Science of Reading

What is the Science of Reading?

The science of reading is a vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically-based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing. This research has been conducted over the last five decades across the world, and it is derived from thousands of studies conducted in multiple languages. To learn more, click here.

Studying the Research

An Early Literacy Research Team was established in the spring of 2022 to begin to learn more about the science of reading and to make recommendations for ways to improve student learning in literacy. The team consists of a variety of educators that represent grades K–2, as well as special educators, multilingual language teachers, learning strategists, instructional coaches, speech pathologists, and administrators. This team has participated in learning opportunities to support current professional development for our teachers and inform the decisions of our Literacy Steering Committee as we move through the curriculum renewal and design process.

K–5 teachers across the District are participating in literacy professional development facilitated by members of the Early Literacy Research Team. They are using the book "Shifting the Balance," by Jan Miller Burkins and Kari Yates, and making intentional shifts in their classrooms. Shifts in current literacy teaching and learning practices include:

  • increased emphasis on shared reading and systematic phonics instruction
  • use of a variety of texts to include both leveled and decodable texts aligned to phonics features
  • student use of phonics knowledge to solve unknown words and use pictures to confirm that the word they’ve solved is correct

Teachers will continue to learn about the Science of Reading as the year progresses and will apply strategies with students as we move into the 2023–2024 school year.

Some Notes on Implementation

Literacy Coordinator Deb Larson reading to Kindergarten students