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Roanoke Rapids Graded School District teachers will join other districts across the state next year in intensive state-mandated training aimed at improving the literacy skills of Pre-K and elementary students through the introduction of a practice called the Science of Reading.  

The new program is an evidence-based learning practice that will empower teachers and help students learn to read by teaching the relationship of letters and sounds through phonics and reading comprehension.  

The RRGSD Board of Trustees got an overview of the new requirements at Tuesday night’s meeting.  

Senate Bill 387, which was adopted last spring, requires teachers to participate in up to 168 hours of training over the next two years.  

The Language Essential for Teachers of Reading and Spelling training will also require some additional teacher workdays that will be added into the 2022-2023 RRGSD school calendar which will be released soon.  

Prior to the pandemic, 57 percent of all third graders in North Carolina earned the minimum reading score required to be promoted to the fourth grade.  

The literacy instruction is aimed at helping students gain skills in decoding words through letters and sounds and then applying the skills to read faster, accurately, and with ease.

“While this does come at a time when our teachers are already doing their best to help our students recover from last year’s learning loss, I feel confident they will flourish and use this training to help our students grow further in their learning,” said Interim Superintendent Julie Thompson. “I am thankful for all of us working together to make this professional development go as smoothly as possible for our staff.” 

RRGSD teachers will begin the training this summer. 

Halifax County Schools

On Tuesday the Halifax County School Board of Education approved Superintendent Eric Cunningham’s recommendation for masks to be worn inside all Halifax County Schools buildings.

The Halifax County Board of Education will vote monthly on the mask mandate. The next board meeting will be held on February 7.