NWHS launches Reading Initiative
Posted on 11/28/2017
Reading Program for NWHS students

As we hope you have heard by now, NWHS has implemented new curriculum guides and assessment programs in American Government, and all English and math courses.  These new curriculum guides are based on the new Missouri Learning standards that the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education adopted in late 2016.  We can now ensure that students are being taught the correct material. 

The assessment program will give students, parents and teachers information about how well students are understanding the information being presented.  All assessments are tied to the standards of each class.  In fact every question is tied to a specific standard.  So, now, the student, parent and teacher can all easily see what the student knows and where additional focus may need to be placed.  We believe it is critical for the student to understand what he or she knows and have proof once a class is completed.  The new assessment program will do just that.

The new curriculum guides and assessment program are two ways the focus is on curriculum, instruction and learning here at Northwest High School.

Along with the assessment programs this year, Northwest high school has also assessed reading levels of every student. Each day over the past 4 years, I have been in and out of classrooms.  I have always had a concern regarding how our students read.  This year, we used an assessment tool to measure the reading level of each student.  The numbers were sobering.  On average, students in grades 7-12 read with less accuracy and less retention than 65% of other students nationally at their grade level.  As a former English teacher, this is alarming.  I believe that if a student is struggling to read, he or she is struggling in other aspects of learning as well.  Reading is communicating and to accept the status quo would be a disservice for the community, parents, and especially the students we serve.

So, together with the staff, the English department and I have developed an intensive reading intervention that we will be starting 2nd quarter.  The intervention program will consist of 3 tiers of students:  Those that are on target, those that are struggling, and those that need heavy intervention.

It is imperative that we address the reading levels here at the high school.  Reading levels can have an impact on ACT scores, ASVAB scores, COMPASS test scores, as well as overall success in any and all post high school endeavors.  Our goal is for NWHS, on average to be above the 55% with reading accuracy and retention.  We look forward to working with parents in this great project and seeing the results in student progress.

If you have any questions, please contact me directly at ddawson@northwest.k12.mo.us or (660) 827-0774