November 6, 2020 — One month in, Interim Superintendent Dr. Ann Dixon has identified an issue at the root of Midland ISD's academic performance: literacy.
"When we started analyzing data around the number of children needing reading intervention, it was clear that something was amiss at a base level," said Dixon. At 18 of the district's 27 elementary schools, 50% or greater of first graders currently require reading intervention.
In response to the data, Dixon has organized a Literacy Initiative Team, or "LIT" for short. This group has been charged with deep data analysis of elementary reading performance and identifying specific needs. "Reading struggles can take many forms, from trouble with comprehension to phonemic awareness to challenges forming letters," shared Dr. Katie Atkins, Chief of Staff.
Analysis in hand, the Literacy Team is meeting with campus principals to problem-solve and find out what kind of support is desired. "As a district, it is our responsibility to provide campuses with the resources they need to meet students' needs, " Atkins added.
One thing Atkins has heard over and over? A request for more adults on campus to teach reading. In response to this, Midland ISD is looking to the community for a cadre of literacy tutors. "You don't have to be a certified teacher in order to make an impact on a child's ability to read," Atkins shared.
Community members interested in working as literacy tutors are encouraged to attend one of two information sessions next week. Tutors would be MISD hires and make $25 an hour. A high school diploma is required.
Tuesday, November 10th, 12 p.m.-3:00 p.m. in room 101, Midland ISD Central Office
Wednesday, November 11th, 9:00 a.m.-12 p.m. in room 101, Midland ISD Central Office
Those planning to attend are encouraged to register here.