Spicewood Park Elementary is embedding research-based instruction in their school culture.
All teachers at Spicewood Park are learning to use science-based reading instruction (SBRI) in their kindergarten through 5th grade classrooms. Reading researchers agree that supporting teachers through SBRI training and ongoing professional coaching helps even the most struggling students learn to read.
"We are excited to be a part of this process,” said principal Krista Nail of Spicewood Park Elementary School. “We are committed to being the best educators in San Antonio, and to helping SAReads develop a plan that is good for all children.”
Teachers at Spicewood Park began their journey to become a literacy campus with an intensive 3-day professional development workshop by UT Austin’s Institute for Public School Initiatives (IPSI) in June. All teachers and instructional support staff participated in the training.
Throughout the school year teachers receive additional professional development, support and coaching from SAReads and ELAR Specialist Shannon Abercrombie from ESC Region 20. SAReads will continue to support this campus-wide initiative until all teachers on campus are comfortable using the specialized SBRI techniques in their classrooms. Teachers are immersed in learning the five components of reading instruction: phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency. Spicewood Park’s campus-wide literacy support system follows their students to every class. Students who require extra reading assistance receive SBRI tutoring from the SAReads Tutor Corps. Teachers and students receive books from the SAReads Book Bank.
In collaboration with Southwest ISD administrators, SAReads monitors the impact of reading instruction on student reading outcomes. A five-year research project funded by the U.S. Department of Education demonstrated that improving teacher instruction produces dramatic improvements in children's reading outcomes in high poverty schools.
All eleven Southwest ISD elementary schools are planning to become SAReads literacy campuses by embedding research-based instruction in their school culture. "We are absolutely ready for all of the challenges and for the adult learning that will impact student learning,” said Principal Nail. "I believe this is what it feels like to change the world, and I am honored to be a part of the SAReads team!"
Watch the video for a recap of our newest teacher initiative, and how it strengthens the impact of SAReads tutoring.