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A+ Schools Spotlights Ms. King and Greenfield Reading Curriculum

A+ Schools Pittsburgh, a nonprofit that advocates for better education outcomes, recently released their 2023 Report to the Community. This report utilizes data from the most recent school year to provide a snapshot of how schools across the Pittsburgh Public Schools district are performing.

Once again, Greenfield School was a bright spot, with low chronically absent and suspension rates and higher-than-average PSSA scores. When comparing key outcomes for 3rd through 5th graders, more Greenfield students in every demographic group achieved 'Advanced' or 'Proficient' levels than the district average - in both reading and math. For example, according to the 2023 report, 53% (reading) and 51% (math) of low-income Greenfield students scored in the 'Advanced' or 'Proficient' ranges, compared to 35% (reading) and 24% (math) district-wide.

To take a closer look at the teaching methods behind Greenfield students' high reading scores, A+ Schools published the article "Greenfield PreK-8: Supporting young readers in a school community" as part of its "Rising Up: Stories from Our Schools" series. Author Faith Schantz observes, "For reading achievement, Greenfield is an outlier, not only in the district but also in the state. On the PSSA in English Language Arts (ELA), Greenfield students overall typically score higher than state averages for the test."

Specifically, Schantz takes a deep dive into Ms. Sharon King's approach to teaching reading and writing. Ms. King has been teaching ELA at Greenfield for several years now, and as students and parents alike can attest, she's a master of not just classroom pedagogy, but relationship building. As Schantz writes, Ms. King "doesn't attribute her success as a teacher to her experience or to her subject matter expertise. Rather, it's the quality of relationships she builds with her students each year."

For those of us with children enrolled in Greenfield School, this rings very true for not only Ms. King, but the rest of the talented elementary ELA teachers, too, including Ms. Callis, Ms. Barnes, and the legendary Ms. Evans, who teaches 3rd graders writing skills that some college freshmen haven't even mastered. After interviewing Jocelyn Gaviola, mom of Evan and Isaac, for the story, Schantz observed, "It clicked for me that there was more going on at Greenfield than teachers making sure students could read proficiently--they were nurturing them as individual readers."

Strong reading and writing skills are key to the future success of our kids, and in this sense, Greenfield students are being given an invaluable gift. The PTO is very proud to see Greenfield teachers held up as positive role models in this year's A+ Schools report, and we are beyond grateful for teachers like Ms. King who go above and beyond to see our kids succeed. You make Greenfield School special - Thank you!

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