• Our literacy curriculum is well-positioned to support The School District of Clayton’s Profile of a Graduate in inspiring “each student to love learning and embrace challenges within a rich and rigorous academic culture.” Our dedication to the power of reading and writing contributes to the development of “leaders who shape the world through independence, creativity and critical thinking.” 

    Our K-12 classrooms rely on frameworks that empower our young thinkers. This structure includes a mixture of direct instruction, small group instruction, time for reading and writing, individual conferences, and peer work through partnerships and groups. We work to balance the need for exploration and choice with more specific shared experiences, including, for example, whole-class reads of core literature. Readers and writers should not only be able to choose from a wide range of topics, formats, and genres, featuring diverse characters/authors, but also have the intense experience of a study of this wide range in order to challenge prejudices, discover commonalities and values differences. 

    Quality literature is critical to helping students see themselves and others in our diverse world. Literature is also a powerful tool for helping students understand difficult experiences and complex topics in age-appropriate ways. As people, we need to see ourselves in stories. When readers find reflections of themselves in literature, they are more likely to feel both visible and valued and are therefore more engaged in the learning experience. We strive to ensure the diverse identities of the students in our school are positively represented in the literature we read. 

    On the other hand, if we saw only ourselves all the time, our worlds would be limited to what we already know. Reading texts with diverse perspectives allows us to explore the multidimensions of humanity and create more inclusive classrooms reflective of our broader society. Furthermore, reading books with characters and settings different from their own can help children build empathy and cultivate compassion, by allowing them to imagine life beyond the one they live. 

    Our dedication to teaching foundational literacy skills in our early elementary school classrooms shows in our senior capstone projects, where students pursue global concerns and work to be agents of change through strong communication skills. We accomplish this by assuring that all readers and writers are empowered by an inclusive and equitable curriculum, by leveraging meaningful transitions, and by building an intervention program that meets the needs of our individual learners.


    Listed below are the Enduring Understandings of the Literacy curriculum.  These are statements that summarize important ideas and core processes that are central to a discipline and have lasting value beyond the classroom.
     
    Enduring Understandings
    • Systems: Readers and writers understand that structures, conventions, and roles of language differ so that they can approach writing in different ways and for different purposes. 

    • Inquiry: Readers and writers ask questions to make sense of the world around them and challenge the status quo.  

    • Social Interaction: Reading and writing builds social connections to help us understand others’ perspectives and gain empathy to build both local and global communities.

    • Personal Growth: Reading and writing empowers us to discover and explore our passions, to embrace ambiguity, and to persevere through challenging and complex texts to grow personally and intellectually.  

    • Aesthetics: Readers and writers benefit from exploring a wide range of texts to broaden their appreciation for language and to expand their ability to express themselves and inspire others.