2013 Pathways to the Prize - District Winners - Page 14

Pathways to the Prize Lessons from the 2011 SCORE Prize District Winner Pathways to the Prize Lessons from the 2011 SCORE Prize District Winner High School, all teachers were trained in reading instruction, and teachers in the English, science, and social studies departments learned a set of effective instructional strategies for teaching high school students how to be better readers. The school redesigned its approach to literacy instruction, implementing a required half-credit reading class for all sophomores, a strategic reading class for any student performing below grade level in reading, and an analytic reading class for students who score at or above grade level reading. The analytic reading class teaches students to create complex text that features higher order thinking, similar to the types of writing required for the ACT and SAT. In grade 9, the district has also provided remediation for struggling readers through a pull-out program. Teachers from multiple content areas, including English, math, and science, provide remediation both for reading and developing student skills in time management and organization. planning, discuss any emerging instructional issues, and address any individual student needs that are discovered. Several times a year, teachers meet in cross-grade level teams to discuss alignment and other topics and concerns. Teachers consider PLCs vital to effective teaching. Teachers often turn to each other if they notice their students are not responding well to teaching or mastering lesson objectives. “We have open communication around here, and teachers share their concerns and help each other,” assistant principal Maelea Galyon said. “A concern is not seen as an individual teacher’s fault, but as a problem that needs to be collectively solved. We open our doors, talk about everything, and target our weaknesses. Teachers act as a team.” Math and science: Over two years, math workshops featured visualizing math, problem solving, mental math, and reading as critical c