A laser-like intentional focus on getting second-grade students reading at or above grade level resulted in dramatic gains across the county, the Board of Education was told in a report this week.

Countywide, 950 students – 47 percent of second-graders who tested below grade level in reading last fall – had reached or exceeded grade level by the spring, the data shows. Of the county’s 77 elementary schools, 33 moved at least 50 percent of their second-graders from reading below grade level to reading at or above that mark.

“It is impossible to overstate the importance of the work done in our second-grade classrooms last year through the collaborative efforts of the offices of Elementary Reading and Integrated Literacy, Equity and Accelerated Student Achievement, and School Performance, and the heroic work of reading and classroom teachers across the county,” Superintendent George Arlotto said. “The successes we helped nearly 1,000 students achieve are not singular moments, but building blocks that set those students up for future triumphs. If we as a school system are ever to eliminate all of our achievement gaps, this is how we must do it: one student at a time, one class at a time, one grade at a time, and one school at a time.”

Nine elementary schools saw more than 75 percent of their students who started below grade level end the year at or above grade level, including West Annapolis Elementary School, where every student made the jump.

For a look at the progress by school, click on the link below.

School-by-School Second Grade Reading Progress 2015-2016