Bedford Public Schools
In January 2020, the Bedford Public Schools began the process of assembling a team of faculty to create a Literacy Plan for the district. One of the main forces behind creating a plan, was to address the concerns highlighted by our standardized test scores, specifically MCAS results for the past few years. When we called for faculty members to join a committee to create a plan, we were excited to have over thirty members of our faculty step forward and embark on addressing the issues and concerns related to literacy in our district. This effort was led by Andrea Salipante, K-5 Literacy Specialist, Jennifer Rabold,6-12 Reading Program Administrator, and me. We were fortunate to have members from each school. Through the late winter and early spring, the committee formed sub committees to investigate specific issues and to gather information from faculty and staff throughout the district.
Based on information gathered by each of the subcommittees, we were able to focus our plan on five specific goals, with action steps to be addressed over the span of the next three years. Each of the schools has embedded the BPS Literacy Plan into their School Improvement Plans.
The BPS Literacy Plan has been presented to all of the faculty and staff this past fall, at building based meetings, and has been presented to the school committee. We look to presenting it at various parent groups this spring, and next year, either in person or via zoom. The following information highlights the vision of the plan, the purpose, the belief and assumptions behind the plan and the five specific goals:
BPS Literacy Plan Vision Statement
Bedford Public Schools is committed to making literacy a priority. We believe that through quality tiered literacy instruction, our students will be prepared for college and career and life beyond Bedford Public Schools. We want all of our students to have the skills to become literate citizens and pursue their dreams when they graduate from high school.
The Purpose of the BPS Literacy Plan
To inform instructional leaders and teachers about current, researched best practices for reading assessment, instruction, and intervention.
To develop a comprehensive, system-wide plan for literacy assessment, instruction, curriculum, and intervention, including a literacy scope and sequence that builds on students’ skills as they develop K-12.
To address the unique considerations necessary to bridge the gap between students’ current literacy abilities and grade-level expectations by accelerating learning.
To inform the professional development goals and needs of the district in the area of literacy.
To inform the development and implementation of curriculum for specific courses, programs, and differentiated plans of instruction and intervention.
The Beliefs and Assumptions that Underlie the Development of the BPS Literacy Plan
Students that are significantly behind their peers in grade-level reading achievement need:
An intervention plan that will accelerate their literacy growth.
Additional support above and beyond reading in language arts and other content areas.
Instruction from a licensed reading professional during time specified for reading instruction.
Intervention in addition to other services such as special education or ESL.
- Students reading at or above grade level will also benefit from explicit reading instruction to encourage ongoing growth and development of critical thinking skills.
An instruction and intervention plan should be data driven and based on students’ needs to assure growth in reading development and to support the independent application of strategic reading throughout the school day.
Triangulation of multiple data measures which includes norm-referenced, criterion-based, and informal assessments should be used to create or redesign reading intervention plans and for moving students into, between, and out of appropriate interventions.
BPS Literacy Plan Goals
Goal 1: Vision/Leadership/Communication
District and school-based initiatives and goals will be aligned to the Literacy Plan, including the alignment of K-12 literacy curricula.
Goal 2: Assessment
Consistent administration of literacy assessments will be conducted at every grade level throughout the year; data will be shared across schools, grade levels, and district; and data will be used to inform instruction and intervention.
Goal 3: Intervention Processes
Consistency and alignment of literacy interventions K-12, including processes for identifying students, informing stakeholders, and delivering interventions, will be strengthened.
Goal 4: Core Curriculum and Instruction
Core, Tier I literacy instruction will be strengthened and differentiated so as to reduce the need for literacy interventions.
Goal 5: Professional Development/Coaching
Appropriate and sufficient professional development and coaching will be provided for all staff who are providing and evaluating literacy instruction.
As you can see from the information presented here, a great deal of time, thought, collaboration and effort went into creating this plan-which will be a road map for the district for the next three years. The global pandemic has impacted education everywhere-we are fortunate in Bedford to have educators who have continued to implement the BPS Literacy Plan, even in the face of altered educational models. The Literacy Plan Committee (a small group of approximately 2 representatives from each school) meet monthly to discuss the implementation of the plan-to check in on the progress of the goals and the action steps aligned with those goals. We are making progress, and we will continue to address the action steps in the next few years, and support Literacy throughout the district. Periodically, I, along with the Literacy Plan Committee, will be updating the faculty at each school and the school committee as the action steps are addressed. If you would like to read the BPS Literacy Plan in its entirety please click on this link: Bedford Literacy Plan
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me-best wishes for 20201!
Tricia Clifford, Ed. D.