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Spotlight Washington: Professional learning, key resources bring literacy improvement

When the Title I/Learning Assistance Program (LAP) specialists of Edmonds School District noticed the number of students requiring intervention continued to grow despite the amount of resources available, they realized that they needed a more systematic approach to their literacy toolkit.

teacher engaging with group of students in classroom

After years of continued growth in the number of students requiring literacy intervention, educators at Edmonds School District in Washington state determined that their community’s needs exceeded basic intervention strategies. “We were heavily focused on intervention, but we weren’t moving the needle,” said Megan McCarthy, Title I/LAP specialist. They needed to transform their Tier 1 and Tier 2 instruction, but they knew they needed the support of the teachers—and they got it.

Title I/Learning Assistance Program specialists enlisted the support of 95 Percent Group’s professional learning team to assess their understanding of the challenges they were facing and to help pave the path ahead. With access to professional learning services, classroom teachers and interventionists came together to advocate for the implementation of a districtwide, cohesive curriculum—one that includes Tier 1 (core) resources as well as Tier 2 and 3 intervention solutions. Learn about the district’s implementation process, challenges, and successes (note: the noticeable shift in student attitudes toward reading). And learn how their enhanced knowledge of the science of reading accelerated their transformation story.

Snapshot: Edmonds School District

  • South Snohomish County – 30 miles North of Seattle
  • 35 Schools
  • Total Enrollment: 20,933
  • Faculty: 1,289
  • English Learners: 15%
  • Students with free or reduced lunch: 36%
  • Students with disabilities: 16.3%
  • Average daily attendance: 91%

Intervention alone wasn’t enough

Despite working with products they loved, including Multisyllable Routine Card Package and the 95 Phonics Chip Kit™, teachers were finding that student assessment data still revealed literacy gaps. District Title I/LAP specialists Megan McCarthy and Tory Amos began introducing 95 Phonics Lesson Library™ to reading interventionists in their Learning Assistance Program (LAP) High Poverty elementary schools, and encouraged classroom teachers in those schools to utilize these resources to support their students. But they knew there were still missing pieces of the larger literacy picture, districtwide.

“We were heavily focused on intervention, but we were not yet moving the needle,” McCarthy said.

So what was missing? One critical element they needed was high-quality professional learning support to ensure their teachers received the best training and coaching possible and could implement their literacy ecosystem of resources with integrity. Under the guidance of Judie Caroleo, 95 Percent Group’s director, professional learning, McCarthy and Amos began to understand that their literacy challenges could not be fixed with intervention alone. They first needed to make a change in their instructional practices. Next they need to add to their toolkit a core, supplemental curriculum that explicitly addressed phonics. And finally they needed to teach their teachers how to use this new program effectively.

Edmonds School District expanded their structured literacy toolkit to a key product for core instruction from the One95 Literacy Ecosystem: 95 Phonics Core Program®. Change was on the horizon.

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Ready to learn more about Edmonds School District’s success story? Read about their five recommended strategies to jumpstart professional learning and so much more. Click the button below to download the full story in our exclusive download.

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