that administrators and teachers are also better monitoring students’ progress to identify areas where they need extra help.

“We know where kids are and we know where we need to take them next,” he said.

Torrens said other contributing factors include having Grade 1 students start their day with 100 minutes of uninterrupted literacy work, whether as a class, in groups or individually.

Kindergarten teachers are also expected to incorporate phonics — learning how groups of letters translate into sounds and words — into play-based activities, he said.

As in the past, students at 20 high-priority schools in areas with higher poverty rates didn’t do as well, with 62 per cent getting a B-minus in June.

But that’s also a marked improvement, up six percentage points from the year before and 14 points from 2017.

Torrens said the reading strategy is providing extra resources to high priority schools, including early childhood educators for all kindergarten classes.

“Also, fundamentally, we continue to ensure that we have good fits as school leaders, our principals and vice-principals,” he said.

Hamilton Grade 1 students nearing reading target

June report cards show 71 per cent hit provincial standard

News Oct 25, 2019 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

Despite once again falling shy, Hamilton’s public school board has taken a big step toward a goal of having of having 75 per cent of Grade 1 students reading at the provincial standard by their final report cards.

The latest annual Student Learning and Achievement Report shows that 71 per cent of first graders achieved the desired B-minus or better in June, up five percentage points from last year and 10 points from 2017.

Senior administrators told trustees in April they were confident students would hit the 75 per cent success target in June, a forecast board chair Alex Johnstone called “high, high hopes” given past results.

Associate director Peter Sovran said this year’s improvement is nonetheless a reason for celebration because research shows that students able to read by the end of Grade 1 do much better academically and socially as they progress through school.

“Reading is an extraordinarily complex skill that must be taught. If it’s not taught, it’s never learned,” he told trustees at the board’s Oct. 22 program committee meeting.

“If we look back at many of the students who are struggling and don’t end up graduating, one key variable when we dial back is that their literacy acquisition has not been what we wanted in terms of reaching those key milestones.”

Program superintendent Bill Torrens credited the better results in part to a 2017 strategy to deploy reading specialists to work with teachers and students at all but 20 elementary schools, and consultants at the remainder.

He said that administrators and teachers are also better monitoring students’ progress to identify areas where they need extra help.

“We know where kids are and we know where we need to take them next,” he said.

Torrens said other contributing factors include having Grade 1 students start their day with 100 minutes of uninterrupted literacy work, whether as a class, in groups or individually.

Kindergarten teachers are also expected to incorporate phonics — learning how groups of letters translate into sounds and words — into play-based activities, he said.

As in the past, students at 20 high-priority schools in areas with higher poverty rates didn’t do as well, with 62 per cent getting a B-minus in June.

But that’s also a marked improvement, up six percentage points from the year before and 14 points from 2017.

Torrens said the reading strategy is providing extra resources to high priority schools, including early childhood educators for all kindergarten classes.

“Also, fundamentally, we continue to ensure that we have good fits as school leaders, our principals and vice-principals,” he said.