Schools

Last year, the Ravenwood Education Foundation launched the literacy intervention program in the Ravenwood School District, which identifies third to fifth grade students reading 1-1.5 years below grade level and provides them with intensive support.  Groups of four students cycle through six weeks of four-times-per-week instruction with a literacy Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA). As a result, in the 2018-2019 school year so far, students with this literacy intervention moved ahead of their peers by 50%.

Kimberley Yamashita (pictured top with student) has been at Willow Oaks School in Menlo Park for 14 years and took on the TOSA position 18 months ago. “I love classroom teaching,” she says, “but moving into this literacy specialist role has really allowed me to put my experience, training and skills to use by working intensively with students, as well as coaching teachers in a targeted and effective way.”

With three, soon to be four, young sons of her own, Kimberly is impressively calm and poised — and quite obviously delights in seeing her students’ progress. One such student is Alex (pictured top), an engaged 4th grader at Willow Oaks, and the youngest of six boys in his family. He admits he used to be bored trying to read and would only occasionally pick up a book.

Following a six week cycle of intensive small reading groups with Kimberly in the Fall — and support replicated in the classroom — Alex progressed from a beginning 3rd grade reading level to an end of 4th grade reading level. His new found joy in reading is evident, and he is proud of his progress and the material he can now access.

“Now that I’ve graduated from Mrs. Yamashita’s group, I read more and feel happier about books,” he says. “History books are my favorite!”

“I can’t see all the kids who need literacy intervention, so that is tough,” laments Yamashita. “The results are there, we just need more literacy specialists so we can see more students.”

To that end — funding more literacy specialists among other programs — the Ravenswood Education Foundation (REF) is hosting its 12th annual gala on Saturday, March 2, at 6:00 pm at the Four Seasons in East Palo Alto. Tickets are available online through Feb. 26.

“Each year, our gala raises a third of our annual program budget,” explains Renu Nanda, Executive Director of the Ravenswood Education Foundation, “so it is a key event where community members come together to celebrate and support the students of Ravenswood schools — and raise vital funds for programs.

“Along with regular and consistent ongoing initiatives in mental health, makerspaces, art, music, summer school, teacher development and more, one of REF’s key drives has been literacy. Last year we funded five specialist literacy teachers and we want to increase that to at least 10 this coming school year. The benefits are clear.”

Photos courtesy of Ravenswood Education Foundation

{ Be the first to comment }

Menlo-Atherton High School Girls Wrestling wins CCS Championship title for third year in a row

This past weekend, on February 15-16, the Menlo-Atherton High School Girls Wrestling team achieved a level of success that no other M-A sports team has reached in the last 25 years — a third consecutive Central Coast Section (CCS) Championship. Sixty-one girls teams from high schools throughout the Central Coast competed at the CCS Girls […]

Click to read more →

Hillview students team with preschoolers at the Early Learning Center on art projects

Hillview Middle School art teacher Anna Kogan took her students across town on a field trip to visit the three through five-year-olds at the district’s Early Learning Center for a special joint art project. The preschoolers used their whole bodies to pose as their favorite animal while the middle school artists traced them. Together, the […]

Click to read more →

Deadline to apply to be Safe Routes to School Coordinator for Menlo Park is Feb. 8

Menlo Park’s traffic consultant, Alta Planning Design, is hiring a Safe Routes to School Coordinator (Outreach Coordinator #1289). This individual will work as a liaison to public and private schools in Menlo Park. This position is a key component of the implementation phase of the citywide Safe Routes to School program, and will serve as […]

Click to read more →

Menlo-Atherton High School athletes are celebrated on National Signing Day 2019

Today Menlo-Atherton High School celebrated its scholar athletes who have signed letters of intent to play their sport at the college or university of their choice. The program began with four-star recruit Daniel Heimuli (pictured below), who had yet to declare publicly where he was headed. Three caps were arranged in front of him, representing […]

Click to read more →

Menlo Drama presents “The Old Man and The Old Moon”

Menlo Drama is presenting The Old Man and The Old Moon, a song-filled folktale featuring imaginative stagecraft, shadow puppetry, exceptional storytelling and pure theater magic. Performances run Friday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 9 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 10 at 5:00 p.m. in Florence Moore Auditorium at Menlo […]

Click to read more →

Upcoming information meetings about MPCSD Spanish Immersion program

Want your child to be bilingual? Enroll them in the Encinal Spanish Immersion Program! Come find out everything you need to know about enrolling your child in Spanish Immersion! In addition to our incoming Kindergarteners, other grades have space too. The initial meeting will take place at the Encinal Library  on Feb. 7  from 7:00 to […]

Click to read more →

Party New Orleans style at M-A Big Band Dance on Feb. 2

You’re invited to  join the award-winning Menlo-Atherton High School Music Program at the Big Band Dance on February 2 from 7:00 to 10:00 pm in Ayers Gym . The event will once again bring the spirit of Mardi Gras and the ambiance of the French Quarter of New Orleans to M-A. General admission adult ($40) […]

Click to read more →

Henry Winkler delights Sacred Heart School lower school kids with wit, wisdom – and stories

Henry Winkler visited with Kindergarten through third grade students at Sacred Heart School today, but it was as an author of children’s books, not as an actor. He was there along with co-author Lin Oliver to tell his story, that of being a dyslexic kid growing up in New York public schools, similar to the […]

Click to read more →

M-A Girls Wrestling Team ranked #1 in CCS – and boasts two nationally ranked wrestlers

The Menlo-Atherton High School Girls Wrestling Team is having another great season. The team is ranked #1 in the Central Coast Section and has two U.S. nationally-ranked wrestlers in the National Girls High School rankings – senior Fola Akinola is ranked 7th and team captain Lauren McDonnell is ranked 17th. These rankings are created by […]

Click to read more →

Hillview Service Team visits seniors at Lytton Gardens regularly

The Hillview Service Team is a student-led, parent-supported, lunchtime club that meets twice a month. Among the Team’s many activities, they make regular visits to Lytton Gardens in Palo Alto to play games with and talk to seniors. Both the middle school students and seniors cherish this time and learn a great deal from each […]

Click to read more →