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Learn About Literacy Efforts Underway in FWPS

Student reading text
 To be ready for college and the workforce, Federal Way Public
Schools’ scholars need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize and
report on information and ideas. When many of us were in school, what we called
reading and writing is now called Literacy. Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak
and listen, is the baseline for success not only in all school subject areas, but also for
advancement in life.

In FWPS, literacy is referred to as English Language Arts (ELA) standards. The goal of
the ELA standards are to improve student learning with higher expectations that
prepare scholars for college and career.

Achievement in literacy is woven into the very fabric of the FWPS strategic plan, and
there are exciting advancements teachers and the district are making to increase
student achievement in ELA. Here are some highlights:

High-quality English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum

Kindergarten through fifth grade classes are using updated high-quality resources to
support literacy achievement of scholars. Grades six through eight will use updated
resources in the fall of 2017. High School ELA teachers are meeting to determine which
resources they will recommend for use across the core ELA classes.

Personalized literacy learning plan for scholars

Assessing a student’s individual reading level is key to creating a personalized literacy
learning plan. Kindergarten through eighth grade classes are using the Independent
Reading Level Assessment (IRLA). The IRLA helps teachers identify each scholar’s
reading needs and set a “power goal.” Each ELA kindergarten through eighth grade
classroom recently received a collection of high-interest fiction and non-fiction texts
across multiple genres preparing scholars for college and career.

Professional learning for teachers, teacher-specialists, school administrators

Over 650 teachers attended workshops this summer focused on using the updated ELA
curriculum. Teacher teams use early release day time to reflect on scholar
achievement, plan, and improve instruction. Teachers, instructional coaches, and
principals continue to receive professional learning support throughout the school year.

How families can help grow their readers

• Every day counts, every scholar matters: students who maintain good
attendance through all years of school achieve grade level standards at a higher
• Set aside at least 30 minutes per day for at home reading: research shows that
students who read for one hour a day make almost two years of growth in
• Connect with your local King County Library.
• Students get library cards for free.
• Students have access to the on-line system, including eBooks, through
their Federal Way student log-in.
• Partner with your child’s teacher to learn more about how you can support your
child. Student Led Conferences are a great time to learn about what your child is
learning and areas they need more support. Families can always call the school
and make an appointment to speak with the child’s teacher/s.
• Ask your scholar what he/she is learning, what books he/she is interested in, and
what are he/she is working on in reading. Encourage your child to be curious
about books and what he/she can enjoy and learn from them to become a lifelong
• Do promote deeper comprehension in reading, when reading a book to children,
stop and ask questions like, “What do you think will happen next?”, “Why do you
think the character did that?”, and “Where in the book did you hear an example
of _______?”