Students need robust reading comprehension skills to tackle rigorous content in high school and beyond. Superficial attempts to import basic reading strategies from English classes into math, history, and science settings have largely failed. Successful literacy initiatives in middle and high schools require exceptional expertise, but are useless if they are not tailored to the needs of your staff and done in a way that builds the leadership capacity of your team so that the work is sustainable.
Our collaboration with your school or district is coordinated by one of your team members so that they might carefully plan and execute a Literacy Action Plan with our ongoing support. This person becomes a “Reading Ways Site Leader.” Reading Ways Site Leaders are experienced teachers, coaches, directors of instruction, or school leaders who take our 15-hour online course Literacy Leadership (available for graduate credit through Fitchburg State University, if desired). This course is based on Dr. Jacy Ippolito’s research and writing related to coaching and literacy leadership (see Jacy’s publications and affiliations here). The course uses his book Cultivating Coaching Mindsets (written with Dr. Rita Bean).
A key outcome of the course is a school- and district-specific Literacy Action Plan that the site leader can begin to implement with their team. This plan is developed through our course and benefits from extensive vetting and feedback from Reading Ways coaches. It outlines which content-area teams will begin exploring literacy instruction together; the timeline for professional learning; which adult learning strategies will be used; and which Reading Ways resources and online courses teams will utilize.
We use the Literacy Action Plan to engage school and district leaders, and bring together Reading Ways resources to accomplish your literacy and learning goals.
Every engagement contract includes weekly video conferences between your in-district Reading Ways Site Leader and one of our Reading Ways Coaches. Four conferences per year include school leadership, and are essential for ensuring strong alignment with broader school initiatives and goals.