In January 2021, we started The Foundations School with the goal of addressing the literacy problem in our community. As of 2021, only 54% of third grade students in Palm Beach County are reading on or above grade level. In the areas that The Foundations School serves, that number is closer to 25%.
Third grade is a critical milestone. After third grade, students stop learning to read and start reading to learn. Students who fall behind in reading are at risk of being behind for the rest of their academic journey.
At The Foundations School, we want to make sure that every student has access to the education they need to thrive. And in the process, we aim to foster a love of reading that students can carry with them beyond our halls.
Our Literacy Results
When we started this academic year in August 2021, only 27% of our students were reading on grade level. But after only five months, that number has jumped to 50%.
Our goals for the entire academic year were to have 75% of students reading on or above grade level to improve two developmental reading levels and to have 75% of students below grade level to improve three developmental reading levels. In just five months, we’ve met the first goal; 90% of students reading on or above grade level have already improved two developmental reading levels!
And our students who started below grade level are showing great signs of improvement as well. 75% of those students have increased two or more developmental levels in five months. That means we are on pace to exceed both of our primary literacy goals for the year.
How We Got Here
After seeing these impress reading scores, our staff talked to teachers, parents, and students to see what helped them find success. Teachers said that having small classes and being able to address each student’s problems was critical.
“I think the guided reading groups is what really helped,” Ms. Sepúlveda, our third-grade teacher, said. “They’re in a group with kids who are on the same level so I can really address their individual needs.”
“What you guys are doing, I just keep it going on at home,” Ms. Louis, mother to one of our kindergarten students, said. “I love The Foundations School.”
We will be sharing more of our students’ success stories on our website soon!