ELA

Skokie School District 73½ Literacy Belief Statements

  1. The purpose of literacy is to build and share knowledge about the world and self to find answers, solve problems, and equalize opportunity.
  2. We believe that all children can be literate and transfer learning into usable knowledge.
  3. We believe that literacy is understanding and clearly communicating ideas through reading, writing, speaking, and visualization.
  4. Literacy challenges students to develop their identities and empathize with others whose identities and perspectives differ from their own.
  5. Literacy is nurturing imagination.
  6. Literacy is a collaborative process among all stakeholders (author, students, teachers, specialists, administration and parents in the District 73½  community) to foster a lifelong passion for reading.
  7. Literacy includes development of and application of listening skills.

How were our Literacy Belief Statements developed?

On August 11, 2017 approximately 26 educators from Skokie 73½ attended a full day workshop led by Laura Beltchenko, literacy expert and consultant. A portion of the workshop entailed learning about, and developing, a literacy belief statement. A literacy belief statement is intended to provide schools with an overview of where they want to go and what they want in terms of literacy instructional best practice. These statements establish clear expectations and values for the literacy program. Participants were asked to write their own statements, and then worked in small groups to refine them. These were then shared out with the entire group, who discussed each idea carefully. During the fall and winter of 2017, staff who attended the full day workshop were asked to bring the draft statements to their teams for feedback. The feedback provided was used to make suggested edits, which were reviewed and commented on by members of the district Academics Committee. The final draft was published in early 2018.

Our English-language arts program is fully aligned with the Common Core State Standards.  In order to support student development of literacy skills, teachers have a variety of materials available.  To ensure consistency with programming among and across grade levels, teachers utilize core materials.  These include Journeys in Kindergarten through grade 5, and Prentice Hall Literature in grades 6 through 8. 

The National Council of Teachers of English offer the resources below so parents may support literacy development at home and outside of school.