Strategic Literacy Plan
We want every single student to thrive and succeed in their education. Reading is one of the most important foundations for all learning, and we strive to continually improve literacy instruction for students in Adams 12 Five Star Schools.
The district is currently in the midst of developing a data-driven initiative to outline steps it is taking to elevate student success in every classroom, every day. Our goals include raising student achievement, accelerating student growth, creating a positive climate and culture, and outperforming our peer districts.
This page offers resources for parents, an overview of our goals as a district, and the strategies we plan to use to continually improve our literacy instruction.
What is next for Five Star Schools’ literacy instruction?
Since 2014, the district has been implementing recommendations from a district-wide literacy review, and has seen measurable improvements in some student outcomes. We are proud of the work we have accomplished and the progress we’ve seen in this time. The Five Star Schools team has consistently and closely monitored this work and its effect on student achievement.
For more in-depth information regarding the literacy performance of the following groups: students on an Individualized Education Program (IEP), English language learners, students receiving free or reduced lunch and minority students please visit this link on the Colorado Department of Education’s website to see our District Unified Improvement Plan.
The district’s next steps include working closely with school leaders to develop plans that build on previous successes, and are tailored to the unique needs of each school and community. More information about this can be found in the 2019 District Unified Improvement Plan.
Improving instruction and outcomes for students who struggle with reading
What the data tells us
The district has continued to reduce the number of students identified with a significant reading deficiency (SRD) in kindergarten through second grade, but the data is inconsistent for third grade. There are also inconsistencies in cohort data across kindergarten through third grade.
To help improve the outcomes for these students, the district believes that the system-wide focus needs to shift toward foundational or early reading teaching and learning to increase the number of students in all grades, and specifically in K-3, with grade level reading competencies.
How we’re using this information to better support students
We believe in the importance of ongoing professional learning for educators to ensure a system-wide, common understanding of teaching and learning in literacy. This is critical in creating equity for our students. Strengthening students’ early literacy skills will have a direct and positive impact on their comprehension and overall achievement in literacy across all content areas. Moving forward, we will provide more targeted and clear support to deepen and extend educator knowledge.
This support will include purposeful and intentional professional learning for all educators as well as resources and tools to meet the needs of a wide-variety of reading and writing preferences, including but not limited to dyslexia. For true system change to occur, it is critical for educators to understand the “what” and “why” of their learning, at both a systems level and an individual level.
Supporting students with dyslexia
In order for Five Star Schools to have a literacy plan that helps all students thrive, it must address students with a wide range of needs. This includes support for students with dyslexia and dyslexia-like needs. For more information, please visit the dyslexia webpage.
My child is struggling with reading. How do I get help for them?
If you’re concerned about your child’s progress for any reason, the best first step is to contact their teacher. They can talk with you about your concerns, share information with you about what your child can do, and develop a plan for instructional supports to help your child succeed.
Here are some questions that might help guide the conversation with your child’s teacher:
What are my child’s strengths in reading and writing? How does my child typically demonstrate their skills or strengths?
Is my child making adequate progress in reading and writing?
What specific areas does my child need the most support or help with in the short term? What specific goals would be obtainable? How will we all know if my child is making progress toward the goals we have set?
How can I best align support at home with what’s offered in the classroom? How can I emphasize the joy of reading and writing?
If you still have questions or concerns after talking to your child's teacher, please contact your school administrator (principal or assistant principal).
Background and Focus areas of the Strategic Literacy Plan
In 2013, Five Star Schools embarked an intensive district-wide review of literacy instruction and performance. The final report was published in 2014 and has guided the district’s work in literacy ever since. You can view the full report here.
Using data from the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP), a statewide standardized test that was administered at the time, the report identified room for improvement in student achievement, particularly at the middle-school level.
The district has improved literacy performance measurably in the past six years, but there is always more we can do to better serve and support students as they become proficient readers and writers.
The final literacy review report made recommendations for next steps to improve literacy teaching and learning. These recommendations include establishing more robust professional development for educators, making sure the district’s curriculum and resources are closely aligned to the Common Core State Standards, and creating a long-term plan for how the district would implement the report’s recommendations. Five Star Schools has been implementing these recommendations since the 2014-2015 school year and will continue to do so.
Click here to read more about these recommendations
- Establish common expectations for Common Core State Standards (CCSS) aligned instructional practices. These statewide standards set expectations for what students need to know and be able to do at the end of each grade.
- Develop and articulate a Five Star Schools Comprehensive Literacy Framework. This led to the development of the Adams 12 Five Strategic Literacy Plan, which is in the final stages of development.
- Create common tools across the district that provide examples of best practices for educators
- Provide professional learning, including feedback and coaching systems, that is focused on deepening educator knowledge of and facility with the CCSS.
- Ensure curriculum resources used by teachers and students are closely aligned with the goals and expectations of CCSS
- Conduct an audit of existing materials and resources Five Star Schools educators have access to
- Determine where material resource gaps exist and plan for how those gaps will be addressed
- Align current and possible new staffing to increase student support.
- Define a district assessment system to monitor student progress
- Identify a process for teachers to review assessment items, data and student work
- Develop a system-wide professional development plan that supports all teachers and school leaders in understanding and implementing the CCSS and the district's vision for literacy instruction
- Professional learning is focused on rich content and incorporates multiple modes of delivery and learning
- Create opportunities for teacher voice and leadership in planning for and delivering professional learning experiences
- Accountability and Continuous Improvement
- Create a long term district plan for implementing the recommendations outlined in this report