A recently converted storage space in Buckland School in the Northwest Arctic Borough School District. Principal Cherita Williams spent part of the summer of 2023 prepping a new library space in order to promote literacy, and even more importantly, a love of books and reading in her school.
When Principal Williams arrived in Buckland School, there was a small library, but students did not use it and the books were old and outdated. She also saw that an area used for general storage could be smartly repurposed to serve as a bigger library space. As a long-time educator with her own love of books, she set out to update and transform students’ access to high quality books and a matching space dedicated to reading. Continue reading ‘Is It Library Time?’ By Principal Cherita Williams
Alaska’s teachers are some of the most devoted professionals in the country. Almost 1,000 educators from across the state of Alaska chose to spend two or three weekend days in January learning, collaborating, and reinvigorating their practice at the RTI/MTSS Effective Instruction Conference 2022 (and RTI Rural Schools Pre-Conference).
During the first week of June 2021, over 180 education leaders from 31 school districts across Alaska came together virtually for the 13th annual Alaska School Leadership Institute (ASLI). Designed as an opportunity for Alaska’s rural school leaders to connect, reflect and plan for the next school year, the 2021 ASLI hosted a dynamic lineup of nationally and internationally recognized speakers that challenged conference attendees to reflect on the experience of leading through the pandemic and to plan for the next school year in a way that embraces lessons learned. The ASLI conference is organized each year by the Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN). Continue reading ‘The 2021 Alaska School Leadership Institute (ASLI)’ by Sam Jordan at ASDN
Nenana City School is a sub-grantee of Alaska’s Comprehensive Literacy Development Grant award. Part of our many initiatives to support and promote literacy in our student body has been the implementation of a quarterly book distribution. The idea is simple: Each student enrolled in our K-12 school receives a book each quarter. So far we have had a 100% participation rate in our student body, from Kindergarten to high school Seniors.
Depending on the grade level and students’ background, teachers have been consulting with students on their book of choice. However, the primary goal of this initiative is to promote leisure reading in students, and therefore students have the ultimate say in what it is they receive for their book distribution. One elementary teacher shared, “My students look forward to the book distribution every quarter and they have even started choosing the same books to read together!”
Researchers have made extraordinary progress in understanding what “reading” really is. Numerous complex brain processes involved in the act of reading have been identified, along with many individual component skills that must be learned and used automatically and efficiently by a reader. At this point, compelling evidence from a convergence of reading research indicates that close to 95% of all students can achieve literacy levels at or approaching grade level. These statistics include students with dyslexia and other students with learning and cognitive disabilities. Continue reading Foundational Skills in K–5 by Jan Hasbrouck, Ph.D. Educational Consultant and Researcher