Comprehensive Reading Plan
The K-12 Comprehensive Reading Plan, required by the Florida Department of Education's Just Read, Florida office through Florida Statute 1001.215 provides an essential literacy blueprint for our district to following improving student achievement. The plan is grounded in a shared vision and mission of what literacy learning should look like in our district and is aligned to our district's strategic plan. Written with all key audiences in mind - students, teachers, school and district leaders, families and community partners - our district's literacy priorities are reflected in the plan.
2019-2020 Comprehensive Reading Plan
LITERACY IN ACTION: The Elementary Instructional Philosophy
We believe that children learn to read by reading and children learn to write by writing. Our beliefs in the teaching and learning of literacy are built upon the principles of inspiring a love of reading, a passion for writing and the dedication of instructional time to develop lifelong readers and writers. Literacy is a social process that merges reading, researching, meaningful discussion, listening, questioning, developing vocabulary, writing pieces, and sharing thinking across the school community. These combined experiences provide the foundation of critical thinking and expression in all areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
The Hillsborough County Public Schools’ Florida Standards based K-5 literacy block (120 minutes) creates a structure that is designed to provide students with multiple opportunities for explicit instruction and meaningful practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening. The total literacy block is based upon a gradual release model to lead students to independent literacy proficiency through modeling, shared experiences, guided practice, conferencing, and independent application. Student engagement is at the heart of the literacy block. The rich conversations and connections that take place initiate our learners into a community of readers and writers.
The Hillsborough County Public Schools’ literacy workshop model is based upon the research of gradual release. Explicit instruction is modeled and facilitated by the teacher and employed through student guided and independent application in reading and writing opportunities. This instruction allows students to see a proficient teacher model with think alouds in order to apply the daily teaching point(s) so students work toward independent and authentic ownership of the Language Arts Florida Standards. Our seamless integration of reading and writing is provided each week in district Planning Support Tools for grades Kindergarten through fifth. Literature and mentor texts are woven into both reading and writing instruction.
Differentiation is one of the key elements of success in our K-5 literacy block. Through whole group, variations of small group, and individual conferencing, the teacher continually assesses students’ understanding and adjusts instruction based on students’ needs. Guided reading instruction provides the venue for teachers to focus targeted instruction to meet students’ instructional needs. Teachers select leveled texts which scaffold and support readers to guide students toward independence and proficiency. Foundational skills, in addition to comprehension, are taught and practiced throughout the literacy block. Individual conferencing provides one-on-one communication between a proficient reader/writer (teacher) and a growing literacy learner (student). These skills are connected to meaningful texts and based upon the LAFS and individual student data.
Our literacy block is the structure allowing for multiple occasions to teach and practice the Language Arts Florida Standards (LAFS) across a variety of texts, modes (opinion, narrative, informative), and content areas. Content literacy is embedded within the block. The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) is one example that provides the framework to connect literacy with content-area understanding. Through these LDC modules, students read, write, code text, discuss, and take notes to deepen their knowledge in science and social studies. Through rigorous performance tasks, students demonstrate their understanding of the content area standards as well as those in the Language Arts.
Watching our students develop a love for the written word fuels the driving force behind our literacy-focused instruction across Hillsborough County. We are committed to providing the foundations of literacy that will prepare our students for life.
Middle and Secondary Philosophy of Literacy
In a rapidly-changing world, Hillsborough County middle and high school students will need to call upon a diverse set of literacy skills to engage successfully in work, life and citizenship beyond graduation. Being literate is at the heart of every subject in school and every interaction in society. The skills and knowledge captured in the ELA/literacy standards are designed to prepare students for life outside the classroom. They include critical-thinking skills and the ability to closely and attentively read in a way that will help students understand and enjoy works of literature and complex informational texts. Hillsborough County students must communicate, both in speech and in writing, and collaborate daily to express their own ideas and build upon the thoughts of others.
Throughout the day in all content areas students will interpret multimedia texts such as: diagrams, data, equations, podcasts and video clips. In addition to critiquing and analyzing others’ ideas, students will approach relevant and real-world problems with creative thinking that leads to innovative solutions. Opportunities to write in response to multimedia help students demonstrate an understanding of a topic, express and defend their ideas based on evidence, and create a variety of written products to address a specific task and purpose.
Hillsborough County middle and high schools are committed to providing students a pathway to graduation. Together, we supply the knowledge, tools, nurturing, and support students need to become independent and literate citizens.
Extended Reading Time
Florida House Bill 7055 requires each school district with one or more of Florida’s 300 Lowest performing elementary schools, based on a 3-year average of the state reading assessment data, to provide an additional hour of intensive reading instruction per day. The additional reading instruction may be provided within the school day for students who earned a Level 1 through 3 on the previous school year’s English Language Arts - Florida Standards Assessment.
Hillsborough County Public Schools has 43 elementary schools identified in the 2019-2020 school year as Extended Reading Time schools whose Level 1 through 3 students must receive an additional hour of intensive reading instruction per day. During the extended reading time, students engage in a personalized learning plan based on their individual assessment data delivered through an on-line instructional program. Each school receives additional resources including a variety of literary and informational texts and supplemental Florida Standards-based lessons to support the daily instruction Extended Reading Time students’ receive as they strive for success in their daily core instruction and on the Florida Standards Assessment.
Extended Elementary Reading Time Schools 2019-2020
The Collaboratory Prep Academy
Village of Excellence Academy
Third Grade Reading Camp
Florida Statute 1008.25 states that third grade students retained for a reading deficiency must be provided intensive interventions in reading to address students’ specific reading deficiencies and prepare students for promotion to the next grade. Each summer, Hillsborough County Public Schools’ offers all 3rd grade students earning a Level 1 on the English Language Arts – Florida Standards Assessment, along with any 3rd grade student performing below level, an opportunity to participate in the district’s 3rd Grade Summer Reading Camp. The 3rd Grade Summer Reading Camp incorporates instructional and interventions strategies including evidence-based, explicit, systematic, and multisensory reading instruction in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension along with other strategies prescribed by the school district into the daily camp instruction.
During the summer of 2019, Hillsborough County Public Schools offered a multi-week,, 3rd Grade Summer Reading Camp at selected area elementary school sites. The goals of the camp were to help students reach grade level proficiency, accelerate acquisition of foundation skills to support comprehension, and to minimize the impact of summer reading loss. A Readers Workshop Model was implemented that included shared and guided reading instruction with a focus on vocabulary, fluency, and word study. Independent reading was a major focus to provide students opportunity to practice the strategies being taught in the camp.
Community Literacy Initiatives
4-H Tropicana Speech Contest
4-H Tropicana is a school-based experience in public speaking to provide students with an audience and varied purpose for writing. The program is a partnership with Tropicana, Inc; Hillsborough County Extension 4-H, and the Hillsborough County Public Schools. This partnership started in 1969.
Students write and deliver a public speech between 2-3 minutes in length on any topic of their choice. They compete as classroom and grade levels at school sites. School winners compete against each other at area contests in January. The top two winners at the area contests then compete at the District finals in March.
Read to Dream
The John F Germany Read to Dream Program is a collaborative effort of the Hillsborough Bar Association, the Friends of the Public Library, the HOST Program, and the Office of Teaching and Learning to provide literacy enriched learning opportunities for the children at multiple urban elementary schools. Starting in fall 2016, attorneys work weekly with students reading aloud content rich books and leading standards-aligned discussions to help build students content knowledge, vocabulary, and love of reading. Through the generous contributions of the Read to Dream program all participating students also received many books to keep, creating an “at home” library to help extend students reading at home and in the community.