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Literacy Leadership Team Reconvenes to Discuss Literacy Plan and Next Steps

Throughout the 2024-25 school year, East Ramapo has embraced a district-wide literacy initiative in order to address how to assess, revise and revamp how our teachers should approach teaching the children to read. 

It started in October with the screening and community discussion of the Right To Read video (click HERE to read more.) From there, East Ramapo’s Offices of Curriculum and Instruction, Secondary Education and Student Support Services initiated ‘Leaning into Literacy’(click HERE to read more) diving into the evidence around teaching reading and writing and gaining a true sense of what makes a skilled reader.

Administrators, along with educational partners and evidence-based reading research experts from Hill for Literacy, established a “Literacy Leadership Team” which included stakeholders from all across the district and in the community. This team focused heavily on the five main components of reading - phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency comprehension and vocabulary, and investigated how our teachers, reading teachers and reading interventionists are helping students become fluid and comprehensive readers.

Over the school year, they have collected systems analysis data, developed a comprehensive work plan which consisted of online data capture, and determined core, supplemental and intensive literacy curricula and programs currently in use.

On Thursday, May 24, the Literacy Leadership Team worked in focus area subgroups and utilized HILL recommendations generated from the data collected to document action steps and create a strategic 3-5 year action plan for literacy.

“Members of the Literacy Leadership Team were empowered to utilize their expertise and unique perspectives to build a literacy plan that is robust and actionable”, stated Shira Cohen-Goldberg, Director of Client Services at HILL for Literacy. “This was a true manifestation of shared leadership and is a cornerstone of advancing systems for educational equity. I am so impressed with the plan that the Literacy Leadership Team produced.

“Aligned with our district's theme, 'This is Me... Leaning into Literacy,' we started in October with the 'Right to Read' film screening to raise awareness about the national literacy crisis and discuss ways to improve teaching and learning in our district,” said Dr. Ogechi Iwuoha, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction at the East Ramapo Central School District. “Today is one of many opportunities to collaborate with our teachers, leaders, specialists, and families and develop a coherent, cohesive, and reasonable plan of action.”

Now, the East Ramapo has a literacy plan that articulates action steps for the areas of leadership routines, multi-tiered instructional model, professional learning, data-based decision making, and family/community engagement. The next steps include a plan to prioritize recommendations and activities in the coming years, gather feedback from team members, include recommendations in the Long Term Strategic Academic and Fiscal Plan, share the final plan and develop an activity timeline.