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Hello and welcome to the Horizon Reading website!
You will find information regarding the Loudoun County Public Schools policy on reading as well as information specific to Horizon. You will also find some general useful tips to help your child as well as links to websites devoted to the teaching of reading.
   The following information was taken from the LCPS publication called  Reading Framework, Grades K-5, 2013
Loudoun County Public Schools
Mission Statement for Reading
     "The mission of the Elementary Reading program in Loudoun County Public Schools is to teach all students how to read, write, listen, think and respond to  text so that they may become independent readers and lifelong learners , and confident citizens of the 21st century."
Guiding Principles/General Philosophy
  • The Pathways to Reading and Writing framework is developed and refined with a broad and sustained attention to the research. The LCPS literacy framework, as presented by the Pathways to Reading and Writing , is a balanced, multi-approach to instruction to meet the needs of varied learners. The essential components of reading and writing instruction  are integrated in a comprehensive  structure that includes reading and writing workshop, independent reading, shared reading, interactive read aloud , guided reading and word study. Consistent and common staff-development opportunities, instructional practices, and professional vocabulary provide the critical and necessary elements of the LCPS literacy program.
  • Most reading experts maintain that there is no one best method for teaching reading that works for all children. G.Reid Lyon (1997) of the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD, summarizing  his panel's research on reading, testified before Congress, "We have learned that no single method, approach or philosophy for teaching reading is equally effective for all children....The read question is which children need what, when, for how long,with what typed of instruction, and in what type of setting."
  • Teachers use instructional practices (strategies, content, and assessments) that are based on a wide range of current research.
  • Teachers set and maintain high expectations for all students, working with them from where they  are instructionally and helping them reach individual goals which maximize  potential.  The goal is for each student to be at or above grade level in reading.
  • The essential components of reading instruction are well articulated through the Pillars of Reading as graphically organized by Sharon Taberski (Comprehension from the Ground Up , 2011 by Sharon Taberski Heinemann:Portsmouth, N.H.) with comprehension as the over arching goal.
  • Reading instruction is deliberate. Teachers set purposes, objectives, and expectations for instruction based on the Virginia Standards of Learning
  • Teachers are actively teach reading skills and strategies. Reading strategies are explicitly taught through modeling, providing students with guided practice, and allowing students to independently practice what was taught. Strategies are used before, during and after reading to assist students with comprehension.
  • Teachers respond to students' needs based on formal and informal assessments.
  • Students are taught that reading strategies are flexible and can be applied to and adapted to meet the demands of the material being read.
  • Teachers provide assignments that relate to the types of reading that readers do in the real world as well as in school. Relevance is created when students understand the purposes and objectives of lessons and understand how they related to their lives. 
  • Teachers differentiate reading instruction based on the skills and abilities of the student.
  • Teachers  assess decoding, fluency, and comprehension for all readers.
  • Teachers use assessment data to determine baseline information for each student, to monitor progress, and to plan for subsequent instruction in reading.
  •  Teachers use a variety of assessment tools, both formal and informal, including such tools as : running records, anecdotal notes, checklists, rubrics, benchmark tests, standardized tests, word study assessments and formal reading assessments (PALS, DRA 2)