POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Mason County teachers recently underwent new training in reading and co-teaching at Mason County Schools’ Central Office.
“The West Virginia Department of Education and the June Harless Center at Marshall University are providing training on the Science of Reading (SoR) and co-teaching to Mason County Schools curricular leaders,” said Superintendent Keith Burdette.
Burdette said Mason County is the first in the state to complete the training.
“Staff members have completed four of five scheduled days of instruction,” Burdette said. “Mason County is the first school system in West Virginia to acquire this advanced training. Phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension strategies are being investigated, as well as effective co-teaching strategies.”
During the training sessions, teachers were presented with various techniques with supportive research on the science of reading.
“They determined from their research was that vocabulary should be taught both directly and indirectly in the classroom,” said Becky Lewis, Early and Elementary Learning Specialist June Harless Center, Marshall University during the training. “You should be consistent and [use] multiple exposures when you’re using your vocabulary.”
Lewis also mentioned the use of computer-based vocabulary enhancement programs.
“They’re not saying don’t use those, but use them with all of these other things as well,” Lewis said. “There are some great computer based vocabulary programs out there.”
Not only are the teachers going through extra training for reading and Mathematics, but Burdette announced at the Sept. 30 board of education meeting that the county will be working with a new pilot project, iReady, for both reading and math.
“iReady math and iReady reading are a good supplemental resources,” Burdette said. “They have excellent diagnostics to help students and teachers understand what they’ve accomplished.”
Burdette said the programs will help show students areas mastered and areas that can be improved on.
“There’s nothing out there that matches up with the West Virginia standards like this does,” Burdette said.
The in-person trainings are supported through grants.
“The training is funded in part through Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund grants to support student learning across Mason County,” Burdette said.
© 2021, Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Brittany Hively is a staff writer with Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @bhively1. Reach her at (740) 446-4303 ext 2555.