The Department of Curriculum and Instruction is partnering with the newly designed Early Literacy and Beyond Task Force to bring staff a monthly update on the district’s strategy to improve the reading outcomes of our students. Each newsletter will include a literacy task force feature story, research based best practices and educator resources.
Message from Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Lisa Kvistad
Dear MMSD Staff, 
 
Welcome to the second edition of the district’s Early Literacy: The Science of Reading monthly newsletter. The purpose of this newsletter is to provide guidance to our school leaders and staff in supporting a district wide strategy that ensures all of our students develop the critical literacy skills needed to prepare them for college and career pathways. 
 
I am excited to share the Early Literacy and Beyond Task Force recently came together for their inaugural meeting. I am grateful to each task force member for the commitment and expertise they bring to this important work. The Task Force reviewed the goals and challenges of 4K-12 literacy work while discussing plans to provide tools to assist schools in implementing reading instruction in classrooms across multiple grade levels for different subjects and content areas. 
 
Professional development opportunities for educators have begun, with our first school level cohort (Coaches, Interventionists and Reading Teachers K-12) starting their LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) training. This training includes a combination of online modules, videos and independent reading all focused on improving literacy and language instruction. MMSD principals will receive LETRS leadership training in the summer. Please tune into our Equity in Early Literacy Instruction podcast below to learn more about the significance of LETRS training. 
 
Look out for monthly updates on our progress in this powerful and purposeful literacy endeavor. I look forward to sharing the great work our school leaders and community will be doing to improve literacy outcomes for all MMSD students!
 
Sincerely,
 
Lisa Kvistad
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning
Equity in Early Literacy Instruction Podcast, Episode 2
Join us as we discuss the significance of LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) training for educators, a professional development opportunity we are providing school leaders to meet the literacy needs of our diverse young scholars in MMSD featuring a lively conversation with Central Office Curriculum and Instruction leaders Kaylee Jackson and Dr. Caroline Racine Gilles.
Upcoming LETRS Training, Amplify Science Implementation and Social Studies Updates
 Multi-Year Implementation by Grade Level beginning Fall 2021 
After careful consideration with multiple groups of stakeholders, the following implementation schedule was finalized alongside other curriculum work by grade level (e.g., LETRS, Amplify Science, and Social Studies scopes).
Details for professional development will be forthcoming. Principals and coaches will receive a survey link next week to provide information that will help us to prepare for next school year, 2021-2022.
LETRS Stakeholders within Grade Level (for 3 year plan):
Video: Dr. Gabi Bell Jiménez Explains The Science of Reading
Dr. Gabi Bell is the Director of Literacy, Biliteracy and Humanities at MMSD. A Costa Rican native, Gabi is passionate about language, literacy and culture. "Literacy has to do with the ability to do my own reading and writing in service of my own understanding. I believe in education from us, by us," Gabi explains. "That is what my parents fought to give me, and that is what I give my children, and that is what I want for every child." Check out this video as Gabi defines The Science of Reading and its implications for instructional practice.
Recommended Literacy Resources
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 LETRS@madison.k12.wi.us