Return to Headlines

Growing Literacy in RSD

Romoland School District (RSD) student achievement growth on California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) English language arts has outpaced state and county growth. Yet even with this achievement, some students are still reading below grade level standard.

Research supports systematic phonics instruction as the most effective way to teach reading. Systematic phonics instruction guides students through each speech sound and breaking down written words into their individual parts to determine the pronunciation. Taking this into account, RSD has embarked on growing consistent teacher knowledge of literacy instructional methods by providing all elementary, special education, and middle school language arts teachers with professional development training in systematic phonics instruction.

Thanks to a state grant, funding was allocated for school districts to address the persistent achievement gap in California’s public schools. As a result, RSD was able to offer teachers a thirty-hour professional development institute on Orton-Gillingham reading instructional methods during summer 2019. The Orton-Gillingham approach has been researched, tested, and proven to be beneficial for all children learning to read. It was the first teaching approach designed to help struggling readers by explicitly teaching the connections between letters and sounds, and it combines multi-sensory teaching strategies with systematic, sequential phonics lessons. 

Most RSD elementary, special education, and middle school language arts teachers attended the summer institute and are currently implementing Orton-Gillingham instruction in their classrooms. A new institute will be offered summer 2020 for even more RSD teachers to learn and implement Orton-Gillingham methods.

Literacy will continue to grow in Romoland School District!



Michelle Wise