The most important success factor for sustained and comprehensive literacy improvement is having a plan and sticking to it. In short, it’s all about implementation. Successful, sustained literacy improvement efforts begin with a passionate desire to improve the skills and the lives of the students you serve. But it can’t end there. It has to be followed up with a strong commitment to implementing with fidelity.
Experience in over 1,000 districts across the country has given Scholastic a unique insight as to what works and, just as importantly, what doesn’t. This experience has been distilled into a framework called the Management Achievement Protocol, or MAP. Like any “map,” it is designed to help you get to your destination: successful, sustained literacy improvement for every student you serve.
The single most important factor in driving successful literacy improvement is a strong, clearly articulated commitment. A senior, empowered leader must “own” the effort and hold the entire organization accountable for fidelity of implementation. Ideally, this individual should be someone who embraces the old maxim: that which gets measured is that which gets done.
It takes a village to raise literacy achievement. In order for that team to be productive and successful it is critical that everyone clearly understands their role within the process. Prior to assigning all of the sub-tasks, most successful literacy leaders find it useful to tap seasoned individuals to serve as their literacy improvement “committee” responsible for overseeing the two most important aspects of the implementation: instruction and technology. It is ideal to have individuals allocated full-time to the implementation of your literacy improvement initiative.
When asked about his philosophy, one leader of a very large, very successful literacy improvement effort summed it up this way: “Failure to Plan = A Plan to Fail.” The Implementation Plan serves as a blueprint for success. It outlines the “what” as well as the “who” and the “when.”
Scholastic has developed several implementation planning tools to ensure that key questions are addressed in a way that is measurable, specific, and doable.
Scholastic is dedicated to helping district leaders plan for success. Several key tasks lay the groundwork for effective implementation before instruction ever begins. This vital preparation falls into four big categories: Technology, Targeting, Teachers, and Training.
Good READ 180 and System 44 teachers are constantly learning, honing their skills, and getting better at their craft. Supporting them in this process is the key to success—and leads to improved program outcomes and a reduction in teacher turnover.
READ 180 and System 44 include multiple built-in supports, but the most successful districts develop a long-term plan for incremental in-classroom support in areas such as classroom setup, monitoring fidelity of implementation, improvement of instructional practices, and incorporating data-driven instruction. Building and delivering on this plan can be the responsibility of Scholastic, the district, or a combination of both.
Once actionable, meaningful goals for literacy improvement have been set, it’s critically important to have a way for your district to track progress against those goals. Here are some key questions to ask in order to develop an effective reporting plan.
Scholastic recommends bringing together key stakeholders in the reading improvement initiative to determine the primary program metric.
The most successful literacy improvement programs build on a foundation of sustained support that expands internal resources to ensure ongoing effective literacy instruction. Scholastic capacity-building solutions include training for all literacy team members—the reading coaches, literacy leaders, and coordinators who will be implementing the program—on how to build and maintain a community, monitor fidelity to the instructional model, support classroom teachers, and instill best practices of reading instruction in every teacher.
District implementation plans should include a strategy for support and professional development that extends beyond year one of an implementation to include not only reading instructional staff, but all content-area teachers. Scholastic consultants can deliver customized training to help teachers and administrators strengthen their professional expertise and build local capacity.