Aoba-Japan International School (A-JIS) believes there is a need to value and acknowledge the language and literacy that students bring from their homes and communities. There is also a need at the school for every student to master standard English and the literacies they will need for success in school and beyond.
As literacy is pivotal to all learning, A-JIS has been reviewing and refining its literacy program to ensure that a balanced literacy program is provided for students. A-JIS has embarked on a whole-school professional development journey with teachers to ensure that they have a common understanding and a common approach to literacy and literacy strategies. This has included the development of a school-wide assessment schedule within which diagnostic reading assessments are conducted bi-annually and writing samples are moderated among year levels to ensure consistency in teacher judgment and to highlight areas of improvement.
As part of this approach, the school has adopted the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Studies.
The standards set requirements and also lay out a vision of what it means to be a literate person in the 21st century. This journey is not a one-way or static journey, but is ongoing. As better evidence emerges, the school’s literacy practices will be revised accordingly. — KAREN O’NEILL