Montana Street Academic Magnet School is an Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) school. Alabama Reading Initiative is Alabama's state plan to meet the guidelines of No Child Left Behind. All of Dothan City School's Elementary Schools are ARI schools. One of the benefits of being an ARI school is having a Reading Coach on the faculty.
The Reading Coach has the responsibility to coordinate the reading program at the school. The DIBELS test is given to each student three times each year. DIBELS is an acronym for Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills. The test gives the Reading Coach data to identify students who are benchmarked, strategic (need intervention to read on grade level), or intensive (need intensive intervention to read on grade level). Using this data, the Reading Specialist coaches the teachers to meet the reading needs of all students.
The Reading Coach provides Professional Development for teachers on the five components of reading---phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. This deepens their understanding of skillful reading and how to teach it. Intervention plans are developed and implemented to try to have all students at their benchmark score by the end of the year. Reading Coaches also work with small groups of students who need intervention to keep their teaching skills refined. The Reading Coach plans and leads data and planning meetings with all grade levels to monitor and analyze assessment data and to plan or adjust instruction to meet all students' needs. Faculties are motivated to achieve 100% literacy by the Reading Coach.