Case Study: Yuma Preschool Prepares Children for Success in Language and Literacy

March 20, 2024

Read On Arizona

A review of data provided to the Arizona Department of Education by more than 500 early learning programs throughout the state revealed that preschoolers at O.C. Johnson Elementary, which serves predominantly Hispanic and economically-disadvantaged students in Yuma, have consistently outperformed statewide averages on key early literacy benchmarks.

In 2022, 93% of O.C. Johnson Elementary’s exiting preschool students met or exceeded widely-held expectations in both language and literacy, 24 percentage points above the state average for language and 18 points higher for literacy.

As part of our “Decoding What Works” series of case studies, Read On Arizona sat down with 11 members of the O.C. Johnson school community—including the principal, teachers, para-professionals, coaches, support staff, and a parent—to understand their approach to supporting the school readiness of its young children:

    1. Research-based assessment tools and instructional materials.
    2. Coaching and professional development put into practice.
    3. Building a community of relationships.

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About the Case Studies

Our "Decoding What Works" case studies highlight elementary schools and early learning programs in Arizona that have made exceptional gains in literacy and the strategies behind their success. Because understanding what is working for them can serve as guidance and inspiration for other educators, schools, and districts.