One of the Shelton School System's main goals is to ensure students become competent readers and writers.  When literacy instruction corresponds to students' strengths and needs, students learn to effectively communicate ideas and demonstrate what they know.  The English Language Arts curriculum empowers student learning in preparation for post-secondary studies and work.


In kindergarten through grade 6, the district uses a Balanced Literacy Approach.  Balanced literacy encompasses the essential factors of reading through explicit teaching of phonic and phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.  Readers' workshop, independent reading time, systematic world study, and writers' workshop instruction are key features of the approach.  Teachers model the habits of strategies of good readers and writers through read-alouds, guided reading, shared reading, interactive writing, and mini lessons in reading and writing.  Teachers confer with students individually and in small groups.  This approach allows students to apply strategies to their own reading and writing successfully.


Classroom libraries are the centerpiece of balanced literacy.  Teachers plan instruction using these libraries around authentic literature.  The libraries are designed so that each grade will have a range of reading levels, and also covers literature from picture and chapter books to novels, poetry, and nonfiction.


In the middle school, teachers continue to use the approaches of balanced literacy through the readers' and writers' workshop.  The emphasis shifts from learning to read to reading to learn.  Students at this level continue to improve and apply their reading and writing skills to build knowledge about new subject matter.


High school students become more sophisticated readers and writers.  Students are encouraged to continuously develop their ability to think abstractly and to evaluate critically various types of literature (novels, plays, short stories, and poems).  Grammar and vocabulary units may accompany each literacy unit.


Together parents and teachers play a fundamental role in the development of literacy skills.  Open communication is imperative in order for student success.  If you should have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me either through email or by phone.


Victoria White


Supervisor of Literacy, Assessment and Professional Learning K-12



Office of Instruction and Student Support Services

(203) 924-1023 ext. 316