Leadership in Literacy Institute

The courses for Sessions 1 and 2 have been carefully selected to equip administrators with fundamentals needed to successfully launch a brand new school year. As an extension of this 2-day workshop, Instructional Leaders (participants) are left with “homework” that is based on the current instructional practices being utilized in their school/district. It is recommended to set aside 2 consecutive days for these full-day sessions, implemented at the beginning of the year.

How Children Learn to Read: This course is an overview on the research behind How Children Learn to Read and is rooted in the Science of Reading. Participants develop a clear understanding of the implications of oral language, phonological processing and learn the necessity of a structured literacy approach.

Universal Instruction: Participants will learn the basis of the learning process and what can hinder a student’s ability to learn. Also discussed are high-leverage instructional strategies, including explicit instruction, how to design and deliver a lesson and effective lesson planning tools for both whole group and small group instruction. Instructional leaders will leave with a clear understanding of what they should see teachers doing in classrooms.

Whole and Small Group Instruction: Often instructional leaders are unaware or lack the knowledge of what a good literacy block looks like. This session delves into how the literacy block should be constructed, what components of reading are critical to teach, the necessary timeframes and a gradual release model to the units taught. Participants also learn the purposes and research behind small group instruction and how to differentiate.

The courses for Sessions 3 and 4 expand on the knowledge and activities completed in the previous sessions. The best time to schedule these 2 (consecutive) days are during the middle of the year. As a culmination to this gathering, instructional leaders are left with “homework” that is based on the current situation of interventions being used in their school/district. They also receive access to a proprietary Intervention Calculator and an Intervention Checklist for use in choosing an appropriate intervention.

Comprehensive Assessment System: Choosing the correct assessments to guide literacy instruction can be a daunting task. This professional development session explains what we should be assessing and why we should assess it. Discussions will include examples of highly effective and appropriate screening, progress monitoring and diagnostic assessments. Participants are provided with a background on the reading brain and how it links to assessment. Instructional leaders will learn the importance of creating an instructional calendar to ensure all students are provided with the assessments necessary in a timely manner.

Interventions for Struggling Readers: What comprises quality interventions for struggling readers? Participants will learn:

  • The research behind high-quality interventions
  • How to select a research-based intervention and the lay-out for instruction
  • How to vary times and intensity for grade levels, to maximize impact on student success

Principals will be introduced to our proprietary Intervention Calculator, which supports leadership in determining how many minutes, and sessions of interventions, a school needs to effectively meet the needs of students who require intervention. Instructional leaders will also learn how interventions should be based on individual need.

The last 2-day session is customized for the participants and is based on their school/district need. Offerings for the end of year may include:

Building Leadership Teams: A building/school leadership team promotes two-way trust and open communication between administration and staff. This session guides administrators and teacher leaders through the steps of creating a Building/School Leadership Team. By creating a building leadership team, you create a shared-decision making process within your school culture. Research indicates that schools with a shared-decision making process have higher achievement outcomes than those that don’t.

Data Analysis: Understanding the Subskills of Assessment: Often educators know how to give the assessment, and even how to interpret the results. What is often missed are considerations for the instructional implications and appropriate actions taken based on the data. This session addresses what the outcomes of a high-quality literacy assessment can inform a teacher about instruction and how to create an action plan.

Effective and Timely Feedback: This professional development session delineates the roles and responsibilities of the coach and principal, how to enlist teachers into working with the instructional coach and the difference in instructional feedback that the coach provides and that the principal provides. This session also provides the research on quality professional development. Instructional Coaches will receive access to proprietary tracking forms to use when working with teachers. Principals will receive teacher feedback forms for their use. This session is also customizable to link observations and evaluation protocols to quality common evaluative measures such as Danielson/Marzano (and locally created) frameworks.

Building the Relationship Between Instructional Coach and Principals: A quality relationship between the building principal and instructional coach can be one of the most rewarding relationships there is. Regrettably, this pairing can be fraught with potential disaster if not well planned and understood. This session provides principals and coaches with clear responsibilities, tools for communication and how to avoid the trap of “Asking mom or asking dad.”

How Did We End and Where Do We Begin?: When schools know and understand their data, prevention and intervention can begin on day 1 of the following school year. This session ensures that based on end-of-year data, schools have in place an appropriate schedule utilizing all resources, the necessary instructional materials to meet student needs and the required systems and structures in place to support and advance student achievement.

Why focus on leadership

School leadership is second to teaching among school-related factors in its impact on student learning, according to research.


Moreover, principals strongly shape the conditions for high-quality teaching and are the prime factor in determining whether teachers stay in high-needs schools.  High-quality principals, therefore, are vital to the effectiveness of our nation’s public schools, especially those serving the children with the fewest advantages in life. (Wallace Found).

Choose Schools Cubed

Systems, Structures and the Science of Reading are the key ingredients in all highly-performing schools.



Strong SYSTEMS ensure effective collaboration and give teachers the data they need to measure progress and performance.



Successful schools have STRUCTURES place to ensure school days are learning-focused and maximize instructional time.



High-performing schools know and use instructional strategies based on the SCIENCE OF READING to achieve exceptionally high outcomes for students.

To inquire about bringing the Leadership in Literacy Institute to your district, or to request information on the Leadership Institute for the Secondary Learner please contact us:

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