The Foundational Literacy Coaching Grant funds 25 literacy coaches for eligible LEAs across the state. LEAs will apply for funding to pay for a literacy coach that will be deployed within select schools in the district/charter to directly support evidence-based literacy instruction in grades pre-k to third.
Outreach begins to those eligible to apply
Grant application opens
Application review begins*
*Note that this is a rolling application until all funds are allocated.
Repeated studies by Joyce and Showers have shown that when teachers participate in standard in-service models, they apply less than 20% of their learning back in their classrooms, as shared in the chart below (Showers, Joyce, & Bennett, 1987; Showers & Joyce, 1995.). Given the diverse needs of students and the expectation that students learn an increasingly rigorous curriculum, most teachers need ongoing, side-by-side support as they attempt to incorporate effective instructional practices into their classroom routines. Therefore, the professional learning described in the Foundational Coaching Initiative is job-embedded professional development through one-on-one instructional and facilitative coaching support.
Relationship Between Levels of Impact and Components of Training
Awareness Level Plus Basic UNDERSTANDING
Presentation of Theory
Practice & Feedback
From: Student Achievement through Staff Development (Joyce & Showers, 1988)
The Foundational Literacy Coaching Initiative was established in 2021 as the P-3 Literacy Coaching Initiative to advance instruction in early literacy skills and promote student learning through targeted deployment of well-trained literacy coaches. This coaching model is designed to help close the achievement gap among key student subgroups in Arizona through ongoing, evidenced-based training and support in effective literacy instruction within a coaching model. This targeted coaching supports the state’s plan to increase the percentage of third graders passing the state assessment to 73% as defined by the Arizona Progress Meter and to have every student reading at grade level by the end of third grade. Foundational literacy coaches support teachers in implementing evidence-based core reading curriculum, instruction, and assessment, professional development focused on the foundations of early literacy instruction and the use of assessment data collection and analysis for driving instructional decisions and goal setting.
Schools eligible to participate in the Foundational Coaching Initiative are ascertained through a data collection process to identify schools with highest need. Eligibility to apply for the grants is determined by a data set that includes, but is not limited to, the following elements:
School and district/charter performance on the 3rd grade statewide English Language Arts exam
School and district/charter performance on K-3 literacy benchmark data
Percentage of students eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch
Percentage of students from vulnerable populations
Rural and tribal status
Once schools are identified, they will receive targeted outreach informing them of the opportunity with encouragement to apply. While an LEA must be eligible to apply for the grant, the grant is still competitive. Awards will be determined by the evaluation of grant applications from eligible schools.
Beginning in FY26, Grantees will be reviewed for continued eligibility on a three-year cycle based on meeting program eligibility and requirements.
Funding from the grant will be used to fund coach salaries and benefits. Additionally, funds may be used for travel based on grant requirements. All training for coaches and administrators will also be funded by the grant.
Literacy coaches support teachers in effective implementation of the teaching-learning cycle. This cycle or framework demands teacher knowledge in four crucial areas: planning, assessing, evaluating, and teaching. By appropriately allocating their time, coaches will be available to support each of those areas effectively.
Approximate Average Monthly Percentage of Foundational Literacy Coaching
Planning and Conducting Professional Development
Facilitating Grade Level/Reading Leadership Team Meetings
Administrative tasks such as documentation and filling related to coaching
All foundational literacy coaches will be trained in both well-researched coaching practices and evidence-based literacy instruction. The opportunities offer extensive training for literacy coaches in the necessary strategies, techniques, and approaches for providing ongoing specific feedback and support to teachers on how to plan, deliver, and assess effective evidence-based reading instruction to increase student achievement.
Through participation in the various trainings, the literacy coaches will learn adult learning theory, a variety of coaching techniques and strategies, and approaches that can be utilized to provide teachers with specific feedback on evidence-based reading instruction in the classroom. This training also offers the literacy coaches a structured process to address rigor and instructional practices by facilitating grade level meetings, professional learning sessions and one-on-one coaching conferences.
In addition to the monthly trainings, all foundational literacy coaches will participate in other district/charter and state trainings and monthly Community of Practice meetings.
On-going professional learning is critical for educators. With this training, they can continue to refine skills and practices to provide more rich experiences for students. The same is true for literacy coaches in the Foundational Literacy Coaching Initiative. Training has been designed to train coaches in coaching practices and literacy skills. Additionally, training opportunities will be available to administrators within the schools and districts/charters in which the coaches are deployed.
The ADE Literacy Coach Coordinator will provide additional support through required regular site visits to the grantees.
Please review the attached guidance document for more information about the role of the coach and administrator, coach qualifications and job description, and accountability requirements.