I am rather disappointed in the July 28 article by Mr. Keeker, "Students out early for new program." I attended the informational meeting at Mendenhall River Community School about the pilot program Launching Literacy. Essential points discussed in the meeting were not mentioned in the article. Launching Literacy is a recognized, research-based program that will increase student learning and achievement. The designated teacher work time is to be used for highly organized staff development and training.
The pilot program was born out of the desire to increase student achievement and support best teaching practices in our schools. It is absolutely vital that teachers be given the opportunity to participate in ongoing staff development, beyond the three district-scheduled in-service days. The teacher work time will be used for structured training in assessments and interventions, coaching from consultants, and cross-disciplinary team work. Student schedules will be adjusted so that the impact on instructional time (time spent in the classroom, with the teacher, learning essential subjects) will be negligible.
I am a teacher at Mendenhall River Community School. Having had the opportunity to participate in ongoing staff development in my previous district, I know firsthand the positive impact it can have on student learning and achievement. This is a valuable opportunity for students and teachers; ultimately benefiting our community as a whole.