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Falmouth Public Schools is dedicated to providing all students with challenging, relevant, and up-to-date learning experiences in literacy. We frequently monitor student learning, growth, and achievement, so we can engage in conversations with faculty and staff to inform and personalize instructional practices. 

The following are the defining principles of our reading program: 

  • Evidence-based Instruction: High-quality reading instruction involves the use of explicit, systematic, and evidence-based practices in all tiers of instruction; it also includes providing opportunities for students to actively participate in each of those tiers (Lead for Literacy, 2021). In this way, the Falmouth Public Schools actively works to ensure that reading instruction is aligned with the Science of Reading, a comprehensive body of research that incorporates insights and years of scientific research from disciplines that include literacy, developmental psychology, educational psychology, cognitive science, and cognitive neuroscience.

  • Universal Screening: The Falmouth Public Schools administers universal screening batteries to all students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 in the fall, winter, and spring of each school year. 

    • In Kindergarten and Grade 1, the FastBridge screening battery of early Reading measures the skills of phoneme segmentation and blending, onset and rime, rapid automatic naming of letters, letter-sound association, phonological memory, oral vocabulary, word identification, and oral reading fluency. Each of these screeners is designed and utilized to identify students who show characteristics of dyslexia at the start of their education in order to provide the most appropriate instruction and targeted reading intervention. 

    • CBMreading, a measure of oral reading fluency, becomes the universal screener for dyslexia in Grades 2 through 6. 

  • Data-Based Decision-Making and Differentiated Instruction: Differentiated instruction refers to the use of flexible teaching approaches in the classroom to accommodate the individual learning needs of all students. Rather than expecting students to adjust to the curriculum, teachers adjust the curriculum to fit the diverse learning needs of their students. By utilizing student assessment data, our teachers alter instruction to maximize all students’ learning, including that of accelerated learners. The analysis of student data also allows teachers to identify lagging literacy skills and to intervene in a timely and appropriate manner. 

  • Professional Learning and Development: Ongoing professional development provides our teachers with a consistent knowledge base and common language for reading instruction. Building teacher capacity also ensures that they are equipped with the tools necessary to institute evidence-based literacy practices within a tiered instructional model and that these practices are sustainable.

  • Family Engagement: We aim to develop and implement a family engagement model that supports parent/guardian involvement and student learning at home. We also host family literacy events in partnership with community organizations and businesses.

Please visit the Reading Instruction and Success Plan for more detailed information about literacy teaching and learning within the Falmouth Public Schools. You may also contact Erin Custadio, our Elementary Literacy Manager, at [email protected].