LIT Academy Makes Stop in Lafayette Parish
By: Liza Kostreva, Miranda Gremillion, and Dr. Tyre’ Jenkins, Regional Literacy Specialists
It was an honor and privilege to join the literacy team of Lafayette Parish, where we met for two days at J.W. Faulk Elementary. We were able to tailor each Lit Academy session to meet their elementary school needs. Sessions included: The Science of Reading, CKLA & Guidebooks Curriculum, embedding Cross-Curricular Content, Data Digs, Intervention, and Literacy Goal Planning. Through these thought-provoking sessions, school and district leaders could reflect on the previous school year and understand what their schools should focus on going forward.
Lit Academy is designed to deepen knowledge of science-of-reading-aligned literacy practices and provide an opportunity for school teams to apply the learning directly and develop action plans to improve student literacy outcomes. During each session, district, and school leaders of LPSS dug into research on evidence-based practices relevant to each topic, reflected upon current practices, and determined the following steps to improve the implementation of structured literacy practices. Student achievement data and knowledge of teacher practice were always at the forefront and were the guides for determining needs and prioritizing structural changes for the upcoming school year.
There were so many ‘a ha’ moments that came about through the deep reflection and thoughtful discussion in each of the sessions. Highlights of our collaboration over the course of the two days together include:
- Discussing the latest Science of Reading research and how to apply new knowledge to practices at a district, school, and classroom level
- Structuring intervention to ensure all students receive diagnostic, prescriptive literacy instruction to fill in specific skill and knowledge gaps
- Aligning on use of assessments and developing a structure to incorporate diagnostic assessments
- Developing a literacy plan that outlines specific and measurable literacy goals that are differentiated by grade bands and includes an action plan to achieve these literacy goals
- Creating a professional development calendar to provide training and support to teachers and school leaders
The work that the dedicated team from LPSS did at Lit Academy and the work they will continue to do to implement their new learning will have a positive impact on the students of their district. Their collaboration truly inspired us – it was data-driven, reflective, and deeply grounded in the belief that all children can become proficient readers.
Lafayette Parish School System partnered with The Center for Literacy & Learning during the 2021-2022 school year through the Literacy Coach Program and received support from Dr. Ty, a Regional Literacy Specialist at The Center. The sessions at Lit Academy provided a framework for how Dr. Ty and The Center will continue to support LPSS with the implementation of their Literacy Plan throughout the 2022-2023 school year.