Deborah L. Winston, Ph.D
Office of Literacy
Phone: (313) 873-4992
Fax: (313) 873-8586
9th Floor, Fisher Building
3011 West Grand Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48202
Consistent with Detroit Public Schools’ commitment to excellence in education, DPS seeks to instill life-long literacy skills in our students, staff, parents, and community through a comprehensive K-12 English/Language Arts curriculum. Our experienced staff through the Office of Literacy uses frequent analysis of the data, high-caliber instruction, current research-based strategies, and ongoing professional development to positively impact student academic achievement.
The goals of the Office of Literacy are to:
The SRA Open Court Reading Series is a research-based program that contains literature intended to expose students to a variety of different writing styles and genres. Lessons are delivered through systematic, explicit instruction.
Essential Concepts Taught in Open Court Reading:
The alphabetic principle: letters work together in a systematic way to connect spoken language to written words
Print awareness: recognizing the nature of written language, such as print goes left to right and top to bottom
Phonemic awareness: hearing and understanding the sounds from which words are made
Systematic, explicit phonics: the association between the sounds of the language and the written symbols/spellings- that have been chosen to represent those sounds
Comprehension strategies and skills: to understand what is being read
The writing process and writing skills: to teach students to write with clarity and coherence
Spelling and vocabulary: spelling is a fundamental skill in written communication and vocabulary strategies help students learn, remember, and incorporate unknown words into their existing reading, writing, speaking, and listening vocabularies
Grammar, usage, and mechanics: to effectively communicate through writing
Prentice Hall Literature and Prentice Hall Writing and Grammar are the core components of the 7th and 8th grade English/Language Arts curriculum. Prentice Hall selections incorporate some of the classics along with high-interest contemporary literature. It also has a skills focus that emphasizes reading and vocabulary development.
Grade 7 Prentice Hall Literature
Grade 8 Prentice Hall Literature
McDougal Littell Literature provides core reading instruction for the 9th, 11th and 12th grade English/Language Arts curriculum. The 10th Grade edition of McDougal Littell Literature is used to supplement the Holt Rinehart and Winston African American Literature text. McDougal Littell material encourages students to explore the world of art, literature, and life's big questions. The unique organization around clusters of standards allows for the teaching of major literary concepts across genres. Standards that belong together are taught together. Students analyze fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and media across clusters of standards. Special features support visual and media literacy, along with research strategies.
Grade 9 Literature
Grade 10 Literature
Grade 11 Literature
Grade 12 Literature
The English/Language Arts curriculum of the Detroit Public Schools District is aligned with national and state Language Arts standards. The Michigan English Language Arts Grade Level Content Expectations for grades K – 8 and the High School Content Expectations for grades 9 - 12 are available to the public.
Teachers are provided consistent professional development in best practices to service all learning styles and in 2014, students will be assessed on the new Common Core Standards.
Reading Recovery teachers teach the lowest achieving first-grade students one-to-one for 12 to 20 weeks bringing them to the average reading level of their classroom peers. This intensive program reduces the number of children referred to Special Education. Small group instruction is added for low achieving students. Reading Recovery teachers also instruct from 25-36 other low performing students by providing small group instruction. Our Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders are LaTonya Darling-Cole, Jennifer Hernandez- Toler, Barbara Leatherwood-Peteet, and Marsha Malone.
Instructional Specialists provide English/Language Arts professional development, support the implementation of the elementary, middle, and high school programs at the school and district levels, develop curriculum materials, and support literacy coaches in their buildings. They also analyze data to make instructional decisions; design, organize and present at in-service programs; provide instructional and curriculum guidance to schools; support teachers with best practices; assist with the implementation of DIBELS, TRC, and BURST; trouble shoot problems with the hand-held assessment devices; and read and interpret assessment results.
Literacy Coaches are school based professionals that assist the teachers in their buildings with the implementation of literacy across the curriculum. They coach and model research-based strategies and support teachers with delivery of instruction. They provide in-school professional development for the staff and parents. Literacy Coaches also trouble shoot problems with hand-held assessment devices and interpret assessment results.
The Library/Media unit provides Accelerated Reader support, coordinates the Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) grant, conducts library book evaluations, and teams with the technology staff to ensure standardization of equipment and software in the district. Our Library/Media Technician provides support to all library media specialists and other library staff; assists the administrator with the placement of library media personnel; organizes and assists with professional development for library media specialists and other library personnel; and supports the effective operation of all library media centers in the Detroit Public Schools District.
The Office of Literacy encourages and supports programs that promote life-long literacy skills for our students and parents. Some of the programs are listed below:
Accelerated Reader – Students are encouraged to read ability level books and take quizzes to determine their level of comprehension.
Junior Great Books – This program promotes reading, thinking, and discussion. Students in grades 1 – 12 meet at the Main Library on Saturdays to discuss selected reading material.
Great Books – This program promotes classroom reading and discussion in an effort to build young minds, improve critical thinking, and promote higher student achievement.
Reading Corps – Detroit Public Schools called for citizens to volunteer 100,000 hours collectively to tutor reading in DPS schools. Members of the DPS Reading Corps come together for the children of Detroit Public Schools and devote their time to tutoring in the classroom.
Below are links that will provide support for your child: