The Delaware City school board on Aug. 22 heard an update on a program to help struggling readers.

The Delaware City school board on Aug. 22 heard an update on a program to help struggling readers.

Reading Recovery, a short-term intervention program, is designed to identify first-graders who are struggling with reading and writing and bring them up to average reading levels.

According to teacher leader Lori Fitzgerald, students who enter first grade with below-average proficiency levels do improve throughout the year. Without intervention, they still finish the school year behind other pupils.

This changes, she said, with "daily one-on-one work with a reading expert."

Fitzgerald said some students fall behind during the first part of the school year, and Reading Recovery also helps them.

"We have a 60- to 70-percent discontinued rate, which means that 70 percent of the students we work with meet grade level expectations after a full 20-week course," Fitzgerald said.

The program, which is housed in Woodward Elementary School, is in the process of training four new district teachers, helps a minimum of 64 students at a time, and is paid for by grant funds.

The board also:

Approved the job description for Superintendent Paul Craft and discussed his goals for the next few years. They include a 2-percent increase in the graduation rate each year, maintaining a districtwide "excellent" rating and increasing effective communication with the staff, students, parents and community.

Scheduled a board work session for 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 26.

The next regular meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at the technology center, 621 Pennsylvania Ave.