Research has proven over and over that 30 minutes of reading each day significantly improves a child’s reading skills and vocabulary. At Westview, teachers work diligently to improve reading proficiency, and the PTA is dedicated to making sure they have the tools they need to accomplish that goal. Recently, the Westview PTA invested in a web-based version of Accelerated Reader (AR), a highly acclaimed computer program that personalizes reading practice and makes it more effective for every student. The program is open to 1st through 5th grades, and kindergarteners in the second semester. For the AR program to be the most effective, parental support and encouragement is a must. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the frequently asked questions below, and commit to helping us teach your child the love of reading.


What is AR?

AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his own level and reads it at his own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read.) AR gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice. You can learn more about the program at Renaissance Place.


How do I know my child’s reading level?

At the beginning of the school year, each child will take a STAR Reading test on the computer that will determine his Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). This number indicates the suggested reading range from which students should be selecting books in order to achieve optimal reading growth. For example, a range of 2.6 to 3.2 means the child should be choosing books that could be read independently by a student whose reading skills are at the level of a typical second grader in the sixth month of school to that of a third grader in the second month of school.


How can I find books at my child’s reading level?

Books in the school library and in the classroom are already marked with the correct book level. Additionally, you can visit AR BookFinder to view book levels. With a few clicks of a mouse, you can search for titles at the appropriate level that your child will find interesting and enjoyable.


How can I view my child’s progress?

Parents can go online and view goals, average % correct, total number of points earned, and average book level with Home Connect, a feature of the web-based AR program. Parents can also view a list of every quiz a child has taken along with their score, and they can even choose to receive email updates of quiz scores whenever a child has taken a quiz.


What are my child’s quarterly goals?

The Accelerated Reader program sets a recommended goal for each grade level based on research that shows how many points a child should accumulate if they read 30 minutes per day. However, each teacher has the power to alter the goal based on the reading ability of each individual child. Quarterly and year-end rewards are provided by the PTA for children who meet or exceed their reading goals.


What should I do next?

Once you have received your child’s reading level range, help him find books within that level and encourage him to read 30 minutes every day. You can also watch an interactive video tutorial about Home Connect on any internet-based computer and find out more about the active role parents can play in their child’s reading. Login information for your child will be provided for you by your child's teacher at Westview’s Open House, and PTA volunteers will be present to help you get setup to view your child’s AR progress.