St. Joseph the Protector School offers Wilson Reading System lessons to eligible students in Grades 2-8. Students are referred for testing by the classroom teacher or the Resource Teacher from the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. The principal must approve any recommendations.
Most students receiving Wilson instruction have strong oral comprehension skills, but they are weak in the areas of decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling.) This weakness usually becomes apparent at the end of Second Grade or at the beginning of Third Grade when the demands for these skills increase and there is less formal classroom instruction aimed at building phonemic awareness. Primary grade students benefit significantly from the intensive one-on-one reading instruction that focuses on phonemic awareness, comprehension skills, and the understanding of language and its rules.
The Wilson Program has twelve levels. These levels are not grade levels; they are levels of language complexity. All students start at Level 1, where they learn to use a multi-sensory approach to attacking basic three-sound, closed syllable words. As they move through the program, they learn the six syllable types and the exceptions to each type. They learn to attack unfamiliar multisyllable words by dividing them into syllables and using the syllable division rules. Students learn to read words, sentences, and paragraphs fluently. They learn to use their encoding skills to spell words correctly and write sentences accurately. Comprehension skills are reinforced through the reading of short stories which are based upon the current level of the Wilson program in which the student is working.