Reading Priority Gets Results

Perryville Elementary Students Reading

At Perryville Elementary in central Kentucky, a focus strategy for preparing young readers has yielded strong results. Perryville ranked among the top 10 elementary schools on 2018 state reading tests, with 85 percent of its students scoring proficient or above, up from 75 percent in 2017. The Kentucky average was about 55 percent, a result that has barely changed over the past five years.

Each classroom teacher devotes 90 minutes to reading, with the time scheduled in the first two hours of each day. Principal Christopher Slone said that the school makes it widely known that mornings are about reading.

“It’s a building-level commitment,” Slone said. “We schedule assemblies, drills, birthday parties, everything to protect that time. That includes parent and community buy-in — we emphasize the importance of minimal student checkouts during that time, and people commit to that. This is a community that wants our school to do well and supports that.”

During reading time, adults throughout the building are assigned to help in classrooms. In addition, the school’s staffing allots a teacher and full-time assistant in each kindergarten and first-grade class to maximize student access to adult help.

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