Reading program primes students for more learning

Provided photo Students were given the chance to get hands-on with modern CPR dummies in the Health Careers classroom during CTE tours offered to local sophomores and juniors.

HANCOCK — Copper Country Intermediate School District (CCISD) psychologist Lynnette Borree informed the CCISD Board about the workings of Enhanced Core Reading Instruction (ECRI) at Tuesday night’s board meeting.

“It’s one of those things in education that, I can’t believe we haven’t thought about this before,” Borree said.

Typical format for reading instruction in elementary schools is to have a 90-minute block of core instruction for all the students, and another 30-60 minutes for those students who need extra support, according to Borree.

ECRI aligns the extra time for students to “pre-teach” what will be introduced during the core instruction time so those students get more time practicing the same skills.

Borree said this also encourages those same students to engage with the core instruction more frequently, a goal that ECRI strives for with teaching strategies designed to increase student engagement.

The program is part of a grant provided by the University of Oregon in partnership with Michigan’s Behavior and Learning Support Initiative (MiBLSI) and includes a research component.

Classes are observed by coaches to determine how well teachers are executing ECRI principles and what the resulting improvement in reading abilities has been. So far, Borree said the results have been positive, especially in classrooms more closely adhering to the ECRI program.

Superintendent George Stockero informed the board that, despite rescheduling around snow days, student tours of the Career and Technical Education Center (CTE) went well, with many positive responses from students and faculty in attendance.

The tours led students through eight classes — auto tech, welding and manufacturing, construction trades, health careers, certified nursing assistant, early childhood, computer networking and cyber security, and graphic arts and marketing — for 15 minutes each for the prospective teachers to talk about the classes and demonstrate the equipment available in each room.

Stockero told the board that transportation for the tours was paid for by the Western Upper Peninsula Regional Prosperity Initiative from the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR). WUPPDR has also agreed to fund promotional videos for each CTE class.

The board also approved the hiring of Jordan Schulze as a paraprofessional for the CTE welding and machining class.

“We ended up hiring someone that can be a para-pro, but can also be an instructor for our machining part of the class,” Stockero said. “He is certified.”