NR-W Elementary gets students reading early and often

Developing literacy skills has become an area of “hyper-focus” for educators, administrators and parents at North Rose-Wolcott Elementary School, as the district responds to overwhelming evidence showing a connection between early reading and scholastic achievement.

NRWE recently instituted a strategic action plan working towards the goal of having all students reading on or above grade level by the end of second grade. To support this goal, the school has added six reading teachers to its faculty in recent years.

“Its evidence of the commitment by the district to bolster students with those critical skills for life-long literacy,” said NRWE Principal Melissa Pietricola.

Mastering grade-level reading material by the end of second grade is critically important as students move on in their academic careers.

In third grade, students begin to shift from learning how to read – studying spelling, decoding and vocabulary – to reading for information and understanding concepts in subjects like science and social studies.

For its earliest students, NRWE has established a Kindergarten reading community, known as K-Lab, which helps students focus on concepts of printed texts, letter identification, sound recognition and fine motors skills like hand writing.

Students rotate through the K-Lab with certified reading teachers, early reading interventionists, a speech pathology teacher and a physical or occupational therapist.

“The lessons are really purposefully designed and integrated,” said Pietricola. “Literacy is a hyper-focus for our district.”