Gazebo Gazette

Coast Episcopal School in Long Beach is one of 16 schools in the United States that will be implementing LanguageScreen, a language program developed by Oxford University Professors Maggie Snowling and Charles Hulme, who also developed an earlier program, the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) Program.

LanguageScreen is an assessment tool to track the progress of students’ oral language skills and identify those who would benefit from interventions or specialist support.  The Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) is an evidence-based intervention to improve young children’s oral language & reading comprehension skills.

CES Head of School Jake Winter states that the implementation of both of these programs stems from the attendance of the independent school’s Learning Strategist & Dyslexia Therapist Brittany Brewer at the Big Sky Literacy Summit held earlier this year in Montana. There, Brewer had the opportunity to reconnect with professional mentor, Dr.  Danielle Thompson CCC-SLP, and to meet Oxford University’s Emeritus Professor of Psychology in Education, Dr. Charles Hulme.

Brewer also is participating in Dr. “Nell” Thompson’s Literacy Leadership Mentorship series this year. She has continued to learn from Dr. Hulme and other mentors during weekly classes over zoom.

Dr. Thompson has been instrumental in introducing these innovative educational programs developed by Drs. Snowling and Hulme to the United States, and she will lead a Professional Day of Development for the CES faculty on May 1st. The CES faculty, responsible for educating students ages 18 months through Sixth Grade, will be instructed on what the subtypes of reading difficulties are and why educators need to know not only how to teach word reading but also language comprehension.

“Our faculty,” explains Brewer, “will learn to:

1) Clarify how the reading brain learns to read and how it is built on the language brain. 2) Identify how the science of reading has found and taught educators about the four subtypes of reading differences and difficulties based on the simple view of reading, which also helps them understand the pathways of instruction for word reading and language comprehension. 3) Teach what the oral written language continuum is and why teaching it across development is critical for all educational success.”

“In addition to bringing her own unique skill sets to our school, Mrs. Brewer’s professional connections have resulted in our school’s being able to enhance its strong tradition of academic excellence with cutting edge tools developed by international education experts. Being the only school in Mississippi currently implementing these programs is an outstanding continuing education opportunity for our teachers as well as a unique academic opportunity for our students,” concludes Winter.

Coast Episcopal School has been dedicated to a life-long love of learning by developing the whole child – mind, body and spirit – and providing a joyful, unique and nurturing Judeo-Christian Community that inspires its students to imagine and create a better world.  Founded in 1950, CES is a member of the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS).

For information:  Coast Episcopal School, 5065 Espy Avenue, Long Beach, MS, 39560.  228-452-9442.