Developing a culture of literacy and improving literacy instruction and learning across the content areas must be our number one priority. This culture of literacy is to permeate the district, our families and inclusively, the engagement of the community of Wilkinsburg.
Wilkinsburg School District will be studying and defining the Pennsylvania Keystones to Opportunity (KTO) application for the district and its schools at every educational level.
To facilitate the development and implementation of the KTO Comprehensive Literacy Plan for the district, we accepted PDE’s invitation to develop a full proposal application for an award from the state’s $38m competitive grant process.
The district submitted its $886,696 proposal on Thursday, March 15, a day ahead of the grant submission deadline. For purposes of the Comprehensive Literacy Plan for the district, its school and the KTO grant, WSD’s Literacy Initiative will target Learn to Read by the end of grade 2, Read in grade 3 and Read to learn in grades 4-8.
The district will be introducing and growing a culture of literacy via transitions (especially listening and speaking), reading, discussing and writing about respect, leadership, learning behaviors, how to study and learn, choosing and doing the right thing and school spirit in the buildings. It will strengthen teachers’ instructional practices and deepen their content knowledge through intense professional development and engagement in professional learning communities. It will also increase their effective understanding and use of date to guide their instructional decisions and verbal and written feedback to each student.
The district will focus on building a data culture and aggressive intervention and progress-monitoring system that is articulated in and across all grades and facilitated by technology. Reading intervention will be provided for struggling readers in Pre-K–2 via Fountas Pinnell and grades 3-6 via SpellRead and reading interventionist; and continuing reading intervention in the Middle School via Language! with the added support of the content area interventionist. Grades 4-8 will focus on non-fiction and academic reading, comprehension, writing and speaking in science and social studies.
In the district’s process to improve students’ literacy learning and achievement, proficient and advanced readers will be challenged to broaden, deepen and apply their learnings from reading and discussing advanced selections across all content areas. High School students will be better prepared to expand their knowledge and information base reading interesting, complex and advanced nonfiction selections in all genres across all content areas to develop their own theories of understanding through advanced research, writings and presentations to hone their higher-level thinking skills and craft personal and convincing deliveries.