Washington School for Comprehensive Literacy is getting national attention for the success that it is having with its students. As a Comprehensive Literacy School, the school's focus is on the reading and comprehension goals of the students, and their ability to attain life-long reading and comprehension skills.
Washington's reading coaches were asked by the International Reading Association to be part of their book on RTI that will be coming out in early May. Washington is one of only four schools in the nation that will be highlighted in the book, "Successful Approaches to RTI: Collaborative Practices for Implementing K-12 Literacy." Kathryn Meyer, K - 2 literacy coach and reading specialist, and Brian Reindl, grades 3 - 5 literacy coach, contributed the entire chapter five of the book.
In Chapter 5, titled "Assessment Wall as an RTI Method," Meyer and Reindl explain Washington School for Comprehensive Literacy's tool used to assess each student's reading. Two excerpts from chapter 5 include:
"The assessment wall is a critical component of our RTI (Response To Intervention) assessment method. It is based on a portfolio of assessments (largely formative) that reflect students' learning on curriculum-based tasks. The wall provides the school with a way to make the data visible, and it promotes problem-solving discussions about how students are responding to instruction.
The wall serves three purposes as an assessment method:
- Monitoring the progress of individual students,
- Monitoring the progress of particular subgroups, and
- Monitoring the progress of the school's literacy program for increasing overall literacy achievement."
"We developed a portfolio of interventions that is used by everyone in our school. This allows us to talk the same language and collaborate on providing interventions. Every intervention takes advantage of the reciprocity of reading and writing by including a writing component to accelerate growth. Through our training in CIM (Comprehensive Intervention Model), we have listed the interventions in our portfolio and identified the role of reading instruction and the role of writing instruction for each. Classroom teachers, intervention teachers, ELL (English Language Learners) teachers, and special education teachers collaborate at intervention meetings to choose the appropriate intervention or interventions for each student."
Meyer and Reindl submitted the following conclusion:
"Our school's journey began with the desire to closely examine the way we were teaching reading and writing so that we could improve our instruction and positively affect student achievement. As we implement RTI, we are finding many more opportunities to reflect on our own instruction. The systems we have put in place to implement RTI are only as good as the teachers who are providing the classroom and intervention instruction. An absolutely critical part of our RTI plan is ongoing, job-embedded professional development with the goal of increasing teacher expertise. We have stated several times that teacher observation and decision-making are paramount to our model. Consequently, our school has a huge responsibility to provide teachers with ongoing opportunities to collaborate and deepen their understanding of how students learn to read and write."
Co-authors of the book, "Successful Approaches to RTI: Collaborative Practices for Implementing K-12 Literacy," pose fora picture. The book is scheduled to come out in early May.
Shown from left to right are Dr. Linda Dorn, Director of the Center for Literacy, University of Arkansas,
Little Rock (co-creator of the Comprehensive Literacy Model and the
Comprehensive Intervention Model and co-author of chapter 4 with Shannon Henderson), Kathryn Meyer,
Washington K-2 literacy coach and reading specialist, Brian Reindl, Washington grades 3-5 literacy coach,
Shannon Henderson, Clinical Literacy Coach, Center for Literacy, University of Arkansas, Little Rock
(co-author of chapter 4 with Dorn), Marjorie Y. Lipsom, Professor Emeritus of Education in the College of
Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont, Burlington, and Karen K. Wixson,
Professor of Education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Lipsom and Wixson co-edited the book
and are the co-chairs of the Response to Intervention Commission of the International Reading Association.