Sherwood Park, AB. — Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) students in grades 2 and 3 who are struggling in literacy and numeracy after facing numerous learning disruptions throughout the past year and a half are receiving additional supports thanks to $791,840 in funding from the province.
The Government of Alberta funding will provide targeted programming for specific students identified as requiring additional support in literacy and numeracy. Within EIPS, grades 2 and 3 students participated in the Star Reading Assessment and the Numeracy Assessment Screener earlier this year to assess students’ literacy and numeracy levels. Those below the 25th percentile were identified as needing additional supports and eligible for funding. The Government of Alberta learning disruption funding received by EIPS will support targeted intervention programming for these students.
“Literacy and numeracy are cornerstones to all facets of education, and a strong foundation in these key areas in early elementary years helps set students up for success in subsequent grades and all subject areas,” says Trina Boymook, the Board Chair of EIPS. “One of the key outcomes of the Division’s Four-Year Education Plan is having more students achieve a minimum of one year’s growth in literacy and numeracy. The learning disruptions caused by the pandemic adversely affected students at all grade levels, but we’re hopeful the programming made possible because of this funding will bring more early learners back on track with their literacy and numeracy achievements.”
Literacy intervention programming will support students through small-group sessions that focus on targeted reading strategies, including, but not limited to, phonemic awareness, phonics instruction, vocabulary development, comprehension strategies and fluency skills. Reading data will be used to plan structured explicit small-group instruction focused on the areas the teacher has determined as areas of concern.
Numeracy intervention programming will support students through small-group sessions that focus on instruction targeting number sense and basic fact fluency. Fact fluency will include fundamental learning around accuracy, efficiency, flexibility and strategy selection. Student learning profiles will identify areas of need and target instruction.
Elementary schools across the Division are reviewing the list of students who will participate in the intervention programming to determine an approach that meets the needs of specific students requiring support. Families whose children will participate in the small-group targeted intervention programming will receive additional details directly from their child’s school. Intervention programming will begin at most schools at the end of November, and immediately following the Christmas Break at others.
At the end of last school year, the Government of Alberta announced the funding to support grades 1 to 3 students who faced learning disruptions caused by the pandemic. Current funding received will support grades 2 and 3 students, and additional funding to support Grade 1 students is expected in the new year.
The provincial funding is in addition to the resources the EIPS Board of Trustees allocated from its own reserves—$1 million over the next two years—for schools to develop support plans for students in all grades who were negatively affected by the disruption of learning because of COVID-19. The Division will support schools in identifying students who require intervention in the areas of literacy and numeracy and to assist in implementing plans to ensure more students close the learning gaps. Pre-testing was conducted at the beginning of the school year and post-testing will be completed at the end of the school year to measure the impact of intervention support.
Helping students catch up after pandemic disruption, Government of Alberta, October 2021
Investing in students to close the gap on pandemic learning loss, Government of Alberta, May 2021
EIPS is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,125 students in 43 schools. We are proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties, and the western portion of the County of Minburn.
For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902