Elementary students who struggle with reading are receiving help through the Title I/LAP programs.
Though the funding of Title I/LAP is based off of each school’s low-income population, that plays no role in which students can receive the services. To qualify, students must have scored below benchmark on two different districtwide assessments.
Title I/LAP used to be more of a remediation program, but today they’re looking to accelerate students, to get them back up to benchmark and eventually exit the program.
On average, Title I/LAP classes last about 45 minutes and are held 5 days a week. With that much time away from their regular classrooms, parents often wonder what their students are missing.
“We frequently have that question,” said Frederickson teacher Kellie El Sherif. “When we pull students, we make sure they’re not missing core instruction, like math or reading.”
For struggling students, focusing on reading in class with 24 of their friends can be a challenge. That’s why Title I/LAP groups average just three to four students in a group.
“They get individualized attention that really targets what they need. And that makes all the difference,” said Centennial’s Sherri Johns.
And the smaller groups make it a safer place to make mistakes. Plus, with that focused block of time, students are able to read through a new book every day.
“That’s what makes it so powerful,” said Thompson’s Nancy Braxton. “They don’t get that opportunity in their regular classroom. Because the reading is so difficult for them in the classroom. They’re hearing books read to them, or they are only reading portions of books because they’re not keeping up.”
As their love for reading blossoms, El Sherif said nonfiction quickly becomes a favorite for many students.
“It’s really high-interest information. The books are beautifully made, with all kinds of infographics, lots of text features, things that you can help a student really dig into to get an understanding of the information that’s in the book. And they love that,” she said.
El Sherif said she enjoys the books as well.
“I learn something new everyday!” she said.
When the kids see their teachers excited about the books, that goes a long way to upping their engagement of the material as well. And reading nonfiction also encourages the students to read more about different subjects, both in other books, and online.
“The kids value those books so much. I’ve never seen that in another intervention program,” said Teacher on Special Assignment Joan Bates.
For students in grades three through five, other options come into play, including novel studies, where students work on a longer book for a couple of weeks. That program requires take home reading. They also do test preparation to help get them ready for the Smarter Balanced Assessments.
As students and teachers work through the curriculum, they tackle common problems students have, including comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, and phonics. Because the LLI curriculum is aligned with the elementary ReadyGEN ELA curriculum, the Title I/LAP program reinforces what students are learning in their regular classrooms.
“The pacing is fast, and the students are totally engaged,” said Nancy Braxton.