September 29, 2013

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A Pioneer Elementary Principal writes...

To Whom It May Concern:


I am honored to write this letter in support of Yoshimoto Orton-Gillingham (OG) Curriculum and Training. In 2014, I came to know, admire and respect Ron Yoshimoto after he trained all of my K-3 staff and me for a week in Orton-­Gillingham methodology. The ongoing training, coaching and constructive feedback by Ron to teachers, literacy coaches   and  building   administrators   is  responsible   for  incredible   student   gains  in  reading.  Each year, approximately 50% of our kindergarten students arrive meeting the DIBELS Next fall benchmark. This year, for the first time in Pioneer's history, 98% of Pioneer kindergarten students have met the middle of year benchmark in January! First grade students are also well on their way to meeting the end of the year proficiencies. Although Pioneer Elementary is the only school in Academy School District 20 with Title I School-wide status with close to 50% of our students on free/reduced lunch; our average growth percentile in academic growth gaps was 100% for the 2013-14 school year according to the state of Colorado School Performance Framework.


Reading-DIBELS Next Composite Scores

2014-2015 Kindergarten Proficiencies

Beginning of the Year


Middle of the Year



2014-2015 First Grade Proficiencies

Beginning of the Year


Middle of the Year



Yoshimoto OG has made all the difference. Pioneer K-3 teachers and literacy staff have implemented Yoshimoto OG with fidelity since January of2014. Following Ron's scope and sequence, teachers cover phonemic awareness, card deck, oral/silent reading, words to read, sounds/spelling, review and introduce phonograms on day one. On day two, teachers review learned words and teach new words, as well as provide students an opportunity to write sentences they dictate. Syllabication and morphology are taught in a systematic manner and students' understanding of prefixes, suffixes and Latin roots are evident in student accuracy in spelling performance.


Staff is celebrating their newly found abilities.  Student achievement in literacy is soaring.  Teachers are more skillful in teaching all of the students in their classrooms to read. Teachers and reading interventionists now have the ability to differentiate for students with reading deficits with precision. Students have already surpassed the school-wide reading goal of reading over 5000 books across grades 1-5 as measured by 85% accuracy at their individual reading levels on Accelerated Reader.


Pioneer students are becoming confident readers and as strong readers developing a broader understanding of the world. Our children understand and are learning basic building blocks of language and are mastering decoding and sentence recognition by the end of first grade. As important as all of the parts of reading are to learn, Yoshimoto OG does not lose sight of what makes a true reader. Pioneer students are able to read for meaning and are discovering the magic of text.


I am grateful to Ron Yoshimoto for his dedication to teachers developing the literacy skills necessary to teach every child to read.  The Pioneer learning community is forever changed. Ron has been instrumental in opening up a world of possibilities for teacher and student. I look forward to continued increases in teacher and student performance.


If you are considering implementing Yoshimoto OG and would like to further discuss its strengths, please do not hesitate to call me at (719) 234-5000.



Diane Quarles-Naghi, Principal


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