BES ranks sixth in state

Published 7:01 pm Monday, February 28, 2005

By By Mary-Allison Lancaster Managing editor
The State Department of Education released a report this week placing Brewton Elementary School sixth in the state in reading proficiency, with 91 percent of its K-3 students reading at grade level.
For the last seven years, BES has been involved in a program called the Alabama Reading Initiative. They were part of the original Sweet 16 and since the primary school year the program began, every public school with children in kindergarten through third grade are now required to be a part of the ARI program.
For the last five years, BES has been using a measurement device known as the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills, also known as DIBELS.
DIBELS allow teachers to measure the results of reading proficiency throughout the school year and pinpoints early in the program what assistance students are in need of.
Due to the hurricane, BES had to push back its mid-year assessment date. However, the students were still able to take the test within the time frame allowed.
Good instruction means doing whatever it takes to overcome an interference, which sometimes can be a difficult task, Marriott said.
The variety of instruction not only comes from the teachers but parents as well. Marriott said parents are tremendous in the quest because they have to help out at home by pushing to practice. Reading is a skill. Practice is key to mastering a skill.
Classrooms have now moved back into small groups and are beginning to prescribe what each child needs to become a successful reader.
That's where DIBELS come in handy. The tool allow teachers to look at each child's assessment data and pinpoint what obstacle is in the way and what needs to be done to overcome that obstacle.

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