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U46 board looking at literacy program for schools

To ensure students in need of academic intervention in reading and math across all grade levels receive support this school year, the U46 Board of Education is weighing the prospect of purchasing Leveled Literacy Intervention program materials.

The measure intends to fill district’s needs for reading resource material in grades 3-6. The board already purchased kits for students in grades K-2 last year.

Trisha Shrode, director of curriculum and instruction, said these kits are hoped to meet the needs of students as they enter intermediate grade levels.

“They’re comprised of teaching materials to guide the teacher in supporting students, as well as four packs of leveled books with other materials to support students that struggle with reading concepts and reading comprehension,” she said.

Board member Sue Kerr questioned the rationale behind purchasing the kits, saying that officials already approved a similar contract last year.

“A lot of people talked about it being gold system or teal system,” she said. “Are these, like, multiple classroom sets?”

Shrode tried to explain that a Leveled Intervention Literacy program is comprised of kits that are level-based.

“The colors indicate the grade levels,” she said. “Different colors are representing different grade levels. When I said that primary kits were purchased last year...the intermediate kits are being purchased this year. The red, the teal and the others they’re intermediate, so they’re third through sixth grade and these are kits of materials.”

Shrode said she would like to see more schools take advantage of the resource.

“Originally, schools were budgeted a per pupil amount over time for multi-tiered systems of support,” Shrode said. “Many schools chose to purchase these kits. We realized and we supplied data that showed that schools that were using them with banality had really strong student response.”

Shrode, noting that not all schools were putting the kits to use, said the district is looking to change that.

Shrode said the Leveled Literacy Intervention program has proven to be more effective among participating schools, compared to other methods tried over the years.

“We decided as a group that we really needed to make certain that all schools had access,” she said. “We surveyed and inventoried each of the schools to see which schools had what and what’s missing. That’s why last year we added to primary kits, and this year we’re adding to intermediate to make sure that all schools have access to one of each kit.”

The U46 board will act on the proposal to purchase Leveled Literacy Intervention program materials at Monday’s meeting.

If approved, the district will pay Heinemann Publishing for the printed resource, valued at 113,250, using monies allotted in the educational fund.

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