Carson to implement reading program at all schools by end of next year |

Carson to implement reading program at all schools by end of next year

Teri Vance

By the end of next year, every elementary school in the Carson City School District will be using the same reading program, said associate superintendent Susan Keema.

“We’re moving our district to a schoolwide reading program,” she said. “Success For All is the tool we’re going to use to do that.”

Keema will present the program at tonight’s school board meeting.

The district first implemented the reading program in 1998 at Bordewich-Bray, Mark Twain and Empire elementary schools, all designated as “at-risk” schools because of a high rate of transiency, large populations of students learning English as a second language, and significant numbers of families qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches.

During the next decade, other schools in the district continued to use a variety of reading programs. However, in recent years, Keema said, the district has seen the value of using a single system. She said it will make for a seamless transition as students transfer from one school to another, and will make it easier to track each student’s progress. It also will be more effective as teachers and administrators collaborate with those from other schools.

“That is the most cost-effective professional development,” Keema said. “When you put all the teachers in one room, they come up with ideas and they bring each other up.”

She said Success for All was a good choice because it aligns well with the Common Core State Standards and has proven successful in the district.

“The schools that are using it, their success is on an upward trajectory,” she said. “Are they where I want them to be? No. I want every single student reading at grade level.”

Fritsch Elementary School adopted the program last year, and Seeliger will be the final school to adopt it this year.

Keema said the district’s focus on raising reading proficiency is not about test scores or federal accountability.

“If you can’t read, you can’t access the world,” she said. “Our job is to open up the community, open the world to these children. They need to learn to read.”