After eliminating Reading Recovery teachers earlier this year, Seymour Community Schools is now adding staff to provide Title I services to students at three elementary schools.
The board of school trustees voted this month to hire six new teaching assistants for Margaret R. Brown, Seymour-Jackson and Seymour-Redding elementary schools. The additional staff will work with the schools’ Title I literacy coaches.
A part of No Child Left behind legislation, Title I provides supplemental federal funding to provide extra academic support and learning opportunities for children who struggle to meet state standards.
This year, literacy coaches, who provide support and professional development services to teachers, replaced the Reading Recovery program as a way to help teachers improve literacy instruction to better serve Title I students.
Later, Seymour school officials were told the program could not replace the Reading Recovery program without also providing direct instruction to students.
Jeff Klakamp, director of federal programs for Seymour Community Schools, said the issue came about during a change in staff at the Indiana Department of Education. He said Seymour had worked with a Title I liaison from the department to plan the program with literacy coaches over the summer, but that liaison resigned and Seymour schools were assigned a new contact.
Klakamp said the new liaison looked through the paperwork for the Title I grant and said it could not be approved without the inclusion of direct instruction with Title I students.
“Our thought all along as a corporation and as an administrative team was that by helping the teachers improve upon literacy instruction that we would then in turn provide services to our Title I students through that improved literacy instruction,” Klakamp said.
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