Consultants Nancy Woods, Coordinator Pam Chomsky-Higgins Sue Biggam Loralyn LeBlanc Gayle Moskowitz Kathleen Harrington Mary Beth Monahan Cathy White
Purpose To build and support teacher knowledge, expertise, and instruction in literacy To support sustainable school growth in literacy over time
Bridging Project as Action Research We collect both quantitative and qualitative data over the course of a school’s participation in the project: Gates-MacGinitie, NECAP results, consultant field notes, steering committee minutes, self-assessment, year-end surveys, and exit survey We examine this data to better understand and refine our work with schools Participants contribute to and benefit from this research—building knowledge and expertise of successful schools across the state
Factors for Success Through our own research and substantiated by other national and local studies, the Bridging Project has supported schools in the following four areas: School Commitment and Stability Responsive School Community Opportunity to Read Teacher Knowledge and Expertise We also have recognized two additional areas based on our current research of successful schools: Assessment Support for Struggling Readers
School Commitment and Stability Definition: The leadership promotes a school-wide commitment to literacy and literacy improvement and supports that commitment over a sustained period of time. How the Bridging Project Supports: Literacy Consultants engage with the administration on a variety of topics to encourage their professional development as literacy leaders. Consultants also work with the leadership to allocate the time, resources, and materials necessary for the work to be effective and enduring.
Responsive School Community Definition: There is a shared vision or goal for the whole faculty. The faculty is involved in data-driven discussions at grade levels and across grade levels. There is a strong focus on communication and collaboration amongst all faculty and support services. How the Bridging Project Supports: Literacy Steering Committee with all grade levels represented Grade level team meeting attendance and support Consistent, sustained approaches and protocols for examining student work, digging into assessment data, and building consensus around next steps for teachers and support service providers
Opportunity to Read Definition: All students have extensive opportunities to engage in grade appropriate, instructional, and independent reading, and there is an established climate that values wide reading. How the Bridging Project Supports: Literacy Consultants work with teachers to optimize schedules, curriculum frameworks, and organization of the literacy block. Consultants also support the development of classroom libraries, increasing student access to varying texts (both instructional level and grade level)
Teacher Knowledge and Expertise Definition: Teachers are reflective decision makers and provide instruction that is balanced, lively, differentiated, and includes best practice in the components of literacy. How the Bridging Project Supports: Literacy Consultants offer teachers numerous embedded learning experiences: modeling, demonstrating, coaching, observing, providing resources, and presenting workshops tailored to the needs of the faculty.
Assessment Definition: Teachers gather formal and informal data to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of students’ learning in order to inform instruction. How the Bridging Project Supports: Literacy consultants work with teachers to develop an assessment plan to monitor what is learned and to inform instruction. Through analysis of assessment results, consultants support teachers in identifying patterns and specific needs of students, and in determining next steps for instruction.
Struggling Readers Definition: Struggling learners require explicit instructional support of varying levels of intensity to prevent failure and accelerate their progress. How the Bridging Project Supports: Literacy consultants work with teachers to develop interventions for struggling readers- -that are based on assessment information, targeted to individual needs, monitored, and adjusted for increasing intensity, as needed. Consultants also work with the administration and staff to schedule opportunities for teachers and support services to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate instruction for struggling readers.
Bridging Project Requirements Participating Schools are required to: Complete the self-assessment Commit to 2 hours of release time a month for teachers to participate in professional development Send a team of at least 3 teachers to the VRI at UVM Summer Institute Administer the Gates-MacGinitie as a screener each September Establish a literacy steering committee with grade level representation that meets once a month Agree to data collection and analysis of the Project’s work in the school Commit to building a 90-minute literacy block Ensure that all faculty in the participating grades are committed to engaging in the work