As part of our regular review of curriculum materials and resources, we made some adjustments to our English Language Arts programs in Lower School heading into this school year.

After thoroughly reviewing several programs, we decided to implement the Superkids program in grades K-2 and the Open Court program in grades 3-5.

Morgan Park Academy’s approach to K-5 instruction aligns with the Science of Reading, an evidence-based approach to teaching reading grounded in extensive research on how children learn to read.

The Science of Reading emphasizes the importance of systematically teaching key foundational skills such as phonological awareness (understanding the sounds of spoken language), phonics (connecting sounds to letters), fluency (reading smoothly and accurately), vocabulary, and comprehension. Focusing on these essential elements, the Science of Reading aims to equip students with the skills they need to become proficient readers. This approach ensures that reading instruction is effective, helping children develop the foundation for a lifetime of successful reading and learning.

To learn more, see this piece from PBS News Hour.

Both Superkids and Open Court align with the Science of Reading approach.

Superkids is a comprehensive ELA program for grades K-2 that is designed to give young learners a strong foundation in phonological awareness, phonics, and decoding skills. Superkids also incorporates engaging and age-appropriate literature to foster a love for reading from an early age. By choosing Superkids for our younger learners, we aim to provide a warm and engaging introduction to reading.

For our students in grades 3-5, we have chosen the Open Court program, which continues to build on the principles of the Science of Reading. Open Court is a comprehensive program emphasizing vocabulary development, comprehension strategies, and reading fluency. It provides our older students with the tools and strategies to read and comprehend complex texts across various subjects.

Classroom teachers will communicate with families to provide resources and suggest ways to support reading development at home.

By Jennifer Schmidt

Mrs. Schmidt is our Assistant Head of School, School Programs.