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Personalizing Literacy Respects Students’ Backgrounds, Needs, and Neurodiversity

At Marysville Schools, literacy instruction is structured in a way that embraces the diverse profiles of our learners.  Marysville takes pride in personalization by considering student profiles when selecting a fitting instructional approach tailored to meet each student right where they are when learning to read. For instance, students who need additional reading support have access to early reading intervention where specialists who are skilled in a diverse set of structured literacy approaches work with them in small groups.  

Over the past 5 years we’ve worked diligently to create methods and systems allowing us to personalize literacy instruction and ensure every student learns to read.  Significant overhauls of our screenings and assessments have enabled us to be much more diagnostic and prescriptive in the services we deliver for students. One example, Marysville is one of,  if not the only school district in the country with protocols in place to accurately diagnose dyslexia in students. We view this diagnosis as important for the social-emotional health of students and families.  Parents and students want to know what is going on when reading doesn’t come easy. In Marysville, we provide families with this information. One of the reasons why we screen every kindergarten student for the markers of this reading disability.  

While diagnostic, evidence-based approaches to reading instruction are important, fostering the love of reading is a primary focus in our schools.  To grow a reader you need to be a reader so making sure reading practices such as daily read alouds, literature circles and ensuring classrooms are filled with high interest books are essential to fostering the love our reading in our students.     

Marysville Schools have also invested in alternative programming to better serve our learning community.  Programs such as the Alternative Kindergarten Program and the Summer Reading Book Distribution Program both serve as examples of our commitment to using innovative approaches to support students.    

The entire world opens up to students when they learn to read so taking a personalized approach to ensure it happens is work worth doing.  We absolutely believe innovative and collaborative programming is the only way to ensure each student learns to read, write and comprehend.  It is difficult work but we’ve been able to shrink the work because we do it together. This collaborative, innovative and personalized approach makes Marysville a great place for student literacy. 

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