The Delaware Literacy Coalition and Literacy Cadre
The Delaware Literacy Coalition
The Delaware Literacy Coalition is a community of practice devoted to the mission of ensuring that all Delaware students leave high school with levels of proficiency that will benefit them both academically and in the work place. The majority of this community consists of literacy supervisors/coordinators from Delaware public schools whose primary role is to lead, coordinate, and/or evaluate the literacy program in schools or districts.
These district Literacy Supervisor/Coordinators may have responsiblity for leading systemic change efforts, writing or managing proposals for Title I or other grants, collaborating with families or community agencies, and/or developing partnerships that can have a positive effect on the literacy program. These literacy professionals may also be asked to work closely with building administrators and literacy coaches to implement the teacher evaluation system and make judgments about teacher performance in regards to literacy instruction and then provide professional learning experiences needed to improve teaching practices. (ILA, Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals, 2017).
In addition to the Literacy Supervisors/Coordinators, this community of practice also includes representatives from post-secondary institutions, community organizations, and the Department of Education. The Coalition regularly convenes to learn and collaborate for the purpose of improving and supporting K-12 ELA instructional practices in Delaware schools. (Delaware Literacy Coalition, 2017.)
The Department of Education endorses the Delaware Literacy Coalition as an approach for building LEA capacity to ensure that all students have access to the Delaware Common Core State Standards in ELA and can exit our public schools with high levels of literacy proficiency. The Delaware Department of Education views the Delaware Literacy Coalition as a means of supporting a coordinated, comprehensive, coherent approach to high quality professional development for all stakeholders. The Delaware Department of Education works in tandem with the Delaware Literacy Coalition to support standards-based instruction and high quality professional development that is aligned to the Delaware Common Core State Standards in ELA.
The Coalition is governed by a Delaware Literacy Coalition Steering Committee. The Steering Committee sets the direction of the projects that focus on grades Pre K-12. The committee monitors results and progress in comparison with the yearly goals developed by the members. The Steering Committee facilitates long term plans aimed at establishing sustainable Pre K-12 literacy efforts that will provide all students with the opportunity to meet the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts.
2023-2024 Literacy Coalition Meeting Schedule
- September 8, 2023 (8:30-10:00)
- October 6, 2023 (8:30-10:00)
- November 3, 2023 (8:30-10:00)
- December 8, 2023 (8:30-10:00)
- January 5, 2024 (TBD)*
- February 2, 2024 (8:30-10:00)
- March 1, 2024 (8:30-10:00)
- April 12, 2024 (TBD)
- May 3, 2024 (8:30-10:00)
*In-person, John W. Collette Education Resource Center, Room A & B
- Co-Chair Tracy Selekman, Brandywine School District
- Co-Chair Kelly Carvajal-Hageman, Seaford School District
- Lisa Ali-Turner, Appoquinimink School District
- Tabitha Bendel, Christina School District
- Ryan Buchanan, Smyrna School District
- Katie Gutowski, Colonial School District
- Amy Baker-Sheridan, Secondary ELA Education Associate
- Paige Morgan, Elementary ELA Education Associate
In December of 2022, the Steering Committee led the development of the Coalition’s strategic plan to improve literacy achievement outcomes for students in grades 4-8.
The Delaware Department of Education acts as the fiscal agent for all activities of the Delaware Literacy Coalition. The Delaware Literacy Coalition will be funded In accordance with HB 190 FY2012 Budget Act, Section 319(5) for Reading Cadre. Funding will facilitate high quality professional development in alignment to LEA needs. Funding will be utilized for the purpose of supporting Reading/Literacy Cadre members in designing, demonstrating and implementing best practices in reading instruction throughout their districts.
In 2001, Governor Ruth Ann Minner established the Literacy Cadre by equipping each district with a ten-month reading specialist which will provide assistance to districts in “designing, demonstrating, and implementing best practices in literacy instruction”. This position is responsible for “curriculum alignment and professional learning for district educators”. Reading specialists whose primary role is to work with individual and groups of teachers and to facilitate school wide improvement of literacy teaching and learning are referred to as Literacy Coaches.
Literacy coaches provide coaching and other professional development support that enables teachers to think reflectively about improving student learning and implementing effective literacy programs and practices. They may serve as a resource to teachers, lead teachers through observation-feedback cycles as means of facilitating inquiry about instructional practices. These teachers work with educators to address many different topics to literacy (e.g. ways that assessment results data can inform instruction, lesson or curriculum design and implementation, differentiating instruction to meet the literacy needs of students, improving learning in the disciplines).
Literacy Coaches also work closely with both district and building leadership to develop a vision and goals for school or district-based literacy program that is comprehensive, coherent, and evidence-based. These literacy professionals may also be asked to work closely with building administrators and literacy supervisors/coordinators to implement the teacher evaluation system and make judgments about teacher performance in regards to literacy instruction and then provide professional learning experiences needed to improve teaching practices. (ILA, Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals, 2017).
The Department of Education hosts routine professional learning sessions during the school year for all literacy educators that serve as Literacy Coaches for collaboration and professional learning. These sessions are designed to adhere to the state’s adopted standards and its guiding definition of high-quality professional learning.
2023-2024 Literacy Cadre Meeting Schedule
- September 12, 2023 (8:30-3:30), Section 73295
- November 21, 2023 (8:30-3:30), Section 73296
- December 19, 2023 (8:30-3:30), Section 73297
- February 20, 2024 (8:30-3:30), Section 73298
- March 19, 2024 (8:30-3:30), Section 73299
- May 21, 2024 (8:30-3:30), Section 73300
In-person, John W. Collette Education Resource Center