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Sylacauga City Schools see remarkable improvement in reading proficiency


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The Sylacauga City School system’s second and third-grade students showed significant improvements in reading competency and surpassed the state average in the last academic year, according to the latest Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program (ACAP).

While the overall state averages experienced a slight decline from the previous year, Sylacauga’s elementary students continued to make great progress.

Over the past three years, Sylacauga has consistently shown improvement in reading proficiency, and this trend continued in the recent Spring 2023 testing.

Indian Valley’s second-grade students achieved an impressive 82% proficiency (compared to the statewide average of 75.38%), while Pinecrest Elementary’s third-grade students achieved 81% proficiency (compared to the statewide average of 75.54%).

The success can be attributed to the dedicated efforts of Sylacauga’s elementary teachers, supported by the school and district administrators.

Dr. Michele Eller, superintendent of Sylacauga City Schools, appointed experienced elementary teacher and former principal Julie Green as the district’s literacy specialist to oversee the implementation of the Alabama Literacy Act requirements. Additionally, reading coaches Terra DeLoach and Lindsey Kissic have helped in coordinating the reading initiatives at the two elementary schools.

Recognizing the importance of equipping teachers with the necessary tools, all K-3 elementary teachers and administrators underwent comprehensive training in the science of reading through LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling).

This training not only focuses on understanding reading concepts but also on relating them to today’s digitally savvy students. The district has also adopted reading curriculum aligned with the science of reading to reinforce these techniques.

To ensure reading continuity throughout the year, assessments are used to monitor reading achievement, and summer literacy camps have been implemented. Summer teachers, all trained in LETRS, provide focused instruction and interaction throughout each day.

The combined efforts of Sylacauga City Schools are clearly paying off, as shown by the remarkable improvements in the reading comprehension of their elementary students.

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