Many Langley primary students not reading at grade level

Decline cannot be attributed to one single factor, says assistant superintendent

Primary students in Langley are not reading at a level they have in previous years — a fact that concerns school district officials.

At the last board of education meeting, Superintendent Suzanne Hoffman tabled a report showing that when 274 students left Grade 3 they were still not reading at grade level. Of these, 155 were not meeting general grade level expectations.

“We plan to track vulnerable students,” said Hoffman. “We are having ongoing meetings and seeing where support is needed.”

There was a significant drop in reading level achievement in 2014.

According to assistant superintendent Gord Stewart, some of that momentum was lost due to the teachers’ strike.

Not only did children lose classroom time, summer sessions weren’t offered that year.

“The labour action hurt literacy,” said Stewart.

“But there isn’t one single factor we can attribute this decline.”

The board asked staff to find out why reading levels are in decline.

Stewart said learning conditions in the classroom over the years are becoming more complex, with as many 30 per cent of students in some classrooms facing significant behavioural challenges, from anxiety to autism.

A number of district initiatives were outlined in Hoffman’s report, including the implementation of Reading Recovery programs in every school and the implementation of a new kindergarten screening protocol designed to identify vulnerable students.

The Kindergarten Protocol is being rolled out this month.

“Parents have anxiety about this screening because they don’t want their kids to be labeled, but it is really for the teacher to have this information.

“If we identify five or six kids lagging behind, that information can be given to the Grade 1 teachers so they have tools ready to help those students succeed,” said Stewart.

Trustee Megan Dykeman was glad to see the screening taking place in kindergarten.

“If these issues are caught early on and worked on, the benefits show up later,” she said. By Grade 3, it is much more difficult to improve literacy.

Stewart said ensuring kids are ready to enter the education system and their readiness to read, starts with parents.

“Having pre-kindergarten kids take part in our Read, Set, Learn events and attending our Strong Start programs makes the transition to kindergarten so much better,” he said.

But many parents work and are unable to take advantage of Strong Start.

Stewart said they are looking at offering evening Strong Start next year.

Note: Originally, this article listed Blacklock Fine Arts, Richard Bulpitt, Parkside and RC Garnett were schools in most need of literacy support. In fact, those schools are were summer sessions for literacy support were available to students across the district.

Just Posted

Coleman decides against running for Surrey mayor

‘I’m a Langley guy,’ MLA says

Glow Langley returns bigger and brighter this Christmas

Organizers will also introduce Harvest Glow — a celebration of autumn

Aldergrove Food Bank leader ‘retires’

Darlene Isaak has a ‘legacy written in the hearts and bellies of the vulnerable’

A closer look at law enforcement for RCMP junior cadets

Annual Langley event marks 13th year

Langley man arrested for alleged voyeurism at BCIT

Burnaby RCMP have arrested a 48-year-old man after he allegedly took photos of a woman in a washroom

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

VIDEO: Life’s a beach at this B.C. sand sculpting contest

More than $50,000 was up for grabs at the annual contest held in Parksville

Most Read