Sometimes data seem to show progress or lack of progress when the real issue is how the data are being analyzed. 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. 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. An examination of various types of data helped inform the recommendations. Goal setting and action planning are the areas in which school leaders work with the literacy team to “put it all together.” A data-driven process for goal setting and action planning is important to ensure that thoughtful actions take place and can be sustained. An important component of the overall literacy action plan is a plan for the types of support and professional development necessary to help teachers improve content-area literacy instruction and successfully implement literacy interventions with struggling readers. 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. 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. If literacy goals are not being met, it is time to get some additional information as to why this is the case. A good plan specifically indicates what types of student performance data are being collected and how the data will be used. It is critical that the Westfield Public Schools have a comprehensive district plan for improving literacy for all students. Professional learning communities may be in place that can provide a ready-made structure for a literacy improvement effort to build upon. The information presented addresses my current and past experiences working in an elementary school library. Outline the actions chronologically and/or group action steps by function (e.g., data analyses, student interventions, staff development.) Determining appropriate overall goals for literacy improvement requires the gathering and analyzing of relevant data. Having a plan made it easier to determine next steps and stay on track. 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. 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. Fortunately, the design and implementation of our District Literacy Plan is supported by a culture committed to excellence. Teacher support for the plan is essential, and total staff involvement in developing the detailed plan provides expertise and buy-in. In addition, the principal and assistant principal increased the number of walk-throughs they did each month from one to four. After this lesson, students will be able to: 1. define 'informational literacy' 2. outline the process of informational literacy 3. complete the process of informational literacy 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. Monday through Friday Strengthening Literacy Development Across the Content Areas; Literacy Interventions for Struggling Readers and Writers; School Policies, Structures, and Culture for Supporting Literacy; Supporting Teachers to Improve Instruction. School leaders observed that teachers who were initially reluctant were now on board as they saw success with the use of literacy support strategies in their classrooms. Literacy interventions were explored, and the school purchased a reading program to meet the needs of those still struggling with decoding and basic fluency. We conclude with key messages. In the vignette, it was necessary for Tim to understand the community's needs and expectations, as well as the expectations of the school's staff, as part of developing an effective plan. Brief School Action Plan Example. The issue was that students were not making a year's worth of literacy growth in a year's time. School leaders need to obtain broad buy-in to the plan—it should not be developed by a small group of people and kept secret. 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. For example, in schools with high staff turnover, crafting a literacy action plan so that it incorporates new policies and support structures, grade-level or departmental agreements, and mentoring can make it more likely that changes will endure. Action plans would help the school be focused on their goals and improve on their system. Principals can work with their literacy team to determine what is known about. As demonstrated in the charts associated with each component, leaders can apply sound action-planning principles to the context of literacy, setting data-driven goals, outlining action steps, delineating time lines and responsible parties, describing indicators of effectiveness, and allocating the necessary resources. Constructing a plan around the pedagogy of literacy is a response to both the urgent needs of our students and the directives of our governing bodies. For example, if very little writing is going on, setting a number of required writing-to-learn assignments each week might be an appropriate policy response. MISSION: ASCD empowers educators to achieve excellence in learning, teaching, and leading so that every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. This plan is designed to improve the literacy of all who would benefit from support. The literacy consultant provided tips for improving the culture of reading during SSR, and the literacy coach shared them at team meetings. It is the ability to have the necessary skills to understand and communicate ideas in a variety of ways, think critically and to … A data-driven literacy action plan brings together all of the components of the Leadership Model for Improving Adolescent Literacy. The literacy skills of the majority of people in Scotland compare well across the world, but poor literacy among a minority is unacceptable. A literacy action plan that is grounded in student performance data and supported by additional data from assessments of school capacity, school and community expectations, and teacher practices is more likely to support student literacy and learning. For example, teachers at the school prided themselves on the quality of their teaching, and when multiple copies of selected texts were made available for teacher study groups, many voluntarily began to increase their literacy knowledge. For example, an arbitrary schoolwide goal of raising standardized test scores by a certain percent means little if disaggregation of the scores reveals that students in some programs are already scoring much higher than others. specific programs to address the school's mission. These plan is known as the Pillars of Instruction. Administrators assume that students have adequate access to computers, but due to scheduling, placement, and staffing issues, a majority of students are frustrated by their limited access. Figure 5.6 shows kinds of data in addition to student performance data that leaders can use as they develop a literacy action plan. That is why action plans in literacy are made by organizations focusing on education. 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. Taking Action-Blank Literacy Action Plan - District, School, Department, … For example, teachers may participate in professional development in content-area writing strategies that can be used to support reading comprehension. A closer look at the student performance data showed that although the vast majority of students tested “below grade level,” most were only one or two grade levels behind. Before the mills closed, it was quite possible to make a living with an 8th grade education. The data may indicate a need for clear actions that school resources do not appear to permit. The literacy team made plans to repeat the audit in two years to assess the overall impact of interventions over time. Bauman and Duffy-Hester (2000) examined thirty-four teacher-research studies, to explore the “nature of methodologies teacher researchers have employed in published classroom-based inquiries in literacy” (p. 81). Each action plan component also includes a mini-chart showing two related action steps that are part of a sample literacy action plan. The team then develops a literacy action plan by assessing each goal and determining the action steps necessary to reach it. 1703 North Beauregard St. 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. Because all 7th and 8th grade students had access to laptop computers, ongoing sessions of professional development in technology began to include ways to use computers to support reading and writing. The Action Plan is aimed to guide and enhance instructional practice around a goal that staff has identified as an area of focus for enhancing student learning. Daryl is a middle school literacy teacher. 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. All Rights Reserved. The literacy team synthesizes the data on student performance, community input, teacher knowledge and use of literacy support strategies, and school support structures and policies to develop a clear picture of what currently exists and what is needed to improve literacy for all learners. Answers to these questions will signal where teacher professional development and additional support are needed. Leaders need to have and communicate a vision and secure the collaboration and effort of school staff. 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. 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. But we caution leaders to pay attention to the two issues of vision and Vocabulary development, oral reading fluency, comprehension, and writing are critical to successful literacy progress at all grade levels. Performance data also do not tell the specific actions required to ensure that the support structure is in place to sustain systemic improvement as opposed to something that will fade if key individuals retire or move to other schools. For a plan to succeed, collaborative implementation must occur. WES Mission . To determine students' needs, the consultant analyzed student performance data. Establish two literacy demonstration classrooms in each content area, Identify teacher leaders who can provide classroom demonstrations and modeling for their peers, Provide professional development to demonstration-classroom teachers, School literacy coach, outside professional development consultants, Classroom observations, teacher and student surveys, evaluations, Create opportunities for classroom visits to observe demonstrations and modeling, Principal, department and/or curriculum chairs, Observation rubrics, teacher surveys, notes, Engage in classroom-based research by examining student work, Identify teachers and teacher teams to engage in classroom-based research, Design tuning protocols for examining student work, Time to plan, substitute coverage, professional materials, Sample protocols, examined student work, teacher and student surveys, Substitutes; time for meeting outside of contract, if necessary; stipends; copying budget, Provide time for constructive feedback and follow-up activities, Minutes of planning meetings, teacher surveys, evaluations, presentations of results, Middle and high school teachers cannot be expected to implement literacy support for students without targeted professional development and support. 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. The faculty was polled to determine how their own knowledge and the literacy expectations of their students might be contributing to how instructional needs were being met. They will also provide information about where strong instructional support exists for literacy development. Download. A literacy action plan should specifically describe ways to build leadership capacity. It's a five-year plan. By comparison, a goal of a 90 percent passing rate on the state reading test requires gathering current performance data about students at all levels of ability so that differential support can be put into place. School leaders must work with their faculty to create a plan that brings together all of the other action steps discussed in the following chapters to ensure that every content area classroom and literacy intervention focuses on improving students' literacy habits and skills through emphasis on student motivation, engagement, and achievement. As school leaders know, having a plan does not guarantee the availability of resources to implement the plan. Furthermore with the adoption of the Minnesota Academic Standards, literacy instruction has become a shared responsibility by definition. 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. Evaluation Timeline A district timeline has already been put in place. Building this type of plan requires school leaders to have an understanding of issues related to student motivation and engagement, classroom contexts, and strategic interventions (see Chapters 1 through 3). As we note in Chapters 3 and 7, setting up literacy interventions for struggling readers and writers is an important component of school improvement efforts. 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. They also need to have a good plan, because without it, not much will change for students. Some teachers assume that parents do not care because they do not attend school meetings and functions but low attendance may, in fact, be due to language barriers, work schedules, transportation issues, cultural differences, and low parent reading levels. 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. Student performance data alone, however, are not sufficient for driving a literacy improvement effort because they do not take into account the school and community context within which learning and literacy development occur. Information is a raw material – students will need to learn to build with it. Early literacy development is essential to future success in school and beyond. The next part of the vignette describes how the DeWitt Middle School literacy team worked with a literacy consultant to conduct an inventory of school capacity and teacher knowledge and use of literacy strategies. PURPOSES/USES OF LITERACY PLAN Oregon Elementary is committed to implementing the above critical components to ensure that all students are reading at grade level or above by third grade. Our students will be measured by their ability to read, write, speak and listen, and our District will be defined by our success in preparing students to effectively engage in these tasks. Figure 5.10 describes two typical mistakes in monitoring progress and the kinds of data analysis that can remedy the problem. Address But without frequent, purposeful literacy support as part of content-area teaching and learning, these same students were losing ground while at the middle school. Segments of a vignette describing how one middle school developed and used a literacy action plan are interspersed throughout the chapter. Designing an effective literacy action plan to guide a schoolwide literacy improvement effort is not easy; however, such a plan is essential for school leaders who are serious about addressing the literacy and learning needs of students. Minnetonka student performance is already remarkable and experienced teachers lead their colleagues and facilitate learning in each of our schools. As the DeWitt Middle School vignette indicates, a solid blueprint for improving literacy schoolwide can be put into place through a literacy action plan that incorporates the features described in this chapter. 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. Teaching teams developed common agreements around what strategies would be used to support student learning across content areas. 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. Through the use of systemic assessment and effective teaching practices, the district hopes to improve the reading and writing of students across all content areas. But school leaders were concerned that they would not know if the plan was succeeding. • Collaborate from class to class, grade to grade, school to school, and home to school. It established goals in each priority area. A math teacher reported that she was “asking the students to do QARs [Question-Answer Relationships] all the time, and their answers have really improved.” A science teacher said that he “used knowledge rating guides and Frayer models with the vocabulary words and retention went up a lot.” The social studies teacher reported that she “modeled all of the roles for reciprocal teaching and the students practiced them, and now the students seem to be engaging more with the reading.”. One way to do this is through brainstorming as a faculty what the literacy improvement initiative would look like if it were successful. Resources for Developing a School-Wide Literacy Plan Satisfactory Needs Attention If Needs attention: Action Required: Who? He wants to know the best way to teach his students how to read and write. This does not mean that a literacy action plan is a bad idea. Figure 5.1 shows two examples of action plan goals that target literacy development across content areas. Or instructional coaching could be made available for those teachers who do not understand how to set up reciprocal teaching in their classrooms. Good first teaching is essential in a comprehensive literacy … At DeWitt Middle School, implementation of the literacy action plan continued. Download. Resources Needed Evaluation 12. For many schools this is a “hidden” component not always articulated in a literacy action plan. Constructing a plan around the pedagogy of literacy is a response to both the urgent needs of our students and the directives of our governing bodies. The goal is to have 91% proficiency in 3rd grade reading by 2020-2021 school year district wide. Often these occur predominantly in five areas: time, technology, library, personnel, and schedule. As we strive to prepare our students for the 21st Century and commit to reflective practice, we are continuously reminded that a high level of literacy is no longer a luxury, but a basic necessity. The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. Thus, motivation instead of ability may emerge as an essential issue in addressing academic literacy development with certain students. Administrators and members of the literacy team should also determine if the plan needs to be changed or modified. Early results show that DeWitt Middle School is certainly doing its part to meet or exceed that goal.
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