As a Pre K – 12 Reading and Language Arts program, our mission is to produce literate primary, intermediate, middle, and high school students whose lives are enriched by their ability to read, write and speak eloquently, both in school and in the world at large. To provide additional clarity regarding what constitutes effective literacy instruction, the DCPS Comprehensive Blueprint for Reading identifies what is recommended in daily practice for reading and writing instruction at each grade level.
Aligned with the currently adopted state standards and research-based best-practices, our curriculum employs explicit, intentional and differentiated instruction centered on the needs of all students. In alignment with our district-wide managed instructional system, our learning schedules provide current curricular coherence by articulating detailed practices that must be implemented in grade levels and classrooms across the district.
In an effort to accelerate and sustain all learners' proficiency in reading/language arts classes, seven principles are being used to guide the district's work and address the complexity of the content and context of language arts instruction. These principles will direct the purpose, design, delivery, and evaluation of instruction. Therefore all schools:
- Will use the adopted English language arts state standards as the curricular platform and align curriculum, assessment, instruction, and organization to provide a comprehensive, coherent structure for language arts teaching and learning;
- Will stress the importance of a balanced, comprehensive reading program;
- Will emphasize that students must be fluent readers at least by the end of third grade;
- Will target the important skills, concepts and strategies that students must be able to use after the third grade and provide remedial support as necessary;
- Will provide guidance to ensure that all educators and learners understand that
- specific skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening must be taught and learned,
- language arts standards are related and taught in a reciprocal processes that build on and strengthen one another, and
- language arts standards in reading and writing can be learned across all academic disciplines;
- Will promote a preventive rather than remedial approach, as supported by the research of Shaywitz, 2003, and Torgesen, 2001; and
- Will address the full range of learners in all classrooms through differentiated instructional methods.