Deciding on the methods and types of programs to offer for these interventions will depend on data about student needs, school capacity, and teacher knowledge. What is Literacy? When DeWitt Middle School recently conducted a survey of parents' expectations about student achievement, more than 80 percent of the parents stated their expectation that students should graduate ready for college, career, and citizenship. Several river guide companies are beginning to flourish, artist studios are being installed in the old factory by the dam, and new bed-and-breakfast inns and restaurants now occupy the handsome 19th-century homes that once housed company managers. Survey data might also inform leaders of what types of writing and reading are typically occurring in each content area, leading to data-based policymaking. Then, an overarching vision statement must be developed that can set the tone for the initiative and be used to communicate to parents, students, and the community what the school is attempting to accomplish. After a plan has been developed and implemented, school leaders must then collect data to monitor its success, including the effectiveness of specific literacy interventions. School leaders in an area with a large percentage of English language learners think they are meeting expectations with their current options for English-as-a-second-language and bilingual programs, yet parents and students strongly prefer a sheltered-instruction approach. For example, action steps that rely on a department structure for enactment may not be relevant if the school uses team-based instruction. To do this, the literacy team can create an inquiry-driven process for program monitoring by following these five steps (see Figure 5.9): Figure 5.9 shows the cyclical nature of this kind of five-step, data-driven process for program monitoring. Figure 5.2 shows two examples of action plan goals that target literacy interventions for struggling readers and writers. 1 Introduction Literacy is the foundation for continuous learning and a vital characteristic of the highly skilled population needed for Alberta’s next generation economy. Leaders need to have and communicate a vision and secure the collaboration and effort of school staff. However, school leaders must develop a data-based literacy action plan that they will actively use to guide ongoing decisions about instruction, programming, and resource allocation. To determine students' needs, the consultant analyzed student performance data. Once recommendations are developed based on the needs assessment, a different type of data is required to answer the question: What is the school's current capacity for supporting literacy? Examples That Support Literacy Improvement. All rights reserved. A framework for the reading plan is usually developed by the “Literacy Team,” which often includes the principal and lead reading, Title I, special education and ESL teachers. Tim brought together his leadership team, which had representatives from all grade levels and content areas, and told them that the school had district support to conduct a literacy audit to determine how to proceed. Listen for recurring themes around areas of frustration—these then become data upon which to base decisions for increasing certain types of resources and support. In some cases, it might be necessary to set two goals to guide action—one for students on or above grade level and one for students whose reading level is below their current grade level. A schoolwide literacy action plan needs to include specific steps to set the expectation and provide the support so that all content-area teachers implement classroom instruction that is motivating, engaging, and strategy based. Figure 5.3 shows two examples of action plan goals that one middle school included in its literacy plan related to school policies, structures, and culture. The biggest concern about developing a data-based literacy action plan is that it will not guide action. Action plans would help the school be focused on their goals and improve on their system. Teacher survey data.Analysis of the results of the teacher survey showed that most teachers had very limited strategies for providing scaffolding before, during, and after reading; widely varying expectations for reading and writing even in the same grade level; and few strategies to teach vocabulary besides “assign, define, and test.” Teachers said that students were not motivated to read and write but also said that they rarely allowed students to choose topics to read or write about. The two examples of action plan goals in Figure 5.4 focus on strategies to build the leadership capacity of teachers by establishing demonstration classrooms and offering support for classroom-based research that examines student work. In this chapter, we describe the key components of an effective literacy action plan and steps to develop this plan, along with approaches that leaders might use to collect and analyze relevant data. One way to do this is through brainstorming as a faculty what the literacy improvement initiative would look like if it were successful. District 276. They met and developed a set of indicators that would tell them if teachers and students were meeting the literacy improvement goals they had set, and they designed a set of data collection activities so they would be able to tell what was working. Once the literacy team has created a school-capacity profile that outlines what capacities, structures, and policies can be put in place, the team will be well on its way to understanding the assets the school already has to contribute to the literacy effort. The district feels this will be possible through a focus on content-area literacy support and literacy interventions. focus groups and other discussions with teachers, students, and parents. Last, it is important that the plan be seen as proactive, not as compliance to a mandate, even if a mandate is what prompted the plan's development. Tim Hancock, the school's energetic new principal, saw a focus on literacy across the content areas as a way to close this gap between parent expectations and student performance. Some action steps in each priority area were enacted immediately. As school leaders know, having a plan does not guarantee the availability of resources to implement the plan. A Teacher Knowledge Inventory (such as Figure A.1 in Appendix C) and questionnaires can be used to poll teachers about their knowledge and use of literacy support strategies. Action Step 2: Provide “literacy leadership” training that focuses on administrators’ role in implementing the MTSS literacy plan. Each section of the vignette is followed by a description and additional examples of how leaders can collect and analyze data to create a literacy action plan. Yet 8th grade scores on the state assessment showed more than 50 percent of students were not meeting the standard in reading, and almost 80 percent were not meeting the standard in writing. In Chapter 7, we describe how school leaders can use student performance data to focus the school on improving students' literacy and learning and make appropriate decisions about student placement. Survey teachers about the literacy strategies they know and use, the frequency with which they use them, and the areas in which they feel they need more information. Talk with teachers individually in goals conferences, in department or team meetings, or in focus groups targeted around specific literacy issues such as motivation and engagement. Key messages in this chapter include the following: Using a data-driven plan to monitor the program is important to ensure that the literacy action plan is effective. Teaching teams developed common agreements around what strategies would be used to support student learning across content areas. WES Mission . Sometimes a brainstorming discussion is necessary to help transform what has typically been done into more effective support for literacy. C. Range of Resources Student Reading Resources 1. The next sections of this chapter outline how to gather and analyze this information and how this type of data can productively inform the processes of setting literacy improvement goals and creating a literacy action plan. From alphabetic principle to Advanced Placement, we have a superior platform from which to launch this Local Literacy Plan. This does not mean that a literacy action plan is a bad idea. To obtain good data about both, school leaders can survey, observe, and talk to teachers. • Engage students and allow time on task that is critical. Having a common vision that is articulated, referenced, and used by school leaders will help, as will adequate and ongoing teacher professional development. The leader of a school has many sources of data that can be used to clarify and articulate the vision for literacy and learning in the school, to develop a literacy action plan, and to monitor the plan's effectiveness. Few schools have unlimited resources to devote to literacy support; deciding how to use the available resources wisely requires gathering data about school and community priorities and expectations, current programs, structures and policies, and teacher professional development needs. The team then develops a literacy action plan by assessing each goal and determining the action steps necessary to reach it. Persistent themes included the lack of professional learning communities at the school and minimal expectations in many classes for critical thinking except for the “high achievers.” In the opinion of the literacy team, the school did not have a strong culture of reading, writing, and thinking. Student performance data indicate what is needed but do not show how this can be put into place. Despite these encouraging signs, a repeat of the reading assessment showed only slight progress for the majority of students, although the group of students who were further behind made gains. This goal setting and action planning becomes the data-based blueprint for the school's literacy improvement effort. Teacher support for the plan is essential, and total staff involvement in developing the detailed plan provides expertise and buy-in. These plan is known as the Pillars of Instruction. Literacy interventions were explored, and the school purchased a reading program to meet the needs of those still struggling with decoding and basic fluency. These may include directly involving all teachers in the use of data to improve literacy and learning, and broadening the schoolwide use of data, as we describe in Chapter 7. However, two points are important to keep in mind. In addition, a small number of students had test results that indicated a need for more intensive intervention. Discovering the school and community expectations about literacy teaching and learning does not have to be an overwhelming task. Middle School and High School A Comprehensive Literacy Profile/Plan for Middle School and High School Students - Comprehensive Literacy Plan Chart for MS and HS (Rev. An effective schoolwide literacy plan guides action on many levels, focusing multiple activities toward increasing students' reading, writing, and thinking skills. The process can focus stakeholders' attention on literacy and can uncover missed opportunities and underused resources. It's a five-year plan. DeWitt Middle School leaders decided that the amount of content-area reading and writing would be increased by 50 percent in all classes, that more opportunities for free-choice reading would be provided, and that teachers would be expected to learn and use five common “power strategies” across the school. Answers to these questions will signal where teacher professional development and additional support are needed. School leaders need to think creatively about how resources might be reallocated to support literacy improvement. In this chapter, we described how school leaders can use data to develop, implement, and monitor schoolwide literacy action plans that ensure that students have the academic literacy skills necessary to be successful at school, at work, and in citizenship. Data sources that can contribute to the needs assessment include. Figure 5.10 describes two typical mistakes in monitoring progress and the kinds of data analysis that can remedy the problem. Early results show that DeWitt Middle School is certainly doing its part to meet or exceed that goal. We are obligated to answer the call of MN Statue 120B.12, Read Well by Grade Three. The action plan should include the person or persons responsible for each action step, the time line, and the measures of success. The K-12 Missouri State Literacy Plan is an evidence- based resource for administrators and teachers with useful information for parents and caregivers all along the K-12 continuum. Fortunately, the design and implementation of our District Literacy Plan is supported by a culture committed to excellence. As a result of all these measures, more reading and writing instruction began taking place. Before the mills closed, it was quite possible to make a living with an 8th grade education. The information presented addresses my current and past experiences working in an elementary school library. The data may indicate a need for clear actions that school resources do not appear to permit. Details. Both goals focus on developing a school culture in which teachers coordinate their efforts to design and implement curriculum and instruction across subject areas, as well as to provide instruction based on a variety of assessment and performance options. Learning strategies, based on student needs, were introduced to all faculty, and Tim made it clear to teachers that he expected to see the strategies used when he did his walk-throughs. Good first teaching is essential in a comprehensive literacy … This plan is designed to improve the literacy of all who would benefit from support. The district literacy goal is to have continuous improvement of at least 10 percent more students each year meeting and exceeding the standard on the state assessment in 4th grade and 8th grade, with a 10 percent drop each year in the percentage of students failing to meet the standard over the next five years. Daryl is a middle school literacy teacher. MISSION: ASCD empowers educators to achieve excellence in learning, teaching, and leading so that every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. ©2017 Minnetonka Public Schools. It will drive our day-to-day reading instruction and our decision making. XXXX school has chosen to focus on the following elements: • direct, explicit comprehension instruction across content areas • effective instructional principles embedded in content Equally important, by generating a culture of continuous improvement in which individuals ask questions, collect and analyze data, take actions, and then collect more data to examine the impact of what was done, leaders become fluent in the strategies needed to be databased decision makers. Using this plan to chart the way forward, leaders will be able to keep their school on course for sustained improvement of literacy and learning for all of their students. Or the library collection may be outdated and limited, but the school may have available technology that can effectively support both reading and writing, as well as provide supplemental texts. For example, it can specify allocation of resources for new positions and time for new committees to meet and for teams and department chairs to discuss implications of the plan for their work, and for specialists to coteach, meet, or mentor others. The key point here is that it is the responsibility of school leaders to get everyone to be an active participant in enacting all the parts of the school's literacy action plan. Download. Too many times a plan is developed only to be “left on the shelf.” Schmoker (2006) points out that most strategic planning in education is ineffective because the documents produced are fragmented, complicated, and convoluted, and often do not lead to improved student outcomes. To determine how to best support teachers to improve literacy teaching and learning, leaders need data about current teacher practices, that is, what do teachers know and how do they currently develop literacy across the content areas? Brief School Action Plan Example. A comprehensive literacy action plan has action steps related to five key areas: 1. Engage in coaching, peer observation, and collaborative planning, Provide professional development in coaching and mentoring, District supervisors of subject areas, outside professional development consultants, Provide opportunities to attend and present at local, state, and national professional conferences, Provide department memberships in professional organizations, Memberships and professional development materials, Research local, state, and national conferences and submit proposals for attendance and presentations, Send teachers and teacher teams to local, state, and national conferences, Teacher presentations to colleagues, conference evaluations. Vocabulary development, oral reading fluency, comprehension, and writing are critical to successful literacy progress at all grade levels. 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