Board Focus on Achievement: Early Literacy Plan Update

At the Focus on Achievement session, September 1, the Denver Board of Education talked with panels of teachers and school leaders to better understand the needs of school-based teams in successfully implementing the district’s Literacy 2020 Plan to achieve the Denver Plan goal, A Foundation for Success in School.

“How do we, as central, support your work the best we can?” asked Board President Anne Rowe.

The focus is improving literacy skills in the early grades to achieve the Denver Plan goal of 80% of students reading and writing at grade-level by grade 3. Research shows students who meet this benchmark are four times more likely to graduate from high school.

As part of the effort, DPS educators in grades ECE-3 attended a week long Foundations in Early Literacy training in July to help create common practices and vocabulary across the district’s schools. Board members quizzed panel members about the effectiveness of the training as well as challenges and needs moving forward.

“What could we do to make it easier to get the teachers you need?” Board Member Mike Johnson asked principal panelists.

Board members also received materials about a complimentary ongoing effort, the Birth to 8 Roadmap. Released in June 2016, the roadmap was created collaboratively by community organizations in Denver, including DPS. It articulates eleven recommendations intended to support and align the development of children from birth through their early years of school.

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