The K-12 Comprehensive Reading Plan, required by the Florida Department of Education's Just Read, Florida office through Florida Statute 1001.215 provides an essential literacy blueprint for our district to following improving student achievement. The plan is grounded in a shared vision and mission of what literacy learning should look like in our district and is aligned to our district's strategic plan. Written with all key audiences in mind - students, teachers, school and district leaders, families and community partners - our district's literacy priorities are reflected in the plan.
2019-2020 Comprehensive Reading Plan
Florida House Bill 7055 requires each school district with one or more of Florida’s 300 Lowest performing elementary schools, based on a 3-year average of the state reading assessment data, to provide an additional hour of intensive reading instruction per day. The additional reading instruction may be provided within the school day for students who earned a Level 1 through 3 on the previous school year’s English Language Arts - Florida Standards Assessment.
Hillsborough County Public Schools has 43 elementary schools identified in the 2019-2020 school year as Extended Reading Time schools whose Level 1 through 3 students must receive an additional hour of intensive reading instruction per day. During the extended reading time, students engage in a personalized learning plan based on their individual assessment data delivered through an on-line instructional program. Each school receives additional resources including a variety of literary and informational texts and supplemental Florida Standards-based lessons to support the daily instruction Extended Reading Time students’ receive as they strive for success in their daily core instruction and on the Florida Standards Assessment.
Extended Elementary Reading Time Schools 2019-2020
Florida Statute 1008.25 states that third grade students retained for a reading deficiency must be provided intensive interventions in reading to address students’ specific reading deficiencies and prepare students for promotion to the next grade. Each summer, Hillsborough County Public Schools’ offers all 3rd grade students earning a Level 1 on the English Language Arts – Florida Standards Assessment, along with any 3rd grade student performing below level, an opportunity to participate in the district’s 3rd Grade Summer Reading Camp. The 3rd Grade Summer Reading Camp incorporates instructional and interventions strategies including evidence-based, explicit, systematic, and multisensory reading instruction in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension along with other strategies prescribed by the school district into the daily camp instruction.
During the summer of 2019, Hillsborough County Public Schools offered a multi-week,, 3rd Grade Summer Reading Camp at selected area elementary school sites. The goals of the camp were to help students reach grade level proficiency, accelerate acquisition of foundation skills to support comprehension, and to minimize the impact of summer reading loss. A Readers Workshop Model was implemented that included shared and guided reading instruction with a focus on vocabulary, fluency, and word study. Independent reading was a major focus to provide students opportunity to practice the strategies being taught in the camp.
4-H Tropicana Speech Contest
4-H Tropicana is a school-based experience in public speaking to provide students with an audience and varied purpose for writing. The program is a partnership with Tropicana, Inc; Hillsborough County Extension 4-H, and the Hillsborough County Public Schools. This partnership started in 1969.
Students write and deliver a public speech between 2-3 minutes in length on any topic of their choice. They compete as classroom and grade levels at school sites. School winners compete against each other at area contests in January. The top two winners at the area contests then compete at the District finals in March.
"Countdown" and "Blast"
At Thonotosassa and Clair-Mel Elementary Schools, we are piloting the use of two instructional programs, "Countdown" and "Blast" which purposefully and specifically address students' phonemic awareness and phonics instructional needs. These programs provide daily instruction that are explicit and multi-sensory in these core foundational reading concepts.
Poetry Jam is a program coordinated between Hillsborough County Public Schools and the Arts Council of Hillsborough County. At each participating high school, a local poet works with the library media specialist to host a poetry writing and performance workshop followed by a Poetry Jam competition where students performed their own work. Each high school’s Poetry Jam winner represents their school at the district Poetry Jam, held each January at the Robert W. Saunders, Jr. Public Library. A non-competitive Poetry Jam is also held for middle school students each year, with a focus on writing and performance techniques followed by open-mic time.
Read to Dream
The John F Germany Read to Dream Program is a collaborative effort of the Hillsborough Bar Association, the Friends of the Public Library, the HOST Program, and the Office of Teaching and Learning to provide literacy enriched learning opportunities for the children at multiple urban elementary schools. Starting in fall 2016, attorneys work weekly with students reading aloud content rich books and leading standards-aligned discussions to help build students content knowledge, vocabulary, and love of reading. Through the generous contributions of the Read to Dream program all participating students also received many books to keep, creating an “at home” library to help extend students reading at home and in the community.
Students who are struggling to keep up with their classmates in reading, hopefully won’t be for long. Reading Recovery is a one-on-one intervention program for first graders who are below level, and the intention is in a short amount of time to catch them up to their classmates. Here’s how it works: it’s a 12- to 20-week intervention program. A Reading Recovery teacher works with four students, one-on-one for 30 minutes each day and will continue the program with other students throughout the school year.
Woodson Leadership Academy is launched the Hillsborough County program for our district in 2018-2019 and two additional elementary schools were added in 2019-2020 – Seminole Elementary and Crestwood Elementary. Expansion of the program will have a ripple effect throughout our district as additional teachers in more schools learn about Reading Recovery.
“We are leading the way – the seed of something that will be great, something that can impact many other schools. Having this as the foundation year and having it as the pilot school, we’re very honored to have that,” Principal Wilson, Woodson K-8 Leadership Academy, said.
More than 2.4 million struggling first-grade readers and writers in North America over the past three decades have benefitted from the one-on-one teaching expertise of Reading Recovery leaders.
The Student Literacy and Media (SLAM) Showcase is a district K-12 event celebrating reading! Students at participating schools read books from their grade level Florida award nominated lists (Florida Reading Association, Sunshine State Young Readers and Florida Teens Read), then create Videos, 2D Artwork or other 2D creative expressions connected to the book (or books) they read. Schools celebrate and showcase all of their students’ works at a school site event and select 1 piece from each category to be showcased at the district event in March. The district SLAM Showcase, held at the Tampa Convention Center, features a film & art festival of student works, as well as author presentations & signings.
Teen Read Week
Teen Read Week™ is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) held in October each year. Hillsborough County Public Schools Library Media Services hosts a young adult author each year in celebration of the event. 300+ middle and high school students come together to hear directly from YA authors about writing, reading and celebrating our literary voice as power. Past authors have included Greg Neri, Sharon Cameron, Jeff Strand, Sherri L. Smith, Rick Yancey, Alex Flinn, and most recently Kiersten White.