Summer Reading Success

The 2022 Summer Reading Class brought all 12 students through the summer without any reading skill loss and in fact increased skill in almost all students. These students entered their new school year reading at higher skill levels and will gain from there. Three students reached State standard grade level!

Orcas Island Elementary School did a great job in this class; lead by Lorena Stankevich and taught (in person) by Toni Willis. Student had just finished 1st or 2nd grade. All were at risk of failing to learn to read. The class lasted four weeks and ran from 9 to 11 am each week day. Testing used was the Development Reading Assessment (DRA).

Typically, students’ reading skills decline over the summer months. This decline sends students in to the next year at a disadvantage. They must spend time regain their prior levels. For children having difficulty learning to read, this is an area where intervention can really help. By carrying them through the summer without reading skill loss, they can start the new year at a higher level and learn from there. This is what the Summer Reading Program is all about.

Of our 12 students this past summer, we have DRA test data on 11. From the end of the school year to the beginning of class, all students remained at prior test level or gained (1). During the class, one student remained level while all others gained (10). From the end of class to the new school year, 5 of the 11 gained and 6 remained level. From the end of school in the spring to the beginning of school in the fall, all but one gained reading skill level while the one remained at their prior level. They started this new school year better prepared to reach grade level reading skills.

Orcas Elementary (and all schools in the State) has major challenges in bringing our students to State grade level reading standards. Each incoming class and each

incoming student represent different and distinct challenges. Test data varies widely and are only snapshots of student levels. Given that, we can see the challenge OIES faces. The Elementary Fastbridge test for OIES for the 2022 will show you where things stand.

Progress During School Year End of year at or above grade level

Grade 1 +9 41%

Grade 2 +32 62%

Grade 3 -6 52%

Grade 4 +15 88%

Grade 5 -1 62%

OIES makes good progress though each school year and from year to year. They are doing all this against major challenges. But we are still below the goal of 80% of students being at or above grade level at the end of 3rd grade.

Thanks to our private donors, Orcas Island Education Foundation, Orcas Island Community Foundation and School’s Out Washington (State covid impact funding) for all their help.

Tom Owens

Orcas Island