Asbury Park Schools To Launch District-Wide Literacy Initiative

Asbury Park School District will launch a wide-ranging initiative designed to improve literacy across the district.

"Complete with professional development for teachers, digital programs to promote blended learning in classrooms and reading materials for students, Asbury Park teachers in grades pre-K to 12 and district leaders will begin preparation this spring with Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company," according to a news release. "The district will implement a full-suite of proven-effective instructional programs from the company to support students of all proficiency levels in the 2015-16 school year."

Features and goals of the initiative include:

  • Digital programs and resources for early grades designed to close "the achievement gap before it begins";
  • Higher standards and vocabulary, comprehension and writing curricula designed to achieve them for students in grades 6-8;
  • Increased and individualized support for English language learners;
  • Blended models from Read 180 and System 44 designed to help struggling students in grades 3-12 improve achievement. "With this model, students benefit from small group instruction, skill-building on computers or tablets, i ndependent reading time and more one-on-one time with their teachers, who can focus on the specific skills needed for advancement," according to a news release;
  • Customized summer book packs for middle school students designed to prevent summer slide;
  • Teacher professional development and coaching focused on the new approaches beginning this spring and ongoing throughout the year;
  • "District leaders will receive support from thought leaders at the International Center for Leadership in Education to build sustainable systems that promote rigorous and relevant instructional practices and a student-centered culture of excellence and high expectations," according to information released by the district; and
  • Community engagement efforts.

"We are in the midst of 'Building a Brighter Future' forAsbury Park and changing the paradigm of how we approach serving our students," said Lamont Repollet, superintendent at Asbury Park, in a prepared statement. "To achieve that, improving reading skills has to be embedded as our foundation. Through this program with Scholastic, we intend to engage the entire community to show the far-reaching benefits of literacy, from academics to personal growth in students of all ages."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].