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ELA/Literacy District Updates 

Updates on ELA/Literacy:



Literacy Specialist

I am so pleased to welcome Amy Norton, our new District Literacy Specialist!  Amy started two weeks ago and she has already immersed herself in working with new teachers, planning for the November 2nd PD Day, getting our Title I Programs up and running fully, and taking the lead in the Fountas and Pinnell Program Implementation.  Amy has 21 years of teaching experience in general education and special education, and has been with the district since 2002.  Most recently she was a first grade teacher at Paxton Center School.  During her time in Wachusett, she has served on various committees such as the School Council, the WRSD Reopening Task Force, and as PTO Liaison.  Most recently, Amy provided professional development and support in Literacy for the district’s Summer Acceleration Academy.  Amy has a Master of Arts in Special Education from Assumption College, and earned her Administrator license through the Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association (MSAA) Leadership Licensure Program.  Her expertise in teaching, coaching, and leading school reading programs has provided her with the experience and knowledge to support our teachers in providing a comprehensive literacy program for our students.  



Grades K-5 Fountas and Pinnell Program Implementation:

The district was able to accelerate our PreK-12 Textbook Plan this summer, and purchased the Fountas and Pinnell Literacy Program for Grades 3, 4, and 5.  In the first year of purchase, our implementation and pd goals continue to be the same as those described this summer in emails to teachers from Cherie Kent, 1) to provide materials for teachers to explore and begin using as they feel ready, and 2) to provide training in the program components in order for teachers to be ready to implement fully at the beginning of the following school year (2022-2023).  There will also be follow-up training during the first year of full implementation.


Due to COVID last year, the Grade 2 follow-up training, which typically comes in the first year of Full Program Implementation, was delayed, but we were very fortunate to be able to book Pat Gordon for November 2, 2021, to meet with our Grade 2 teachers and to review and work through questions of implementation, and get back on track!  A primary focus of this training will discuss ways to help students close COVID -learning gaps that are present in classrooms while utilizing the tools of Fountas and Pinnell.  Pat will highlight strategies on how teachers can use F&P texts to strengthen writing skills and close writing gaps.  This is a great opportunity to refresh our knowledge around F&P and work on using classroom tools to solve unique problems we are facing in this post pandemic year.  


In the past few years, staff in Grades K-3 were trained on how to administer the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment Systems (BAS).  BAS are accurate and reliable tools to identify the instructional and independent reading levels of all students and document student progress through one-on-one formative and summative assessments.  These kits have also been purchased for Gr. 4 and 5 staff, and training is also being planned for this year, on administering the BAS (replacing the DRA) for Grade 4 and 5 teachers.  They will be expected to fully use BAS by September 2022, however, staff are encouraged to begin unpacking the tool and may choose to use BAS to progress monitor and assess end of year benchmarks in the Spring of 2022.  


Another great Fountas and Pinnell Literacy resource teachers have is access to online resources for the program.  Another of Amy’s first tasks was to work on making sure teachers had access to these online resources.  We are excited to be able to offer this online tool for easier implementation of classroom instruction and for benchmark assessment.  


The District has also just posted fifteen positions for teacher leader positions to form a WRSD ELA/Literacy Community of Practice Teacher Leadership Team. The purpose of this Title IIA funded activity is to increase student learning in ELA/Literacy, and accelerate this improvement through implementation of our new K-5 Fountas and Pinnell Program and research on the Science of Reading with ongoing collaboration, coaching, and learning.  Members will provide support in identifying and meeting the ongoing professional learning needs of K-5 faculty and staff.  


Looking forward to learning with you as we continue our district plans for K-5 ELA/Literacy!!!

Posted by jane_daly On 20 October, 2021 at 4:19 PM