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Students, staff settling in with new reading program PDF Print E-mail

■ Editor’s note: K-6 Principal Vitosh has been writing several columns on the school’s new Reading Mastery Program. This is his final column.
By Nathan Vitosh
Elementary Principal,
Chase County Schools

Wow, it is hard to believe we are already in the middle of September! It seems like yesterday the fair was getting over, and we were just starting school.
The overall implementation of our new Reading Mastery Program is going well. We have received several positive comments from both parents, and the people at NIFDI (National Institute For Direct Instruction) about how well our students and teachers are doing.
I do have to admit it has been a lot of hard work, late hours and some tough decisions to make it work.
Scheduling has been the most difficult part of implementing this program. We have revised our schedules a few times this first few weeks of school. We have had to reduce time in other curricular areas in order to make it work.
But, I do feel it has been a very positive improvement to our school. I have seen better attitudes from both our students and teachers at school.
Part of the Reading Mastery Program involves close monitoring of each of our students. The teachers and administrators use a lot of data to determine success and areas that need improvement in our program. This information is collected through various assessments and observations made by teachers and myself.
Just as each and every person is different, our students sometimes progress at different rates. As a school we are learning how to adjust our teaching to meet the needs of each individual student.
The Reading Mastery Program is designed for that specific reason. Because it is such a complex program, it is necessary to make changes as we evaluate the program.
In conclusion to this series of articles, my goal was to inform the public on how our school is becoming one of the best in the country. No matter what others say, small town Nebraska has many more advantages than disadvantages.
Bigger cities may have more opportunities for entertainment and career exploration. However, the values and education our students receive must be a top priority to maintain success.
We have chosen Reading Mastery to give our students the best opportunity to become great readers and a skill they will use the rest of their life.