Valentine’s Day brings East Lansing public schools a core reading program

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By Mariah Montenegro
Entirely East Lansing staff writer

Valentine’s Day was not the typical romantic holiday with chocolates and flowers at the East Lansing Board of Education meeting.

On Feb 14, the Board voted to implement a structured core reading program into the curriculum.

Up to this point, the East Lansing school system had “no reading material” said Marble Elementary Mathematics teacher Dave Price.

The school board was willing to change this. Introducing a new core reading program, Reading Street, was approved and will continue in development at a meeting Tuesday March 1.  

Members of the East Lansing school board

Starting in the fall of 2011, the East Lansing Public School System will introduce teachers, students and families to the Reading Street program. This program is being introduced in hopes to increase students current reading achievements.

According to East Lansing Public Schools Superintendent David Chapin, Reading Street was the only core reading program the district considered. “There were a variety of different reasons why it was time to change the core,” he said “Now was the time.”

At the Board meeting on Jan 24, teachers at different schools advocated that something had to change with the reading program. Some teachers and principals were on the panel which presented the core reading program update. They emphasized on the lack of time spent on Language Arts and Reading.

Lynne Clyma, first grade teacher at Marble Elementary who spoke at the board meeting, said “We have in class reading from 9:30 to 10:30.” With the new core, 90 minutes will be spent as a reading block and instruction time with an additional 60 minutes of reading and writing.  

According to Reading Street representatives, after implementing this program 20% of students who showed risk have a catch up rate and a growth in improvements.

Although this is a labor and time intensive process, the East Lansing public school system is moving forward to positively change current reading statistics in the district. The program will implement positive behavior universal language and the chance to evaluate students.

The core reading program will be for kindergarten through sixth grade.

This is not the first core change the East Lansing Public School District has had. Chapin explained how the most recent change was established to have a common math program. “More possible changes are coming in the future,” he said.

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