The Red Lion Area School District is getting into the café business.

But this café helps students read.

As part of a new program that will be rolled out in full next school year, Red Lion K-6 teachers will be using the CAFE system for student literacy, said Amy Glusco, supervisor of curriculum and instruction.

Glusco and literacy specialist Abby Gold told the school board about the program at Thursday's meeting.

Cafe - in this instance, an acronym for comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expanding vocabulary - will get all teachers a unified system of identifying areas for students to focus on during literacy instruction.

The Cafe program isn't an introduction of new materials or an overhaul of the system, Gold said. It's a better way to organize what Red Lion already does, using a nationally-recognized program.

Here's the premise:

A student has been doing great in recognizing words (accuracy), but not as great in knowing what everything means (comprehension). So the teacher will mark the student down on a classroom chart as having a goal to work on comprehension during individualized instruction time.

This becomes especially important, said Superintendent Scott Deisley, if a student moves to a different K-6 school within the district, something dozens of kids do throughout the year.

"They'll be able to fit right in the class. The teacher won't miss a beat," Deisley said.


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And it helps teachers focus on what a student needs to work on while also making it easier for a student to have a specific goal. The results should show in improved standardized test and class test scores, Glusco said.

Some teachers who already have put in the system have seen better scores from their students, Deisley said, which had school board members nodding their heads in approval.

One other advantage: Students of all skill levels benefit from it. An advanced student reading higher-level books and a struggling student reading lower-level books might both need work on fluency (reading with expression). Even though they are at different reading levels, the skills to improve in that area are the same, so no one is held back, the officials said.

And it grows with the student. Even if a student masters all four areas at one reading level, he or she will be moved to more challenging reading material and will be assessed again, Glusco said.

Parents are getting letters sent home about the program, and each school will have information about it on the school website.

- Reach Andrew Shaw at ashaw@yorkdispatch.com