McKinney ISD elementary schools test new state reading initiative

Minshew Elementary teacher Melissa Rushing teaches first grade virtual students. Minshew and Reuben Johnson elementary schools will participate in MISD's Reading Academy pilot program. (Courtesy McKinney ISD)
Minshew Elementary teacher Melissa Rushing teaches first grade virtual students. Minshew and Reuben Johnson elementary schools will participate in MISD's Reading Academy pilot program. (Courtesy McKinney ISD)

Minshew Elementary teacher Melissa Rushing teaches first grade virtual students. Minshew and Reuben Johnson elementary schools will participate in MISD's Reading Academy pilot program. (Courtesy McKinney ISD)

Two McKinney ISD elementary schools are testing a new reading pilot program this year in response to a statewide initiative by the Texas Legislature.

Minshew and Reuben Johnson elementary schools are participating in MISD's Reading Academy pilot program. The program comes from a state initiative that requires all kindergarten through third-grade teachers in every Texas public school district to complete the state's 60-hour Reading Academy over the next three years.

After this year's pilot, MISD will expand training to the district's remaining elementary schools over the next two years, according to an Oct. 13 release.

“Summed up, it’s making sure that every K–3rd grade teacher in the state understands how to teach reading—what you’re supposed to do, how to look for those indicators if a student is struggling," said Garry Gorman, MISD's senior director of curriculum and instruction, in the release. “It’s information that teachers may not have gotten in college or during certification training.”

The state mandate extends to any public education professional who is involved in reading instruction, including media resource specialists, instructional coaches and campus principals, per the release.


“The initiative is a foundation in best literacy practices to build capacity in our teachers," said MISD reading specialist Heather Rodriguez, who is leading the MISD pilot with Gorman. "So that we’re all equipped with this background knowledge in the science and art of teaching reading. So, the result is that we have high quality, effective literacy instruction to support student success.”