At Somerville Public Schools, designated by the State of New Jersey as a high-performing district, literacy is key to succeeding with standards across the curriculum. “If you target reading scores, everything else falls into place,” said Tim Teehan, District Academic Achievement Officer, noting a strong correlation between state assessment scores in the content areas and student reading levels. The 2,500-student district, where 40% of students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, implemented myON in grades K-8 during the 2014-15 school year.
“Because myON offers a large number of digital books, both informational non-fiction, and fiction, teachers have the needed resources to engage students who require texts that are accessible at their level and with supports,” Teehan added. “All students can use the same title, or various students can be reading various books. Struggling readers, who may be self-conscious, are less worried about what their peers are thinking and can focus more on reading and improving.”
Somerville’s Wildly Important Goals—the central focus for each grade range—include providing meaningful daily opportunities to apply literacy in primary grades, infusing ELA Common Core Standards into pedagogy to ensure sustainable growth for every student in grades 3-5, and providing engaging opportunities to infuse writing throughout the school day for middle school.