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Continued Growth and New Faces in Literacy
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Cheryl Bianconi has been hired as a literacy facilitator to fill the literacy position left vacant when Karen Turcott retired last year from the Special and Alternative Education Division.
She has more than 15 years of experience working in literacy. Most recently she was a middle school reading teacher at North Colonie Schools. She also worked for several years as a reading consultant for the Shenendehowa District.
She’s also familiar with the Scholastic’s literacy program that WSWHE BOCES has been using for the past four years. The Scholastic’s literacy program that has been incorporated into the curriculum includes System 44 for students in grades 4-8, Read 180, for the older students in grades 7-12, and Fundations and iRead for the younger students. “It has all the parts of a solid reading program,” she said. “It’s an excellent tool for the special education population because of its interest level. It provides topics relevant to older students.”
As a literacy coach, Mrs. Bianconi will train new teachers and provide them with needed resources. She will also interact with students assisting them with their literacy needs. She said, “We will also work on developing writing and speaking abilities for all students by showing students different ways to respond to text with a focus on persuasive writing. Students will also have the opportunity to learn strategies for analyzing different types of texts and practice analyzing questions in preparation for exams. We expect to see continued growth in literacy for our BOCES students.”
While there is less of a focus on cursive writing, students are utilizing their keyboarding and word processing skills that can be a strength for students with fine motor impairment.
The final literacy report from last school year for the Special and Alternative Education program showed continued growth for the majority of students in kindergarten to grade 12. There was an increase in letter naming and letter sound fluency from the fall to the winter and spring for students in kindergarten and grade 1. The highest jump of 36 points was in letter naming from the fall to the spring. In addition, the report shows an increase in the average reading level or lexile scores in almost every grade. Most notably, the highest average point growth in lexiles of 488 points was in grade 11. Click here to see the report.