Literacy Lines

The Keys to Literacy Blog

A literacy planning model to support MTSS

by Joan Sedita | 1 | 0 Comments

In an earlier Literacy Lines post (What is MTSS? November 16, 2016) we explained an instructional framework that includes a universal screening of all students, multiple tiers of instruction and support services, and an integrated data collection and assessment system to inform decisions at each tier of instruction. An MTSS framework can be used for literacy, math, or supporting positive behavior.

In order to successfully implement an MTSS framework for literacy, schools and districts must first complete a process to develop a literacy plan. Keys to Literacy has facilitated this process for numerous schools using our Keys to Literacy Planning model.

In this Literacy Lines post, I’ll share some information and tools from our model that you may find helpful to develop a literacy plan for your school or district.

Start With a Literacy Planning Team

The key to developing a good literacy plan is to create a planning team consisting of members who represent the major stakeholders in the school or district. If it will be a school literacy plan, the team should include the building principal, at least 4 classroom teachers representing different grades, and at least 1 intervention educator (e.g., special education, reading teacher or coach, speech and language). If it will be a district-wide literacy plan, the team will most likely be larger and should include at least one district-level administrator (e.g., Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum Coordinator, Special Education Director), an administrator from each school, at least 5 teachers from different grades representing different subjects, and at least 2 intervention educators. Click here for a template you can use to develop a team.

Six Components

Our process and the resulting literacy plan addresses these six components:

  1. Assessment and data use
  2. Tier I core literacy instruction
  3. Tiers II & III literacy intervention instruction
  4. Literacy professional development plan
  5. Scheduling and grouping
  6. Literacy resources

A key part of the literacy planning process is “taking stock” of current practices related to these six components to determine strengths and gaps. Team members collect and analyze data about existing practices related to the six components. This analysis is used to identify the goals and action steps that make up the heart of the literacy plan.

Literacy Planning Stages

Developing and implementing a literacy plan is not a single event! The process could take several years to complete, and literacy plans need to be updated each year as goals are addressed and new goals are identified. When using the Keys to Literacy Planning model, school and/or district literacy planning teams proceed through these stages:

  • Initiation Stage
    • Assemble the planning team
    • Develop a “making the case” statement
    • Provide foundational literacy training to team members to build common background knowledge
    • Identify data-collection teams
  • Self-Assessment Stage
    • Collect data about current practices for each of the six components listed above
    • Analyze data to determine strengths and gaps for each component
  • Action Planning Stage
    • Based on the analysis of data, identify and prioritize three to five goals for each component.
    • For each goal, identify several action steps including a timeline and person(s) responsible for completing the action step
  • Writing the Plan Stage
    • Generate a written literacy plan that includes: introduction and vision statement, a summary of self-assessment findings and goals (with action steps) for the six components, recommended priority for addressing goals, and expectations for schools and individuals
    • Communicate details from the plan to all stakeholders in the school/district
  • Implementation Stage
    • Based on prioritization, begin taking action steps for goals
    • Develop a long-term sustainability plan for keeping the literacy plan “alive” from year to year

Click here for a template you can use to generate a basic literacy plan.

Joan Sedita

Joan Sedita is the founder of Keys to Literacy and author of the Keys to Literacy professional development programs. She is an experienced educator, nationally recognized speaker and teacher trainer. She has worked for over 35 years in the literacy education field and has presented to thousands of teachers and related professionals at schools, colleges, clinics, and professional conferences.

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