Administrators, such as principals and assistant principals, cannot build, sustain, and continuously improve comprehensive schoolwide reading systems alone. Effective administrators are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and resources to lead school teams in implementing high-quality reading instruction to improve students’ reading success.
We recommend that school leaders establish and coordinate, at a minimum, a School Implementation Team (SIT) and Professional Learning Communities (PLCs).
The School Implementation Team, sometimes referred to as the School Leadership Team, focuses their efforts on establishing and solidifying a schoolwide system of support in reading. This team evaluates the school’s MTSS-R system and analyzes data at the school and grade levels to make necessary adjustments to the system. This team also establishes and supports Professional Learning Communities and plans professional development and coaching that aligns with staff needs.
The School Implementation Team-consisting of the school principal, academic coach, specialists, grade level representatives, and at least two family members-evaluates the school’s MTSS-R system. Ideally, this team meets monthly to evaluate the schoolwide reading system, analyze and use data to improve student outcomes, and allocate resources to support teachers and staff implementing a multi-tiered system of support.
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), sometimes referred to as Grade Level Teams, analyze grade, classroom, small group, and individual student data to make necessary instructional adjustments. PLCs focus on curriculum and instructional delivery at the grade or classroom level. During PLCs, staff dedicate time to practicing new instructional strategies and planning actions based on data that will improve student outcomes.
PLCs engage in a continuous improvement process to adjust instruction. Highly effective PLCs are facilitated by the principal, who is an engaged participant in the continuous improvement process. All reading instructional staff, including classroom teachers, reading interventionists, and coaches, are on one or more PLCs.
Professional Learning Communities meet monthly to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction, prioritize areas of focus, and create new actions for instructional adjustments. These teams look closely at data and focus on improving instructional strategies and implementation each month, which includes rehearsal and analysis of instructional strategies with their teammates.
Continuous Improvement helps school leadership teams, as well as grade-level teams, accomplish the following:
- Use data to inform, monitor, and improve daily instruction and intervention by addressing the root cause of student reading difficulties.
- Focus decisions and supports for struggling readers around research-informed priority practices.
- Intentionally plan actions to build and sustain an effective schoolwide reading model that supports all learners.
- Create accountability and shared responsibility over student progress and growth.
Watch these videos that dive deeper into these two teaming structures and explore resources that will help you strengthen these teaming structures in your building.
This video discusses the role and function of a School Implementation Team, sometimes called the MTSS-R Team, and the efforts required by a School Implementation Team to establish and solidify a schoolwide system of support in reading. Building administrators (such as principals, vice principals, grade-level team leaders, special education leaders, or literacy coaches) may find this video helpful as they establish and maintain systems to analyze data and make necessary programmatic adjustments.
This video discusses the role and function of a Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), and the efforts required by all reading instructional staff, including classroom teachers, reading interventionists, and coaches, on one or more PLCs. Building administrators and building educators (teachers, interventionists, paraprofessionals) may find this video helpful as they analyze grade, classroom, small group, and individual student data to make necessary instructional adjustments that support students across tiers of instruction.
Tools & Resources
This guide by the National Center for Systemic Improvement provides a format for a PLC meeting and professional book study.
Team-Initiated Problem Solving (TIPS) is a framework to use during collaborative meetings (e.g., PBIS, RTI, MTSS) focused on data-based decision making to improve student outcomes. This at-a-glance tool provides an overview of team implementation and the problem-solving process.
This guide is designed to assist teachers and schools in applying evidence-based practice to teach the foundational skills of reading.
This interactive lesson describes how to employ and document the key components in each Plan-Do-Study- Act (PDSA) Cycle phase and identify the importance of utilizing iterative PDSA cycles.
This toolkit is designed to help school- and district-based practitioners engage in a continuous improvement effort. It provides an overview of continuous improvement and focuses on the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle. It includes tools and resources that practitioners can use to implement a continuous improvement effort in their own schools, districts, or agencies.