Campbell stresses reading fluency in school improvement plan

Campbell Elementary School is focused on improving students’ reading fluency this year, one part of a School Improvement Plan - or SIP - that identifies three areas of potential improvement for the north Lincoln school.

Every school within Lincoln Public Schools develops its own SIP, which involves analyzing achievement data, finding strengths and weaknesses, setting an improvement goal and implementing a plan to improve student learning - which is always the ultimate goal.

At Campbell, a team of staff members dedicated to developing the school’s SIP attended an LPS professional development workshop last summer, where they reviewed the school’s report card data and identified one area in particular they felt could be improved: reading fluency, which is defined as the ability to read with speed, accuracy and proper expression.

Since then, Campbell teachers have received additional training to better learn how to align instruction in guided reading with each student’s reading level. Every week, students practice reading fluency, set goals and track their progress.

“As a staff, we have learned so much, and we feel like we have just begun,” said Campbell Principal Julie Lawler.

Besides students’ daily classroom work, Lawler and her staff are addressing reading fluency in a number of creative ways:

  • In October, they hosted a parent engagement event called "Books and Bedtime," when parents and guardians, students and staff came to school in their pajamas and read books together. Staff highlighted fluency and provided reading tips for the adults.  
  • Also in October, Campbell launched a schoolwide daily reading activity using bingo reading cards. Students are challenged to complete the kindergarten-second grade or third-fifth grade card, which have various reading challenges for families to do together.  Examples include: reading a nonfiction book; reading a book to someone; reading outside; reading without being reminded; constructing a “fort” to read inside; and reading their spelling list to an adult. So far, more than 120 students have earned a "bingo" or a "blackout bingo."
  • Campbell held a schoolwide challenge in November that involved all students keeping track of books they have read "cover to cover."
  • Some fourth- and fifth-graders practice reading a picture book, then read that book to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students.

Sarah Salem, LPS director of continuous improvement and professional learning, said Campbell’s work on reading fluency is a great example of a SIP put into action.

“A school improvement plan is intended to focus an entire school on a goal using research-based strategies for curriculum, teaching and assessment - and that’s exactly what Campbell is doing for its reading fluency goal,” Salem said. “That’s just one example of the great work being done at schools all across the district.”

More information about LPS school improvement and school improvement plans:

What is School Improvement?

School improvement is an ongoing process in each building that involves analyzing achievement data, finding strengths and weaknesses, setting an improvement goal, and implementing a plan to improve student learning. The plan depends upon the improvement of instruction and professional development for teachers.

The goal of school improvement is to improve learning.

How does the school improvement process work?

The professional staff in each building conducts an analysis of national, state and district assessments. The analysis reveals strengths and weaknesses in student performance, which provides the basis for the building-wide school improvement goals. In turn, teachers work with their colleagues to improve teaching and learning in each classroom. At the heart of the school improvement process is learning for each and every student. Until we have reached each student in each classroom we are not done!

How are schools held accountable for their goals?

All schools are accountable for improving learning every year. Learning data and instructional strategies are monitored throughout the process to determine whether learning has improved. Every five years, a visitation team comprised of experts from outside of the district meet with the school improvement teams at each school. The visitation team reviews the school’s goals and improvement plans in order to provide feedback on strengths and weaknesses. The purpose of their visit is to evaluate the progress of the improvement plan and offer support and suggestions.

School Improvement Goals

Each building uses the school improvement process to set a building-wide goal for improving student learning.

The school improvement plan is developed to focus the entire school on the goal using research-based strategies for curriculum, instruction and assessment.

Published: December 6, 2018, Updated: December 11, 2018

"As a staff, we have learned so much, and we feel like we have just begun."

Campbell Elementary Principal Julie Lawler