PK-5 Grade Students to Begin Using Science of Reading
Posted on 07/29/2021
"Science of Reading" means evidence-based reading instruction practices that address the acquisition of language, phonological and phonemic awareness, phonics and spelling, fluency, vocabulary, oral language, and comprehension that can be differentiated to meet the needs of individual students. The science of reading is not just about phonics, though. An approach rooted in the science of reading supports children in becoming skilled word readers (teaching letters, sounds, and how they come together to make words) and in learning to comprehend text (understand the meaning).
During this summer, elementary teachers in Bladen County Schools, along with six other school districts in our region and thirty-one in the state, received training in LETRS - Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling. Bladen County Schools are part of the initial rollout and implementation of the Science of Reading for the 2021-2022 school year.
During the April 2021 legislative session, North Carolina legislators passed an act to modify the implementation of the Read to Achieve legislation in order to attain statewide reading proficiency by the third grade. SESSION LAW 2021-8 SENATE BILL 387 identifies educators as pivotal in the role of reading instruction and requires every PreK-fifth grade teacher to be highly equipped with the knowledge and skills to apply the science of reading. This legislation prioritizes the need for systemic and explicit reading instruction in the early grades and reinforcement of these practices in the higher grades. It also reiterates the need to provide additional support and offer intervention techniques for struggling students.
When students are strong readers, they’re prepared for success in school and in life. Strong reading skills serve as the foundation for future learning. They enable students to become strong leaders with bright futures. Reading on
grade level by the end of third grade is an important milestone. When students enter the fourth grade with strong reading skills, they are better positioned for success in the classroom, high school graduation, and readiness for college or a good job. In addition, instruction aligned to the science of reading promotes equity by providing all students with the tools and opportunities to decipher
language through reading.
This student-centered legislation will ensure children develop the skills and techniques needed to become successful readers, through proven, evidence-based practices. North Carolina will write a new chapter, with a renewed focus on instruction, to create a new future for our state and improve outcomes for all students.
North Carolina continues to acknowledge that reading is the foundation for student success and maintains that a student’s ability to read proficiently by third grade is a critical milestone. As reading is the gateway to lifelong achievement; North Carolina students deserve a strong start on their path to success.