Driving Literacy Home

Embedded Image for:  (DrivingLeteracy.png) Literacy is a cornerstone of learning. We, at the West Shore School District, are dedicated to working as a team to provide your children with a strong foundation in literacy. The West Shore School District is committed to providing rigorous and comprehensive reading, writing, speaking, and listening instruction to develop 21st century literate citizens who contribute positively to the community. Our vision for literacy is for all children in our district to become readers, writers, and innovative thinkers who effectively communicate and collaborate in a variety of settings. You will notice this literacy mission and vision being carried out through various aspects of district activities and initiatives.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) Keystones to Opportunity (KtO) program is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating innovation in literacy among Pennsylvania’s School Districts. West Shore School District was selected as a PDE Local Comprehensive Literacy Plan Pilot District.  We were initially awarded $25,000 that we used to complete a comprehensive literacy needs assessment and write a Birth through Grade 12 Literacy Plan. We organized a committee that included community members, parents, teachers, literacy specialists, and librarians to accomplish these tasks. At the end of the 2015-2016 school year, we were granted an additional $150,000 to implement the plan. We divided our large committee into subcommittees based on the needs assessment and are working toward our identified goals. The subcommittees are:

  • Partnership
  • Transition
  • Standards. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Literacy Professional Development

All of the committees have made great strides in accomplishing the literacy goals related to their specific areas of need. The Partnership Committee was able to accomplish a major goal this year. The committee worked to establish a Bookmobile. They engaged the community in a book drive and collected over 17,000 books. With the help of Messiah College students, JROTC students, and WSSD staff, they sorted books into reading levels and categories. First Student, our transportation partner, donated a small bus to the District that could be used as a bookmobile. First Student partnered with WSSD mechanics and maintenance crews to transform the bus into a bookmobile.  This summer, Partnership committee members and WSSD staff will take turns driving the bookmobile to different areas in our district. Children will be able to choose books that they can keep, thus building their home libraries and engaging in reading during the summer months. All of this has been accomplished with no cost to the District. 

The Literacy website you are visiting now is also part of the work the Partnership Committee is doing. Their goal is to spread the word about literacy to as many people as possible. The site provides resources to various age groups as well as strategies parents can use at home to support their children’s literacy development. 

West Shore School District’s Comprehensive Literacy Plan: 

  • Focuses on Birth to Grade 12 including stakeholders such as: area preschools, community libraries, area pediatricians, parents and guardians, community leaders and organizations, professional staff, support staff and students.  
  • Establishes strong partnerships across early learning systems.
  • Continues to Integrate the PA Core State Standards across disciplines and levels.
  • Utilizes the Universal Design for Learning and Instruction to reach and teach all learners.
  • Implements the MTSS Model in our elementary and secondary schools.
  • Designs and supports a comprehensive assessment system that uses a variety of assessments to provide the right information at the right time.
  • Enhance the ability of professional and support staff to interpret and use assessment data to drive improvements and communicate results.
  • Uses assessments to inform all decisions across the system from classroom instruction, to district planning, to family and community outreach.
  • Promotes the use of technology to support and customize student learning, promote enhanced student engagement, and provide 21st Century technology tools for all staff, learners, and parents.
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