ACS strengthening reading programs, adding dyslexia support
Published 12:26 pm Wednesday, January 13, 2016
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – The Alabaster City School System recently took the first step toward updating its reading programs at all schools, and approved the purchase of a program aimed at helping students affected by dyslexia.
The city’s Board of Education voted unanimously during its Jan. 11 meeting to purchase about $110,000 worth of reading materials to go into classrooms in the school system’s elementary schools, and voted to purchase materials to implement an intervention program for students struggling with reading.
ACS acting Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Mark Gray said the new reading materials will be in-place in the classrooms by the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. The school system’s Coordinator of Exceptional Education Dr. Keri Johnson said the intervention program will be implemented by late January.
Gray said the new materials will replace aging reading materials at Creek View Elementary and Meadow View Elementary, and were purchased after gathering input from teachers and administrators and after reviewing test scores.
“These are new reading materials to replace materials we have now that are quite old,” Gray said.
The new reading materials will be used in the classroom to foster small-group reading exercises.
“It will make sure the students are looking very deeply at what they’re reading so they have a better understanding,” Gray said. “We will do professional development with the teachers, and some of the materials will go into use by the spring. It will be fully implemented for the next school year.”
By adding the intervention program at the schools, Johnson said ACS will be able to better support students who are having difficulty reading.
“It can be used for all kids who have a reading disability, but it’s focused on kids in our system who are struggling with reading because of dyslexic tendencies,” Johnson said. “This is specialized intervention to help the students overcome those dyslexic tendencies.”
Gray said the new materials purchased on Jan. 11 were the first step toward updating the reading programs at all Alabaster schools over the next few years.