As part of a district-wide effort to improve the reading skills of Brookfield students, the special education department has been trying out a literacy program known as the Sonday System.
Special Education Coordinator Jeri Hamilton said elementary and middle school students have made noticeable improvements using the program, and she said she would like to make it a permanent part of the curriculum and expand its use into general education students.
“We would like to see more professional development, possible more purchase of supplies in this format because of the growth that we have seen with the students,” Hamilton told the school board on Dec. 14.
The Sonday System offers different ways of teaching depending on a student’s reading level, she said. The district is using it with so-called Tier III students, students with “severe or persistent behavioral challenges” who need individual instruction, and Tier II students, who need reading help, but can work within a group setting. The Tier III and Tier II definitions were provided by the Ohio Department of Education.
The district has four intervention specialists and four tutors and aides working with the program, serving about 15 Tier III students, and about 35 Tier II students, Hamilton said.
Hamilton said she would like to use the Sonday System to help the district meet its requirements under a new law that dictates more help to children with dyslexia and other impediments to reading.
The district is using traditional federal funding it already receives for students with disabilities, and one-time federal American Rescue Plan funds for teacher training and supplies. District Treasurer Julie Sloan said future federal funding can be used to meet Hamilton’s needs to further implement the Sonday System.