Literacy

Early Literacy

MVWSD recognizes the importance of a holistic approach to address the needs of emerging readers. The Director of Literacy and the Literacy team will provide instructional leadership and strategic direction for curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development to ensure literacy achievement and growth across all grades. A team of intervention teachers and instructional assistants will work with students and staff at schools that demonstrate lower student achievement for emerging readers (K-2).

Cyndee Nguyen, Director of Early Literacy

Reading/Language Arts program

MVWSD uses Benchmark Advance as its comprehensive Reading/Language Arts program for Kindergarten through fifth grade. Benchmark Adelante provides the same program in Spanish for our students at Mistral's Dual Immersion program.

These programs are built to meet the demands of the English Language Arts/Literacy and English Language Development standards with rigorous, integrated reading, writing, speaking, and listening instruction.

Please click on the link below to see an overview of the program and grade level reading selections.

For the Benchmark Advance (English) guide, click here
For the Benchmark Adelante (Spanish) guide, click here

English Language Arts Curriculum Adoption

MVWSD works to update English Language Arts Curriculum for 2024-25
As part of our district’s focus on literacy, MVWSD has begun looking at new curriculums for students grade K-5 in our English Language Arts (ELA) program. In recent decades, more research on children’s cognitive processes, language development, and reading acquisition has shown that curriculum that includes the Science of Reading helps to ensure children develop strong foundational reading skills, enabling them to become proficient readers.

The work of MVWSD’s methodical process for researching new curriculums is done by the Adoption Committee. This committee researches, reviews, and tries out the ELA curriculum that follows the Science of Reading. Our goal is to have a new curriculum in place for the 2024-25 school year.

Our District Ed Services Department asked for participation from classroom teachers and from families of students in Kindergarten - 5th grade and got many applications. California Education Code requires that the majority of members on the curriculum adoption committee must be teachers. The review team represents different grade levels across schools. The committee is co-facilitated by the Chief Academic Officer, the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, the Director of Early Literacy, and the MTSS Coordinator. The team will meet several times a month from September through May afterschool and on Saturdays, with a goal of recommending a curriculum to the Board of Trustee for adoption in May. 

We are excited for the work that the ELA Curriculum Adoption Committee is undertaking as we make this shift to adopting a structured literacy based curriculum for Kindergarten - 5th grade. 
September 12, 2023
The K-5 ELA Adoption Committee met for its first meeting.  The goal of the committee is to research, review, and try out the ELA curriculum that follows the evidence and research base of the Science of Reading for implementation in the 24-25 school year.  The committee consists of 11 teachers across school sites, specialities and grade levels ( as well as two parents (representing grades K, 3, 5). California Education Code requires that the majority of members on the curriculum adoption committee must be teachers. The committee is co-facilitated by the Chief Academic Officer, the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, the Director of Early Literacy, and the MTSS Coordinator. 

The group’s work is divided into 4 phases:
Phase 1: Building Common Knowledge
Phase 2: Preparing for the Pilot
Phase 3: Pilots #1 and #2
Phase 4: Recommendation

The team will meet several times a month from September through May afterschool and on Saturdays, with a goal of recommending a curriculum for adoption in May.

At this 2-hour meeting, the team did the following:
Set group norms
Previewed the adoption process and timeline
Learned about how the reading brain works and the Science of Reading
September 26, 2023
The team met for 2 hours to do the following:
Reviewed the Science of Reading and the instructional shifts when moving from a balanced literacy to a structured literacy approach
Reviewed the Ed Reports rating reports to eliminate curriculums that scored red (does not meet) and yellow (partially meets) the Ed Reports Gateways that measure text quality and complexity, alignment to the standards, tasks and questions grounded in evidence, foundational skills development K-2, building knowledge, and coherence. 7 curriculums that received green (fully meets) moved on for further review
Curated a rubric to meet MVWSD’s needs based on 12 established, research-based curriculum adoption rubrics.
Prepared for the upcoming September 30th curriculum review meeting
September 30, 2023
The team met for 6 hours on Saturday (!) to do the following:
Reviewed 7 curriculums using the MVWSD rubric.  
Discuss the rubric ratings
Based on rubric ratings, selected 4 curriculums for further, deeper review in October.
October 10, 2023
The team met for 2 hours to do the following:
Reviewed the Science of Reading and the instructional shifts when moving from a balanced literacy to a structured literacy approach
Studied the elements of content and pedagogy rubrics
Curated a rubric to meet MVWSD’s content and pedagogy needs based on three established, research-based curriculum adoption rubrics.
Prepared for the upcoming October 21st curriculum review meeting
October 21, 2023
The team met for 6 hours on Saturday (!) to do the following:
Finalized MVWSD’s content and pedagogy rubrics
Reviewed 4 curriculums using the MVWSD rubric  
Discussed the rubric ratings
Based on rubric ratings, selected 2 curriculums to pilot: Amplify Core Knowledge Language Arts and McGraw Hill Wonders
November 2023
At the Nov. 2 Board of Trustees meeting, staff reported on the committee’s review and the process for selecting curriculum for piloting. In January, teachers in 11 classrooms will begin 6-week pilots for two curriculums for K-5 -  Amplify Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) and McGraw Hill Wonders. Selected preschool/ transitional kindergarten classrooms will also pilot two integrated curriculums specific to early learners - Creative Curriculum from Teaching Strategies and Three Cheers for Pre-K from Savvas. 
Upcoming meeting dates:
December 12, 2023
January 30, 2024
February 13, 2024
March 19, 2024
April 20, 2024

We will continue to keep you updated on the adoption process. Please reach out to our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment - Swati Dagar via email or call 650-526-3500, if you have any questions. 
Update January 31, 2024
The ELA curriculum adoption committee and PK/TK adoption committee are currently piloting two curriculums each. The curriculums are built from the Science of Reading. In addition, the PK/TK curriculums are also aligned with research on language development and play-based learning. 

K-5 ELA Pilot Curriculums:
Amplify Core Knowledge Language Arts
McGraw Hill Wonders

PK/TK Pilot Curriculums:
Creative Curriculum by Learning Strategies
Three Cheers for PreK by Savvas

Families and members of the public may preview the K-5 ELA and PK/TK pilot curriculums at the District Office, 1400 Montecito Ave., on the following dates and times:

February 12th at 12:00-1:00
February 15th at 12:00-2:00
February 27th at 4:30-6:00
February 28th at 4:30-6:00

If families and members of the public would like to view at a different time, please contact Cyndee Nguyen to make arrangements
Update May 7, 2024
After an extensive curriculum review and pilot process, the K-5 ELA and PK/TK curriculum adoption committees have made curriculum recommendations for consideration by the  Board of Trustees at the May 16, 2024 meeting.

The K-5 ELA curriculum committee highly recommended Amplify Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) for implementation in the 24-25 school year because it is built from the science of reading, includes explicit and systematic foundational skills instruction, and builds deep knowledge and vocabulary in content across the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and literature. 

The PK/TK curriculum committee highly recommended Savvas Three Cheers for PreK because it is aligned with the science of reading and the continuum of play-based learning. It also provides ample opportunities for students to develop oral language and vocabulary through rich discussions, engaging content, and playful learning.

Families and members of the public may preview the K-5 ELA and PK/TK recommended curriculums at the District Office, 1400 Montecito Ave., on the following dates and times:

May 22 at 5:30-6:30 p.m.
May 23 at 12:15-1:15 p.m.

If families and members of the public would like to view at a different time, please contact Cyndee Nguyen, to make arrangements. To read more about the curriculum adoption process, please see the May 16, 2024 Board presentation. 
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