A fifth grade student at Bryant Elementary School reads during the first day of school on Aug. 15. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

A fifth grade student at Bryant Elementary School reads during the first day of school on Aug. 15. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

At SF schools, reading comprehension doesn’t stop for the holidays

Even though school is on break for the next couple weeks, that doesn’t mean a break in reading. Whether it’s on phones, the backs of toy boxes or a good novel, we are surrounded by text — and the ability to be a critical and engaged reader is important.

In fact, we at the San Francisco Unified School District cultivate a solid foundation in literacy that begins as soon as students enter the classroom.

Take McCoppin Elementary as an example. Each classroom has a library filled with exciting new books and comfortable areas where students engage in partner and independent reading. Students can also borrow tablets loaded with thousands of titles, so they can take reading material home.

Two years ago, it wasn’t like this at McCoppin. But with funding help from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, SFUSD leaders and McCoppin staff set out to demonstrate what can happen when a school goes all-in and commits to delivering literacy instruction, as described in our district’s strategic plan.

The school has gone from a place where teachers used a patchwork of literacy instruction methods to one in which all teachers collaborate and take a shared approach.

Every member of the school’s staff participated in integrating three critical components designed to improve student achievement: They dramatically improved the learning environment, built the professional capacity of all the adults at the school, and expanded learning opportunities for students outside of the regular school day.

The school’s most-recent standardized test scores show that the changes they’ve made are working. With a 14 percent increase in English Language Arts scores, McCoppin is one of the most improved public elementary schools in The City.

I think we can all agree that having a solid foundation in reading and writing is critical for students to become lifelong learners. At schools like McCoppin and so many others across the SFUSD, teachers are getting even better at providing this strong foundation.

These changes have yielded great results for our students that extend beyond higher test scores, because literacy and reading comprehension — along with the ability to separate real news from falsehoods — is a skill that will serve them well their entire lives.

Myong Leigh is interim superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Folks wave from the side of a Muni cable car as it heads down Powell Street after cable car service returns from a 16-month COVID absence on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s cable cars return after 16-month absence

San Francisco’s cable cars are back, and they’re free for passengers to… Continue reading

Blue California often is the target of criticism by conservative media, but now is receiving critical attention from liberal writers. Pictured: The State Capitol. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)
Why is California now being criticized from the left?

California being what it is – a very large state with a… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

Steven Buss, left, and Sachin Agarwal co-founded Grow SF, which plans to produce election voter guides offering a moderate agenda. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Grow SF: New tech group aims to promote moderate ideals to political newcomers

Sachin Agarwal has lived in San Francisco for 15 years. But the… Continue reading

Most Read