Richmond Public Schools, with 25 elementary schools, provides our students in kindergarten through fifth grades with a research-proven core reading program that is aligned to the strategies and skills identified by the Virginia State Standards of Learning. Students receive explicit comprehension-focused lessons in whole and small group. Richmond Public Schools advocates a balanced literacy model. The components for balanced literacy are as follows: interactive read aloud, daily guided reading, phonics and word study, writing workshop, small group and whole group instruction, practice, and application.
Daily guided reading is provided using precisely leveled text to meet the needs of all learners. Student motivation and interest in reading is generated through the use of diverse genres and topics.
Daily writing instruction is provided in all elementary grades through Benchmark Literacy’s Writer’s Workshop. Writing instruction is taught through direct instruction and modeling. It follows the writing process from planning to publishing. Annually, RPS celebrates our young authors in grades Kindergarten through 12 with an Annual Writing Festival.
Phonics and spelling instruction is differentiated and taught at each student’s developmental spelling stage using Words Their Way. Progress monitoring is maintained through PALS Quick Checks, informal reading inventories and other formative assessments.
Janice Stilwell, Instructional Specialist
Dawn James-Cappiello, Instructional Specialist
Middle & High School
Richmond City Public Schools Language Arts program focuses on an integrated three-tiered approach to literacy instruction. At all grade levels, students are engaged in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and critical thinking skills to teach Virginia's English Standards of Learning.
All middle and high school students focus on reading a variety of literature and informational text using researched-based strategies. At each grade level, students read required novels while applying decoding and fluency strategies along with our Magnificent Seven Reading Strategies to build reading comprehension. In writing, the emphasis is on the writing process and understanding how to write a variety of genres. Each student participates in a variety of assessment activities to drive instruction including reading and writing portfolios, multiple choice assessments, essay and short answer tests and running records.
The Passport Reading Journeys and Passport reading programs provide additional instructional support to students needing reading remediation. These programs focus on building fluency and comprehension while exposing students to interesting content areas subjects such as forensic science, health and current problems facing our world leaders.
Sidney Gunter, Instructional Specialist (Middle School)