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Virginia’s Fairfax County Public School District Adopts Benchmark Advance for its Updated Curriculum

The core language arts program was chosen to support the district’s early literacy instruction in a unanimous school board vote. 

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., April 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Leading educational publisher Benchmark Education Company (BEC) is pleased to announce that its core English Language Arts program, Benchmark Advance, has been adopted by Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the 11th largest school district in the U.S. After a thorough review of the program and its chief competitors, Benchmark Advance was chosen by the FCPS school board in a unanimous vote on March 7, 2024. It will be implemented for Grades K-6 in the next school year, kicking off a seven-year partnership with BEC and marking the district’s first adoption of a core ELA program in more than 20 years.

Benchmark Advance is an award-winning program that provides a cohesive structure for the development of literacy skills and content knowledge. Aligning with Science of Reading research, it prioritizes integrated instruction and high expectations for every learner. The program has been validated by research and independent reviewers and has received an “all-green” rating from EdReports for Grades K-5. The program is also award winning, earning the Tech & Learning Award of Excellence, an Excellence in Equity Award from the American Consortium for Equity in Education, and is a 2024 CODiE finalist for Best English Language Arts Instructional Solution for Grades PK-8.

The FCPS adoption comes as a result of the district’s recent shift from a balanced literacy instructional approach to one that aligns with the Science of Reading, or Evidence-Based Literacy Instruction (EBLI), as required by the Virginia Literacy Act passed in 2022. “This is probably the largest instructional transition I’ve seen in my very long career,” said Noel Klimenko, Fairfax County School Board’s Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Services, at the meeting in which she introduced the motion for adoption.

As outlined in Klimenko’s presentation, the FCPS selection committee chose Benchmark Advance after evaluating it by grade level and scoring it in numerous categories for alignment to both district and state standards. The committee determined that the program met the criteria for EBLI design and content, offering sound pedagogy, usability, and support, along with effective instruction in word recognition and encoding, language comprehension, and writing. Klimenko also cited the program’s inclusion of aligned assessments that enable teachers to track students’ progress in real time.

Supportive of the recent core adoption, FCPS uses another BEC program, Benchmark Hello!. This program focuses on the critical language newcomers need to be successful in school and in the core curriculum. “Benchmark Hello! is a great program that we’re going to continue,” Klimenko said.

FCPS School Board Vice Chair Melanie Meren expressed her enthusiasm and support for Benchmark Advance shortly before the adoption vote. “I was delighted to view the materials prior to tonight’s vote and let me tell you, they’re really amazing,” she said. “I say that as a school board member, as a professional in early literacy, and also as a parent with a dyslexic child. I think this instructional resource has something for everyone.”

“We are excited to be joining with Fairfax County Public Schools in a partnership that will benefit teachers and students alike,” BEC founder and CEO Tom Reycraft said. “It is an honor to have been chosen by the district. As the implementation process gets under way, we look forward to providing FCPS with all the professional development training and ongoing support to ensure district-wide success.”

To learn more about Benchmark Advance, visit www.BenchmarkAdvance.com.

ABOUT BENCHMARK EDUCATION COMPANY

Benchmark Education Company (BEC) is a leading publisher of core, supplemental, and intervention literacy and language resources in English and Spanish. BEC is also a provider of exceptional professional development to educators.

BEC is recognized as a responsive publisher that offers equally rigorous and engaging digital, print, and hybrid learning materials grounded in the Science of Reading research. BEC monitors research outcomes carefully to create effective foundational resources that include strong decoding materials with systematic and explicit instruction and high-quality resources focused on language development and comprehension. BEC’s content-rich and authentic texts offer instruction in close reading and analysis, multiple perspectives, and authentic literature while building world knowledge and reflecting the individuality of every student in each diverse classroom.

Family owned and operated for more than 25 years, BEC is committed to partnering with educators to provide the best for all students through resources of exceptional quality, world-class professional learning, and effective and dedicated customer support.

SOURCE Benchmark Education Company LLC

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/virginias-fairfax-county-public-school-district-adopts-benchmark-advance-for-its-updated-curriculum-302104756.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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