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Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant Update

The Ohio Department of Education awarded Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center a four-year Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) grant of $1,050,000 to build state-wide models of evidence based practices in literacy for students in Kindergarten – 5th grade at Mansfield City Schools’ Springmill STEM Elementary and Plymouth-Shiloh Elementary. The model sites will concentrate on implementing practices consistent with Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement, a guidance document from the Ohio Department of Education. Throughout the four-year grant cycle, Mid-Ohio is collaborating with the Department and State Support Team 7.  

The grant’s goals are based on two fundamental needs: building a school-wide reading model, and instituting grade-level and individual professional development for teachers and administrators founded on the components of the Science of Reading. The work provides for partnerships and collaboration of general and special education practitioners working collectively together to support all learners.

This school year, the CLSD grant Coaches provided thirty-three different training opportunities to support educators’ capacity to provide high-quality instructional literacy plans for all learners, focused on four areas of instructional practice.  The Heggerty curriculum teaches students phonemic awareness, the ability to focus on and manipulate sounds in spoken words.  Teachers also are learning to use orthographic mapping, the linking of sounds to letters and attaching them to meaning to allow “mapping” them to memory. 

In addition, educators at the model sites are using the Acadience Reading Assessment to analyze student data and follow decision-making rules to plan next steps for student growth. To assist struggling readers, the teachers are implementing evidence-based interventions from the CORE Reading Sourcebook.  Using these curricular pieces, along with additional professional development, will assist in building a school-wide reading model to sustain the gains in student achievement.

Regina Sackman, principal at Springmill STEM, noted that they have already seen results in her building. “The resources and teacher professional development provided by the CLSD grant have positively impacted student learning. Many teachers have already seen improvement in student reading and writing as a result of the implementation of the Heggerty phonemic awareness program. We are looking forward to continuing improvements as we continue the work of improving student learning through this grant.” 

During the 2021 – 2022 school year, the CLSD Coaches will expand their work by connecting with and empowering families and community partners to support the CLSD grant’s literacy initiatives for student growth and achievement. Lisa Cook, the CLSD Director and Literacy Coach, shared her enthusiasm, “I am very excited to lead the work of the CLSD grant.  Our vision is to improve outcomes for all learners, thus helping more students master essential reading foundations by reducing the barriers for literacy acquisition. By supporting the buildings’ infrastructures and decision rules as part of the Multi-Tiered System of Supports process, we can prepare all learners to be culturally responsive citizens in their path to college or careers and help to fulfill Ohio’s promise of Each Child, Our Future!”