Improving student achievement through choice

eschoolnews | January 18, 2019

Exeter (CA) Unified School District is a small, rural district with approximately 2,800 students, 61 percent of whom are Hispanic and 62 percent of whom are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Approximately one in seven of our students are English language learners. When we looked at our reading and math scores a few years back, we found that we weren’t seeing the growth we were hoping to see. With a renewed focus on the basics of literacy and math, a technology infusion, and a dedication to dialogue over rote memorization, here’s how we helped our students find the success and achievement they deserve.Exeter is a standards-driven district, so when we decided to focus on literacy, we knew we weren’t going to adopt a publisher’s curriculum. Instead, we designed our own units of study and pulled in supplemental materials to align to our state’s standards. We brought in close-reading strategies, started an academic coaching program for teachers, and launched reading interventions and guided reading groups.

Spotlight

The goals of schooling have changed radically in the past 150 years. Consider the notion of literacy. The ability to sign your name made you literate in colonial times; in the 1800s, you’d reach the same designation if you could recite a few memorized lines of the Declaration of Independence. Around the time of World War I, a new demand for literacy from the US Army shifted the definition of literacy to focus on the ability to make sense of technical manuals in new contexts.

Spotlight

The goals of schooling have changed radically in the past 150 years. Consider the notion of literacy. The ability to sign your name made you literate in colonial times; in the 1800s, you’d reach the same designation if you could recite a few memorized lines of the Declaration of Independence. Around the time of World War I, a new demand for literacy from the US Army shifted the definition of literacy to focus on the ability to make sense of technical manuals in new contexts.

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