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Rochester City School District Adopts New K-5 Literacy Program

(June 16, 2020) The Rochester City School District is excited to announce the launch of a new, comprehensive, interactive K-5 literacy program that will excite students with real-world themes and diverse texts, helping them see themselves reflected in what they learn while achieving academic success. In selecting a K-5 literacy program, it was important to RCSD leaders, teachers, and parents that the program provide equitable access to high-quality literacy instruction for all students. In addition, the District wanted a program that supports a positive social-emotional classroom environment and embeds culturally responsive practices. 

When reviewing programs, all stakeholder groups unanimously selected Savvas Learning Company’s (formerly Pearson K12 Learning) myView Literacy© 2020, miVisión Lectura, and SuccessMaker® Reading in order to provide students content-rich material, delivered in a consistent learning environment that emphasizes collaboration, independence, and language development. Together, these English Language Arts (ELA) learning solutions were selected to meet the District’s goals of engaging all students with dynamic reading and writing experiences that help them meet the New York State Next Generation English Language Arts Learning Standards.

“We are excited to partner with Savvas Learning Company on the roll-out of our new student-centered, culturally responsive ELA and dual-language Spanish program that will fully meet the needs of our District’s diverse learners,” said Dr. Lesli Myers-Small, Superintendent of the Rochester City School District. “With the support of our great teachers and families, this ELA program will provide a consistent approach to help our K-5 students develop the essential skills of critical thinkers and the lifelong practices of readers and writers.”

The combined K-5 literacy program that RCSD is launching includes the following features:

  • myView Literacy, a blended (print and digital), interactive K-5 ELA solution that provides a balanced approach to the teaching of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.
  • miVisión Lectura, an equity-plus solution for K-5 Spanish literacy that is anchored by authentic Spanish-language texts.
  • SuccessMaker® Reading, a K-5 personalized, blended program designed to evaluate, support and challenge learners in a way that is right for them based upon actual performance.

In order to build collective teacher efficacy and ensure teachers are fully equipped to deliver high-quality instruction that meets individual student learning needs, District staff have been busy planning intentional professional learning for school leaders and teachers to help K-5 students meet standards and demonstrate the Hallmarks of the Advanced Literacies. To anchor this work, District leaders have been working directly with Savvas personalized services to develop an intentional, targeted plan for continuous professional learning, including initial program training that has already begun for District leaders, school leaders, and teachers. 

A member of the Savvas team will also work solely with RCSD for the next two years to support the implementation of the new literacy program. The Partnership Plus Education Specialist will work mainly with District leadership (supporting District Action Teams), School Chiefs, building Principals, and Learning Lab Classroom Teachers; provide training and coaching to school leaders and teachers; support the implementation of learning lab classrooms where all teachers can learn; and facilitate data cycles where teachers analyze student work.

The targeted training and support developed by this partnership will help enhance teachers’ instructional skills so that they can more effectively implement the new literacy program and provide a focus on ELA standards and pedagogy, culturally responsive instruction, and differentiation for students.

Dr. Karen Fahy, RCSD’s Executive Director of ELA/Integrated Literacy K-12, emphasized that the program’s connected Reading and Writing Workshops promote student interaction and independence, while focusing on teaching the standards, critical skills, and strategies that students need to become highly competent critical thinkers, readers, and writers.

“As we move to a comprehensive, cohesive, single District-wide literacy program, we will now be able to provide much-needed consistency to our K-5 students, while offering teachers extensive options to personalize instruction based on their students’ needs,” Fahy said. “This new engaging ELA program will allow our educators to deliver high-quality literacy instruction that helps our students elevate their voices and meet their academic goals.”