Park Vista High School Earns National Award for Student Reading Support
In recognition of their extensive efforts to support struggling readers, the reading department at Park Vista Community High School recently received the prestigious Learning Ally 2020 Winslow Coyne Reitnouer Excellence in Education Award for Exemplary Performance in U.S. Schools.
The prize is a national achievement award named for a longtime advocate who believed strongly in helping struggling readers reach their potential. Learning Ally recognized Park Vista High for providing opportunities for their students with reading deficits, allowing those students to excel both inside and outside of the classroom.
“Our teachers are ready and willing to go the extra mile to assist our students’ needs by seeking out professional training, additional certifications, and researching the best programs to help students become more successful with their reading,” said Jennifer Neiner, one of the reading teachers at the school.
Neiner also noted the efforts of her colleagues for the program’s success, including Shana Wendrow, a teacher and Exceptional Student Education (ESE) coordinator who originally introduced Learning Ally to Park Vista. Another teacher, Karin Soria, was instrumental in sharing the program with additional teachers at the school, giving them the opportunity to implement the program with their students.
Park Vista High presented a model for successfully creating an atmosphere that fosters inclusiveness and learning for all students, including those with reading deficits. The school encourages students to participate in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings and provides academic counselors to discuss course work and other concerns, making them active participants in their education.
The school requires all teachers to take dyslexia overview training and provide the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution to all qualifying students, even those taking technical classes. Their success has led a number of neighboring schools to emulate their model.
“By earning the Learning Ally Winslow Coyne Reitnouer Award, we feel that this exemplifies our strength and unity as a team, and as a school site, to create avenues for our students to excel, with not only their reading skills, but with becoming lifelong learners,” Neiner said.