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Port Chester Daily Voice serves Port Chester, NY

Port Chester Reinstates Teachers, Boosts Literacy

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Port Chester reading teachers who had been laid off due to state budget cuts are back in the classroom and elementary schools are beginning a higher focus on literacy, the district announced.

Superintendent of Schools Edward Kliszus announced late last week that all of the reading teachers would be re-instated into the district. Three of the teachers who had been caught in the cuts found positions in other school districts.

“I am pleased that we were able to re-hire these experienced and talented teachers,” Kliszus said in a prepared statement. “At the same time, I would like taxpayers and our employees to note that we did not create new positions, but rather filled existing positions due to retirements and resignations, and staffed special education classes for students who would have been in costly out-of-district placements.”

The recalls were made possible due to the Board of Education’s efforts to settle all employment contracts by June 30, according to Kliszus.

The district also announced that, for the first time, all elementary schools will schedule a special period each day for literacy instruction in an effort to address the needs of students who are struggling to read or for those who are advanced readers.

The period is structured to improve how teachers differentiate instruction under the state Response to Intervention mandate, which requires all school districts to have a program in place as part of its evaluation process “to determine if a student in grades K-4 is a student with a learning disability in the area of reading.”

During these classes, literacy specialists and special education teachers in each building will work with assigned students at the same reading level in small groups to monitor and evaluate student’s progress continuously. Those who are reading above his or her grade level will also receive enrichment opportunities in similar small-group learning environments.

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