Toolkit available to assess and plan for local literacy needs

The California Department of Education is partnering with California Educators Together to provide the Local Literacy Planning Toolkit, a set of resources designed to align the work of local educational agencies at the county, district and school levels with the California Comprehensive State Literacy Plan (SLP), part of the Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) Grant.

In 2019, CDE was awarded $37.5 million through the federal CLSD program. The SLP is the foundational element to achieving the objectives of the grant. The purpose of the SLP is to align and integrate state literacy initiatives, content standards and state guidance documents to support teachers of students, birth through grade 12.

The Local Literacy Planning Toolkit may be used by LEAs to evaluate current literacy programs and supports and develop action steps to move toward innovative and sustainable programs. These action steps may also be used to inform an LEA’s Local Control and Accountability Plan. The toolkit’s aim is to facilitate a discussion about literacy in LEAs, including gathering stakeholders, evaluating literacy data, selecting evidence-based instructional strategies, planning for implementation and aligning the local literacy plan to the LEA’s LCAP process.

The toolkit is divided into six sections:

  • Foundations – introductory matter
  • Continuous improvement process – brief explanation of the process used within the toolkit
  • Pre-planning steps – an overview of the steps LEAs should take in preparing for this work. Includes tools and templates
  • Step 1: Set Direction and Purpose – includes tools and templates
  • Step 2: Assess Local Needs – includes tools and templates
  • Step 3: Plan for Improvement – includes tools and templates

The toolkit aims to outfit LEAs with the resources and support to form a responsive, actionable, innovative and sustainable local literacy plan.

County office leads awarded grant funding

On Aug. 27, CDE announced seven grant awards to county offices of education or consortia of COEs to serve as Local Literacy Lead Agencies as part of the Comprehensive Literacy State Development federal grant program. Grantees will use the funding to build expertise in strategies that address the statewide literacy priorities identified in the State Literacy Plan and implement these strategies through a three-year, small-scale pilot with one or more local districts. These strategies will align with state guidance and policies, will be evidence-based and will support the literacy needs of economically disadvantaged and high-needs students.

Consistent with grant requirements, funds will be awarded as follows:

  • Birth to age five programs
    • Priority 1: San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools: $5,626,867
  • Kindergarten to grade five programs:
    • Priority 2: Los Angeles County Office of Education: $5,001,660
    • Priority 3: San Diego County Office of Education: $5,001,660
    • Priority 4: Contra Costa County Office of Education: $5,001,660
  • Grade six to grade twelve programs
    • Priority 5: Butte County Office of Education: $5,001,660
    • Priority 6: Tulare County Office of Education: $5,001,660
    • Priority 7: Napa County Office of Education: $5,001,660

Each grantee will support districts and schools in its region to improve comprehensive literacy instruction with a focus on the statewide literacy priority for the identified age and/or grade span. The expertise and resources that Literacy Lead Agencies generate with their model sites will be disseminated to educators across the state through the Statewide System of Support.