Johnston School Gets Creative With Title 1 Funding

Johnston School Gets Creative with Title 1 Funds: adds Instructional Time for Struggling Students


One in six children who are not reading proficiently in third grade does not graduate from high school on time, a rate four times greater than that for proficient readers.  The rates are highest for the low, below-basic readers: 23 percent of these children drop out or fail to finish high school on time, compared to 9 percent of children with basic reading skills and 4 percent of proficient readers.


At Johnston School, the teachers and staff are addressing these alarming statistics in a proactive way by focusing on reading skills across the curriculum as their primary goal including where it crosses over into science and math.  As a direct result of these efforts, Johnston has been able to use Federal Title 1 funds to extend learning opportunities for struggling readers.

        They have been able to provide two after-school programs for Johnston students who need that help in reading as well as math.  If a student were eligible to take advantage of both programs – and many were – they would receive up to 27 hours of additional instruction outside of the regular school day.  That’s the equivalent of extending reading and math instruction for almost an extra month.

“Since these opportunities are focused on both of the two core subject areas [math and reading], we can really work to move these kids forward,” Principal Kevin Trezak explained.  “We had a ten-day program right before the applied skills portion of the ISTEP+ test, and in January, we began our after school program that will continue to service kids through the end of the year”.  In fact, Johnston is looking to expand both programs next year. 

        “We want to increase both service time and the number of students we are reaching,” Trezak continued, “there are a few kids who we could not get to this year – we are committed to changing that.” 

But that’s not all . . .

This summer, Johnston is piloting a 10-Day Reading Camp for Kindergarten and 1st graders.  Beginning on June 7th, it will take place in the library on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00-12:00.  Though kids will have free reading time in a cozy “camp-like” atmosphere, staff has also worked to include instruction that is focused around the Daily 5 reading program.  Teachers will also focus on utilizing the leveled reading system (Literacy Library) as a guided reading component.  The entire program will be organized in a hands-on approach utilizing Literacy Library books to facilitate and differentiate reading instruction.

All of the programs have featured and will continue to feature small class sizes and instruction by a licensed teacher.  Instruction concentrates on standards-based, grade-level information in mathematics and reading.

If you would like to get involved with the great things that are happening at Johnston School, contact Principal Kevin Trezak at 923-2428.