South Rutland Elementary School has a number of initiatives in place to support students' skill development in English Language Arts (reading, writing and oral language).
In the Primary grades, students "learn to read" and, in the Intermediate grades, students "read to learn". Students with well-developed literacy skills experience greater success in all subject areas.
- reduced Kindergarten class size (enrolment usually starts with 20 students in each class--this may change and classes cannot grow to be larger than 22 students during the school year)
- use of a screening process (this is called an "Early Learning Profile") to inform Kindergarten--Gr. 3 teachers about individual student's literacy needs (Early Learning Profile)
- careful tracking of student progress through the Primary and Intermediate years (individual student performance data is passed from teacher to teacher)
- special teacher training (teachers attend workshops during the school year that have been arranged by the school and School District)
We also offer the following to help Primary and Intermediate students in our school:
- An open school Library before and after school on Tuesday and Wednesday (parents/guardians are encouraged to drop-in and read with your children)
- Targeted Intensive Intervention Programs- data about students' performance is reviewed and students are place in small, flexible groups to work on skill development in identified areas of need (students who meet/exceed expectations do enrichment work in a larger group). Grade 1 and 2 students participate in "Rocket Reading" and all Intermediate classes are part of "Literacy Lab" from Monday--Thursday each week.
- In-School Mentorship Programs (community volunteers who are screened, trained and volunteer to spend time with students). These volunteers may provide in-class support through the "MindUP" program. Big Brothers & Big Sisters of the Okanagan volunteers have also offered extra-curricular activities and meet with students during lunch break.
- A wide variety of reading materials are available to our students (our Library collection boasts about 15,000 items!);
- Online reading links are included on our school website (see "Related Information" on the left as well as "Programs & Services/Library");
- Strong encouragement from staff for students to read at home for 15-20 minutes everyday;
- A licensed Out-Of-School Care Program supports students and their families (it has been operating at our school since 2007 in partnership with the Okanagan Boys & Girls Club);
- Use of resources and strategies to promote self-regulations (Roots of Empathy, MindUp, Zones of Regulation)
- On-site support from school-based specialist teachers and other professionals for designated students or students with Learning Plans, Individual Education Plans and Behavious Support Plans.
- A StrongStart Centre at our school that offers a program for preschoolers and their caregivers;
E.L.F.F. Program (Early Learning For Families) that supports early
learning in the home;
- Family ZONES Night- a program to help parents & children learn strategies for managing feelings so students can be ready to learn.