For Hometown News
ST. LUCIE COUNTY -- One St. Lucie County public elementary school will be required to meet the legislative mandate to provide an additional hour of reading instruction for students for the 2013-14 school year.
It was one of 101 schools statewide ranked the lowest in a combination of the percentage of students scoring at grade level on the reading portion of the Florida comprehensive Assessment Test, and the percentage of students showing annual learning gains in 2012-13, according to results released by the Florida Department of Education.
St. Lucie Elementary School fell within the statewide range in their 2012-13 FCAT results, and will be required to meet the second year of mandated additional instructional time enacted by the Florida legislature in 2012. An hour will be added at the end of the normal school day for intensive, research-based reading instruction for all students at the school whose parents choose for their child to participate in the program.
Those students currently eligible for transportation will continue to be provided service at the adjusted schedule. Parents have been notified by a letter and phone call from the school.
Teachers or reading specialists with evidence of prior success teaching reading to struggling readers as indicated by various assessment data and student work samples over time will be eligible for the extended instruction time with preference given to highly qualified K-5 teachers who are Reading Certified or Endorsed, according to guidelines from the Florida Department of Education. Expertise in tailoring instruction to meet individual students' needs as well as in accelerating their learning, and evidence that each teacher providing reading instruction is "highly effective," is also stipulated in the guidelines.
Specified instructional strategies include phonemic awareness, phonics, word analysis, sight recognition of high frequency words, oral language comprehension, and writing tasks that are embedded in vocabulary and comprehension instruction. There are no additional funds provided to the district by the state to support the compulsory services.
The district must also create a reading schedule that facilitates interactive challenging instruction, according to the state criteria. Small group instruction must be part of the extended hour, with formative assessments with writing to support comprehension and verified with data logs. Legislation also requires that districts submit to FLDOE summary information, including funding sources, expenditures and student outcomes for the initiative for the 2013-14 school year by Sept. 30, 2014.