Columbus Schools Makes Changes To Give Students More Time To Work Toward Reading Guarantee

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Students at a third grade class at Avalon Elementary spend part of everyday working on their reading.

The Columbus City Schools students all agree that they are spending more time on reading than ever before.

It’s no coincidence, according to school leaders.

The fall results of the Ohio Achievement Assessment show about 57 percent of CCS third graders did not hit the reading bar.

At Avalon, it was around 52 percent.

If they don’t pull scores up in the spring, a state law says those kids can’t move on to the 4th grade reading level.

So they must improve now.

“I don't know that it seems daunting, it's a challenge we've embraced,” said Kelly Golsby, a literacy coach.

Literacy coaches say a large scale reading initiative is underway. It includes old and new ideas, like lunch line rewards for kids who target their talk.

“Oh you utilized the word of the did it in a meaningful way,”Emma Corbin told us about a student/staffer interaction.

At Avalon, teachers send home vocabulary newsletters, and district-wide, kids find books on the buses.

Teachers have an online portal for instant access to the best instructional approaches. Also new: Third graders get more reading time between bells  - at least 90 minutes a day, with an added 60 minute block of intervention.

“We're doing everything we can to add extra time and make sure the kids are fully prepared,” said Christina Howard, 3rd Grade Reading Instructor.

“We do not want literacy instruction to stop when kids leave school. We want to make sure parents have tools and materials they need,” said Sandee Donald.

A family reading academy was scheduled for Saturday at East High School.  Due to the inclement weather, that workshop is being postponed until February 8.