Message from Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Marvin Pryor
Dear MMSD Staff,

Welcome to the third edition of the Early Literacy: Science of Reading newsletter, a monthly message for school leaders and central office staff in support of our district wide strategy to ensure all MMSD students develop a lifelong love of literacy that prepares them for college and career pathways. 
Instructional Coaches and Reading Interventionists across the district are currently in deep reflection and discussion around literacy through their professional development with LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling). Be sure to listen in to this month’s Equity in Early Literacy Instruction podcast featuring two MMSD principals from Elvehjem and Gompers Elementary schools who are doing exemplary work in modeling effective literacy leadership practices and providing LETRS strategies to support literacy instruction schoolwide. 
While all aspects of literacy are critical to the success of our young scholars, the process starts with reading skills. These skills form the foundation for all other learning, which is a large part of the reasoning behind the district wide adoption of LETRS training. These new standards put the responsibility for teaching literacy skills on the backs of all teachers and leaders, not just reading coaches and language arts instructors.
Tune in each month for more details about new professional development solutions that help deepen educator knowledge around improved literacy instruction for all MMSD students.
Marvin Pryor, Ph.D
Chief Academic Officer
Equity in Early Literacy Instruction Podcast, Episode 3
In this episode, we are joined by two school principals, Sarah Larson of Elvehjem Elementary and Jaclyn Smith of Gompers Elementary as they discuss their progress with implementing LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) instructional routines and activities in their schools. Tune in to learn about their journey as anti-racist, instructional school leaders who are positioning their staff and students to reach freedom through high levels of reading achievement.
LETRS Training, Amplify Science
Implementation and Social Studies Updates
 *Updated* Implementation Plan by Grade Level Beginning Fall 2021 
Staff engaging in LETRS training have shared their passion and excitement about this new learning with administrators and colleagues. Because of this, we received an overwhelming response on our initial implementation plan with schools asking us to engage in a larger scale implementation that includes additional grade levels, and that thinks creatively about the pacing. The table below shows the updated grade levels. More information to come soon related to pacing.
LETRS Stakeholders within Grade Level (for 3 year plan):
Video: Leadership in Literacy with Principal Jaclyn Smith
Jaclyn Smith is the Principal of Gompers, 4K-5, Elementary. A lifelong Madisonian she began her education at Leopold Elementary, Cherokee Middle School and Madison West. She knows first hand the quality and commitment of MMSD teachers and staff leading to her successful undergraduate and graduate studies. She also recognizes the disparities that exist within our city and believes that teaching all of our students to read, write, listen and speak about complex text is the key to anti-racist teaching and opening lifelong possibilities for our scholars. Check out this video as Jackie describes strategies her school literacy leaders embrace and implement at their school to foster anti-racist education.
Literacy Resources and Updates

We are so excited for the amazing progress we have made collectively, and each of our cohort participants is making individually. There are 135 staff members (Coaches, Reading Teachers and Interventionists) who are currently engaging in LETRS training. The teams are keeping up beautifully with the pacing, our completion rate for Unit 1 is 90%. Thank you for opening your hearts and your minds to this content!

Kaylee Jackson - Executive Director, Curriculum and Instruction
MMSD Early Literacy Vision:
"To focus on utilizing literacy at every level as an equity strategy to ensure all MMSD students receive high-quality, grade level accelerated instruction.”
For more information about LETRS, email