The federal grant is awarded by the Maryland State Department of Education to school districts that designed a literacy plan that would advance literacy skills, including pre-literacy skills, reading and writing, for children from birth to grade 12, with an emphasis on disadvantaged children, including children living in poverty, English learners, and children with disabilities.
The district was required to write a high-quality plan for improving literacy scores from age 4 to grade 12, with special attention given to transitions between age 4 to kindergarten, elementary to middle school, and middle to high school. Garrett County’s literacy plan includes a Coaching Delivery Model to support implementation of evidence-based literacy practices.
The grant targets improvement of core instruction by building staff capacity to deliver evidence-based literacy practices through literacy coaching and continuous improvement. Grant funds will also support funding for supplies to provide a literacy rich environment and software to support data collection, reporting, and coaching.
Grant funds provide for the hiring of literacy coaches to:
• Construct a coaching service delivery system based on the comprehensive needs assessment, local literacy plan, and school
and district improvement goals.
• Identify and prioritize, from a specified list, the evidence-based practices staff will be coached to implement using results
of the needs assessment.
• Establish baseline data on the delivery of targeted literacy practices, set improvement goals, and gather and analyze data
to improve delivery of practices.
• Provide coaching that includes planning, modeling, observing, and giving specific feedback.
• Establish and facilitate teacher team meetings with the express purpose of increasing knowledge and skills in data analysis,
interpretation of assessment data, planning differentiated lessons, and increasing adherence to evidence-based practices.
• Facilitate data analysis and interpretation to support decision-making by leadership and implementation teams.