Comprehensive Literacy Plan Alignment

Comprehensive Literacy Plan Alignment

Essential Elements of the State Literacy Plan

AFSD #381 is committed to provide a quality literacy program to our students. Our district leadership works to support the district literacy program and to saturate interventional efforts at the earliest grade levels. Additionally, as stated in the State’s Comprehensive Literacy Plan “Improving literacy skills for our students is not just the responsibility of schools or classroom teachers…..through common goals, collaboration, and communication, we can implement innovative strategies to ensure that all of Idaho’s students have the literacy skills they need for postsecondary and career success.” Below is a summary of how AFSD #381 addresses the state’s Comprehension Literacy Plan’s essential elements: Collaborative Leadership, Developing Professional Educators, Effective Instruction and Interventions and Assessment and Data.

Collaborative Leadership

AFSD #381 will seek communication and partnerships at the local, regional, and statewide levels regarding our district’s literacy planning and programs. We have state, district, and community, school, classroom, higher education and home/parent partnerships currently in place. A few examples include:

· Hillcrest works collaboratively with our local public library throughout the school year and summer. During the school year library representatives provide grade level promotional and entertaining assemblies focused on getting our students and their families to the public library. The public library also hosts a collaborative family fun night with activities and a free book for all participating elementary students.

· Our school collaboratively works with other schools and students in the district. We often pair high school or alternate school students with our k-3rd students as reading and writing buddies.

· We work with Head Start on collaborative reading programs and school transitional programs.

· We partner with Idaho State University to provide professional development resources.

· We have supported teachers to participate in the Idaho Core Coaching Literacy Program

· Additionally, the Pocatello School district has been instrumental in allowing our small district to glean information about interventional and curricular programs they have found successful. We have a positive working relationship which allows us to glean guidance and support from their district.

· Our parent group annually budgets and supports needed supplies and funding for our Family Literacy nights.

The above are only a partial representation of Hillcrests collaborative partnerships. Our efforts will focus on continual cultivation of current literacy supportive initiatives, policies, practices, infrastructures, and partnerships and on creating and establishing new partnerships to support our literacy goals.

Developing Professional Educators

AFSD #381 recognizes adequate teacher preparation and support is pivotal in continually improving student literacy. We have a multi-tiered systematic approach to building teachers’ literacy development knowledge and expertise. This approach begins as new teachers join our district (mentoring program) and continues through literacy onboarding and professional development of both general literacy and intervention specific knowledge, skills and strategies. All teachers in our district, at hiring, are required to take a Sheltered Instructional Observational Protocol course with an emphasis on building student literacy skills. Our district also supports teacher leader English Language Arts coordinators. These positions provide continual literacy professional development for our school and the district’s staff. AFSD #381 has established job-embedded collaboration and professional development to support our district’s literacy goals.

Effective Instruction and Interventions

AFSD #381 believes it is critical to the success of our district and community to support student development of strong literacy skills. Effective instruction and interventions systems will be in place and all educators will be knowledgeable of research and effective strategies to continually provide the best support to all students, especially those from diverse backgrounds. All eleven strategies referenced in the Idaho State Comprehensive Literacy Plan in the effective instruction and intervention section are supported and in place in AFSD #381. We place heavy emphasis on the following strategies as our student population has a high percentage of high-risk students (78-80% low socioeconomic and 38-42% ELL).

  • Strategy #7 of the Idaho State Comprehensive Literacy Plan’s Effective Instruction and Interventions Systems

Implement systems and strategies that minimize transitions and/or maximize knowledge transfer between teachers in order to ensure struggling students can continue their learning in as seamless a manner as possible.

AFSD #381’s literacy plan includes a focused implementation of the Milepost student e-file data system. This student e-file maximizes appropriate teacher access to benchmark and, if needed, interventional progress for all students. From progress monitoring period to progress monitoring period, year-to-year and school-to-school, appropriate teachers will be able to access student’s literacy information including benchmark, intervention, progress monitoring data and targeted student’s Individual Literacy Plan. The knowledge and work associated with a student’s literacy successes and struggles will be readily accessible and transferred seamlessly throughout our school and district.

  • Strategy #10 of the Idaho State Comprehensive Literacy Plan’s Effective Instruction and Interventions Systems

Implement a focused, comprehensive process (such as Response to Intervention - RTI) to identify struggling readers for intervention and ensure that supplemental instruction and activities are research-based and provided by appropriately trained instructors.

AFSD #381 has an active RTI process in place in all schools. Hillcrest specifically identifies struggling readers and ensures their participation in appropriate interventional services. It also ensures that progress monitoring, data review and plan adjustment mechanisms are in place to support student literacy success. If a struggling student’s Individualized Literacy Plan is deemed to be unsuccessful for a student, the RTI process is started promptly.

  • Strategy #11 of the Idaho State Comprehensive Literacy Plan Effective Instruction and Interventions Systems

Utilize the state standards (WIDA Standards) to provide effective literacy development assistance to English language learners.

In light of our high ELL population, AFSD #381 continually provides professional development and updates teachers on WIDA standards and alignment with Idaho Common Standards. Additionally, we will provide professional development on the most effective use of WIDA Access testing student data to support and drive purposeful and specific classroom and interventional literacy practices. AFSD #381 requires all teachers, within the first 3 years of teaching, to complete specific classes designed to help ELL students successfully access learning. These courses have a heavy literacy emphasis. We also support and encourage teachers to participate in trainings such as the Go-To Instructional Strategies for Classroom Teachers of English Learners provided by the Idaho State Department of Education.

Assessment and Data

AFSD #381 supports the state’s belief that statewide reading assessment data is best used when combined with classroom activities, benchmark and formative assessments, and the observations of teachers. Our literacy plan helps educators integrate all of these aspects to increase student literacy achievement. School-wide literacy benchmark, strategic and progress monitoring data is regularly and systematically conducted and data reviewed by school teams to inform educators and stakeholders of the effectiveness of school-wide, classroom and targeted student progress and practices. Data gleaned will be easily assessable to teachers and teams and used to make informed data driven decisions on student interventional services and progress. The data also is used for leadership teams to assess the effectiveness and success of our core literacy program. Continued professional development through coursework, workshops, classroom observations and collaborative development will be maintained to improve: teaching skills, the use and understanding of quality data collection, and best assessment and interventional practices. Peer observations are supported and encouraged to identify, analyze and improve literacy teaching practices. Formative and evaluative classroom observations will also be a source of identifying and addressing needed literacy professional development.