Lincoln Academy officials announced Tuesday the charter school’s designation as a Wisconsin Reading Corps site for the 2021-22 school year. They also revealed the school mascot, its colors and other programming it has in the works.
A program of AmeriCorps, Reading Corps specifically targets building literacy for students in kindergarten through third grade. In Wisconsin, more than half of children struggle to read at grade level in third grade, academy CEO Kristi Cole said.
“I have worked closely with Reading Corps in the past and saw first-hand what incredible literacy progress scholars can make. When community partners and schools work together and share a love for what they do, amazing things happen. The Lincoln Academy is truly thankful to partner with Reading Corps and share this incredible partnership with the Beloit community,” Cole said.
“We have adopted a research-based, top-rated primary literacy curriculum. Our teachers will provide three hours of quality English language arts instruction daily. We will be using a variety of assessment tools to measure lesson mastery and growth in primary literacy skills. Our goal is to create proficient readers and to support scholars in their love for reading,” Chief Instructional Officer Kari Flitz said.
In partnership with the academy, Reading Corps will provide four trained literacy tutors to the school who will work one on one or in pairs with scholars to build their reading skills. The tutors will provide daily 20-minute sessions, outside regular teacher-led reading instruction, for students who need more reading practice. Weekly progress monitoring will be conducted to support students in moving toward grade-level targets.
Cole said Tuesday the school has reached an enrollment of 395 students with some openings still available in first and second grade.
“Those are the years where the foundation of reading is so important. The added support of Reading Corps and our rigorous curriculum will be helpful for first- and second-graders,” Cole said.
Cole noted the school will have longer school days compared to area districts, with students in class from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Cole said 75% of staff openings are filled and that a move-in date is set for July.
The school, Cole said, is continuing to build partnerships to develop sports opportunities for students.
“We are looking into hockey and providing swim lessons for second-graders in partnership with the YMCA. We are still working through the WIAA process and looking at having wrestling as well as volleyball, golf, cross country, track and field, baseball, and basketball,” Cole said.
Linc the Lion will be the school’s athletics mascot, and the school colors will be black, gray and royal blue and will be incorporated into the student uniforms. High schoolers will be wearing black, fifth through eighth-graders will wear gray and prekindergartners through fourth-graders will wear royal blue. Uniforms will consist of polo shirts, black pants along with options for fleece tops and skorts.