At the heart of Waukegan High School’s academic curriculum is a focus on literacy. WHS is dedicated to providing literacy training for all teachers in all content areas. This training is focused on research-based strategies that help students more effectively read all the types of text they will encounter as they move through high school and into college and careers. Additionally, a collaborative library media program supports classroom libraries, writing and research across the curriculum, and students’ participation in the Abraham Lincoln Student Choice Awards. A Reading Committee meets bi-monthly to discuss issues relating to literacy.
The second tier of Waukegan High School’s Literacy Program is designed to provide support for students who are reading below grade level. All eighth grade students are assessed at the end of the school year. Targeted students reading three or more years below grade level in grade nine participate daily in a block English and reading class with experienced, trained teachers. Those students reading one or two years below grade level, are enrolled our skills-level Communications class plus our Reading Academy class.
This tier two program is comprised of a series of courses that provide reading instruction and show students how to use these skills in their other courses.
This course is a two-semester elective designed to teach specific reading strategies and provide a variety of writing opportunities for students needing to improve their reading and writing skills. Reading selections and writing tasks are chosen to support and supplement students’ work in their language arts, science, and history classes. The program used in this course, Academic Workout, supports the National Reading Panel’s recommendations for effective reading instruction through use of research-based reading strategies and provides a consistent approach for teaching key reading and language arts standards.
READING / COMMUNICATIONS
This is a 90-minute block course designed to improve reading achievement for students who are reading three or more years below grade level. The Read 180 program used in this course is a research-based intervention program aimed at improving reading and writing for these students. Through hands-on experience, Read180 directly addresses individual needs using customized software, high-interest fiction and nonfiction, and systematic direct instruction in reading skills, vocabulary, writing and grammar.
The Options Program is a full-day alternative program. Ninth through twelfth grade general education students choose to apply to the program due to their need for additional support in the areas of reading and / or math and the necessity of a smaller more supportive academic setting. The program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to earn high school credits through differentiated instruction, the utilization of various community resources and services, the opportunity for more individual contact with staff, and an exploration of job opportunities and careers.
SPECIAL EDUCATION READING
This is a one-period, two-semester course for students with an IEP who are beginner readers (K–3). Students work in small groups at stations with the focus on site words and decoding through a program called Lexia. Fluency and comprehension are addressed through a program called Reading Naturally.