Early Childhood/Elementary

GCPS Elementary Literacy Program

American Reading Company (ARC Core)
Garrett County Schools will be launching a new literacy program in the 2020-2021 school year using the American Reading Company literacy resources and framework in grades K-5. The focus will be on explicit phonics instruction (IMSE OG) and complex text while maintaining a balanced literacy structure in reading and writing. A key component of the program is the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA), which is a tool that works with every student, at any reading level. The IRLA delivers specific and actionable data that tells the teacher where a student is, why, and the sequence of skills/behaviors she needs to learn next to accelerate her reading growth. During the first nine weeks of school, our district will focus on the IRLA, reading & writing power standards and The 100 Book Challenge. This is the standards-based supplemental reading program that challenges students to read 100 books.
The 100 Book challenge is a reading program designed by the American Reading Company (ARC) that is designed to help develop lifelong readers. This program will be taking over AR (no more "read a book, take a quiz"). Instead, children will be challenged to dramatically increase their amount of reading rom day to day and focus on "Power Goals"/ Skills to improve their independent reading. The program is based upon six essential factors will serve as the focus of Quarter 1:
  1. Classroom Libraries – Circulating, leveled libraries provide hundreds of books for students to read.1.
  2. Leveling System – The leveling system makes explicit what readers need to know and be able to do at each reading level.
  3. Teacher-Coached In-School Reading – Thirty minutes (minimum) of in-class reading is the central component of the program. Teachers work individually with students while the entire class reads from books they have selected.
  4. At-Home Reading – Thirty minutes (minimum) of parent-supervised independent reading every night helps students become lifelong readers.
  5. Data Collection – The School ePACE student data-tracking program allows teachers and administrators to record student progress easily and provides detailed graphs, statistics and trend data for frequent collection and swift intervention.
  6. Professional Development – In-class, on-site support as well as eight hours of start-up training, and advanced workshops for teachers and principals.
The premise behind this program is that children read a minimum of 30 minutes at HOME and 30 minutes of independent reading at SCHOOL each DAY. The students will be able to select from hundreds of books in the classroom and through ePace that match their independent reading level (as assigned every few weeks by the teacher through IRLA--the Independent Reading Level Assessment by ARC). Students will be tracking the amount of reading that they complete on log-sheets which will be signed off daily by parents and reviewed by the teacher. The goal is to reach at least 100 steps each marking period... every 15 minutes of reading equals 1 step. The teacher will hold one-on-one conferences regularly with the students to assess understanding of the material they are reading, assess progress within the level, and set goals for future reading.