Literacy Mission in Long Beach Public Schools
We are committed to supporting all students as they develop as readers, writers, designers, creators, thinkers, and participants in academic and social spaces. While the definition of what it means to be literate consistently develops in response to changes in societal norms and expectations, our core values remain:
- All students deserve a learning space where they are cared for, encouraged, and feel safe.
- All students deserve to be part of a community that fosters kindness, collaboration, and growth.
- All students deserve access to a curriculum that is relevant to their interests and wonderings and rooted in the New York State Next Generation English Language Arts standards.
- All students deserve to participate in learning experiences that are designed to foster the skills that define the Long Beach Profile of a Graduate.
- All students deserve time to read, write, design, and create in school.
- All students deserve to read books of choice and write about topics of choice through guided and independent experiences.
- All students deserve opportunities to share their voices and perspectives through writing, design, and conversation while respecting those that are different from their own.
- All students deserve access to high-interest, high-quality texts that serve as windows and mirrors (Rudine Sims Bishop, 1990) for their own lives and experiences.
- All students deserve opportunities to write with intention for various purposes and to be coached through the writing process.
- All students deserve to develop print and digital competencies to participate in a variety of academic and social spaces.
- All students deserve literacy experiences that are equitable to maximize and actualize their potential.
Curriculum and Instruction
Literacy curriculum is designed to provide students with experiences that reflect their identities and interests, to challenge them to make meaning in various ways, and to foster development of the skills that define the Long Beach Profile of a Graduate. It is aligned with the progression of the New York State Next Generation English Language Arts Standards. Students engage in a range of reading experiences within various genres and formats, and work through the writing process in various genres several times a year. Students develop soft skills through literacy practices in listening, speaking, and collaboration. Students also navigate print and digital spaces to carry out literacy practices. Independent reading is valued and cultivated in all grade levels so that students have opportunities to choose books that are interesting to them. Teachers and librarians guide students in developing their personal reading lives and build communities to celebrate an enjoyment and appreciation for reading.
Grades K-5 Curriculum
The elementary curriculum provides a space for students to learn foundational literacy skills and to enter into the early stages of critical thinking and analysis. The reading units of study include instructional plans to support students' development in phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary and word study, literal comprehension, analysis, and responding to text and media in a variety of ways. The writing units of study include instructional plans to support students as they learn to work through the stages of the writing process multiple times a year about ideas that are important to them in various genres: generating ideas, rehearsing ideas, drafting, revising, editing, publishing, and celebrating. Long Beach Public Schools uses the Teachers College Reading Units of Study and Writing Units of Study.
Grades 6-8 Curriculum
Literacy experiences at the middle level welcome students to consider who they are in relation to what they read, write, see, and listen to. Students are exposed to a variety of texts throughout grades 6, 7 and 8 written in various time periods. Students engage in several club experiences where they learn to participate in academic and social conversations with intent. Students spend time engaged in the writing process several times throughout the year as they develop longer pieces while conferring with teachers and peers. Students use reading and writing as ways to self reflect and gain a better understanding of who they are and what they are learning. They also engage in reflection to set personal long-term and short-term goals, as inspired by the Approaches to Learning from the Middle Years Program. There is a great emphasis on independent reading at the middle level; students are encouraged to visit the school library and classroom libraries frequently. Students work toward independently growing their reading lives.
Grades 9-12 Curriculum
Literacy experiences in high school prepare students for more complex academic reading, writing, listening, speaking, and viewing experiences. Students further develop their reading skills to analyze and discuss texts with multi-layered characters and themes. They also learn to trace arguments in nonfiction texts and write their own arguments on issues that are presented in literature and in society. Students continue to participate in book and research club experiences to further develop their conversation and collaboration skills. They also spend time developing writing pieces with intense work in each stage of the writing process. Students engage in research in each grade level with a different point of emphasis to scaffold the process across grades 9-12. Independent reading and growing personal reading identities are important responsibilities of students at the high school level; students are encouraged to visit the school library and classroom libraries frequently.