Reading Program Description
The Pittsford Central School District strives to help students become proficient and enthusiastic readers and writers. To this end, Pittsford offers a language arts support program that supplements classroom instruction at the five elementary schools, the middle schools, and the high schools.
A student at the elementary level is identified as needing support based on:
•Performance on standardized reading/writing tests, including New York State assessments;
•Rating on the Pittsford Developmental Writing Continuum;
•Recommendation by the Instructional Support Team or the Pupil Services Team.
At the Middle School level, criteria for Academic Intervention Services determine whether a student is eligible for Reading/Writing support. The identification process is based on a review of:
•history of prior Reading/Writing service,
•standardized assessment results.
Certified reading specialists provide reading/writing support services. They are assisted by paraprofessionals.
Relation of Reading Support to General Classroom Instruction
Reading/writing support reinforces classroom instruction. Classroom teachers and reading specialists work and plan together to establish instructional goals for students who receive support.
Delivery of Services
Support may be delivered using a variety of models:
•Push-in - individual or small group in the classroom;
•Pull-out - individual or small group in an alternate setting;
•Whole group - team teaching with the classroom teacher;
•Consultant teacher - reading specialist serves as an advisor to the classroom teacher.
The amount of support varies by student need and grade level. Service typically ranges from two to five times each week for 30 to 40 minutes per session.
Support and reinforcement include teaching students the following:
•Word-solving - strategies for recognizing and writing words;
•High frequency words - words that appear frequently in oral and written language, to be learned
in order to move fluently and effortlessly through the reading and writing process;
•Comprehension - strategies that enable the reader to make sense of a variety of text;
•Written expression - essential writing skills and strategies to clearly communicate words,
phrases, and sentences in an organized manner to a variety of audiences;
•Strategies to improve study, organizational, and test-taking skills.
The reading specialist’s additional responsibilities include:
•Conducting diagnostic testing and teaching;
•Screening new students;
•Participating on the Instructional Support and/or Pupil Services Teams;
•Conferring and consulting with parents;
•Serving as a resource for staff and administrators.
Student progress is monitored throughout the year. Formal and informal assessments identify student strengths and weaknesses. Appropriate teaching techniques are then developed. Standardized tests are administered yearly. Students may move out of the program if they score above the district reference point and continue to be successful in their general classroom performance.
The Pittsford Central School District encourages parents and teachers to work together to promote student learning. The reading specialist contacts parents when students need reading/writing services. The specialist and the parents communicate through conferences, telecommunications, and progress reports. The reading department uses a monthly newsletter to provide reading tips to parents of both elementary and middle school students. These newsletters are Parents Make a Difference, elementary level, and Parents Still Make a Difference, middle school level.