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Spotlight on Success: Teaching Students to Read

NVUSD Communications


Celebrate with us as we reflect on our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan and the many successes accomplished over the last five years. Today, we're sharing the story of how NVUSD's focus on "student learning, achievement, and access" helped one elementary school student take his ABCs to the next level.

A few years ago, a student entered Tracee Sims' first-grade classroom at Canyon Oaks Elementary School. He was smart, dedicated, and multilingual - but he didn't yet know his letter sounds and as a result was not yet able to read.

Thanks to a special type of training called LETRs (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) Mrs. Sims was able to teach this student how to correctly decode letters and comprehend their meaning. By the end of the year, her student was decoding consonant-vowel-consonant words like “mop” with ease. 

“My student struggled with reading at the beginning of first grade. Now he can decode words. He can read. He is successful in the classroom. It’s wonderful to hear of his continued success when I run into him on campus or chat with his new teacher. LETRs training has positively transformed his trajectory as a student and my path forward as a teacher.”

She continued, “Professional development, specifically LETRs training, helped me become a better first-grade teacher by allowing me to more effectively differentiate learning for each of my students. I learned how to better teach my students to read. Being gifted this training is something beyond what teachers are given in their credentialing program; we're not taught how to be efficient, systematic instructionalists. I learned how to do this through LETRs. This student’s experience has impacted me greatly and will continue to positively impact my teaching forever.” 

“My students are successfully reading, writing, and working with numbers” shared first-grade teacher Tracee Sims.” By the end of 1st grade, all my students will be ready for 2nd grade. That’s always my goal.”

Want to learn more about how NVUSD is teaching students how to read in elementary school and how this is improving student learning, achievement, and access? Click here.

Photo: Students in Mrs. Sims's current 1st-grade class practicing letter decoding.

  • 01 - Elementary Schools
  • 02 - Middle Schools
  • 03 - High Schools