COUCH SCHOOL -- Couch School has been selected as one of 56 out of 250 eligible school districts across the state to receive funding to establish a research-based reading program for students in kindergarten through third grade. Reading First, part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, is a comprehensive reading program aligned with scientific research to ensure students can read by the end of the third grade.
Officials at Couch School said Missouri Reading First schools reflect the National Reading Panel's review that students reading proficiently by the end of third grade have a greater chance of being life-long successful readers. Couch K-3 students will receive 90 minutes of uninterrupted reading instruction based on phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. Staff will conduct classroom-based assessments for screening, diagnostics, progress monitoring, outcomes and interventions for individual students falling behind.
Funds will also support a significant increase in professional development to ensure that all teachers have the necessary skills to effectively teach their reading program. The 2004-05 Couch reading team consists of the following staff members: Gail Burr, kindergarten; Jan Melton, first grade; Joshua Alexander, second grade; Kelly Roberts, third grade; Dian Decker, special education; Rhonda Hill, Title 1 reading; Pam Smith, reading coach; and Russell Deckard, program coordinator and elementary principal.