Happy New Year Literacy Colleagues!
As we roll into a new decade, which is hard to believe, January is always a great time to reflect on the literacy practices from the first half of the year and determine what to continue, change, monitor, and/or adjust for the remainder of the school year.
For our kindergarten through 3rd grade students and classrooms, we have hopefully all implemented the following in a rough chronological order.
- All K-3 students were screened within the first 2-3 weeks of school.
- All K-3 parents were notified of the MOWR legislation. See sample letter: http://www.azed.gov/mowr/mowr-for-administrators/
- Students below benchmark were further diagnosed for specific skill deficits in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and/or comprehension, as appropriate per grade level and student.
- Students diagnosed were then placed into skill-specific intervention groups, not based on a composite score or benchmark level.
- All parents of K-3 students below benchmark, received a second MOWR notification with a description of the student’s current needs, interventions available to remediate the reading deficiencies, legislative remedial strategies, strategies to support reading proficiency at home, and MOWR promotion/retention legislation. See sample letter: http://www.azed.gov/mowr/mowr-for-administrators/
- Students in intervention were progress monitored, with an alternate version of the diagnostic assessment to determine skill mastery and next steps.
- All students were benchmarked in the fall to determine likelihood of meeting next benchmark.
- The MTSS process then continues for all students, regardless of need.
For more information on these legislative requirements, please review ARS 15-704.
We have approximately 80 weekdays left this school year. With all the other events and festivities thrown in there, as well, let’s make every last moment count to the very fullest for our young learners!
Lastly, I want to leave you with the 2019 Move on When Reading Annual Report (link below). Published every December, this document provides an outstanding landscape of reading in Arizona. I hope you take the time to read it and please share it with others. Enjoy.
Schools cannot do this work alone, parents are key partners in supporting their child’s reading success. Both teachers and parents should work together to ensure that students are strengthening their reading skills and are meeting milestones each year, so they are ready to advance to the next grade. There are multiple ways to support your child’s reading outside of the classroom.
- Read something every day. Reading just 20 minutes each day can help your child’s reading skills.
- Choose books of interest to your child to read.
- Ask your child questions about what they read. Talking about the words in the book helps them understand what they are reading.
- Make sure books are around. Your child will be more likely to pick up a book and read if they are out in the open and easy to find.
- Sing rhyming songs, read rhyming books, and say tongue twisters with your child. This helps them learn new sounds in words.
- Talk to your child. Use trips to the grocery store, dinnertime chats, and driving in the car as a time to introduce new words and practice their speaking skills.
- Talk about letters and sounds. Help your child learn the names of the letters and the sounds the letters make.
- Have your child write. Writing grocery lists, notes, or letters helps children connect spoken words to written words.
- Take advantage of community resources. Ask your child’s teacher or school librarian for help picking out books. Visit your local library for events and programs like reading clubs.
- Reading doesn’t end when the school year ends. Help prevent the “summer slide” by reading over the summer months to better prepare your child for the next school year.
We are delighted to welcome you to the 2018-2019 school year! We are here to assist you as you open the doors to another year of possibilities and outstanding education for students across this state.
The MOWR literacy plan and data portal opened on August 1st. Literacy plans and the first round of data are due on or before October 1st. As this is our alternative year for submissions, only LEAs with letter grades of C, D, or F are required to submit.
Per the Move On When Reading legislation, LEA letter grades must be used to determine the schools and districts that will submit MOWR literacy plans and data during the alternative submission years (i.e. 2018-19). Unfortunately, the most recent LEA letter grades are from 2014 (LEA letter grades are different from school letter grades in that they provide an overall grade for districts and multi-site charters). The 2017 letter grades provided by the State Board of Education are at the school level only, so legally they cannot be used for this determination, even for single-site charters and districts.
We are very aware that the use of 2014 LEA letter grades is not optimal, and we know that much has changed in that time, but it is the guidance we have been given by the Attorney General’s office to best follow the letter of the law. If your school/district had a letter grade of C, D, or F in 2014, then you are required to submit MOWR literacy plans and data for this school year.
While LEAs with letter grades of A or B are not required to submit literacy plans or data this school year, all other components of the MOWR legislation are still required. So, all schools will screen their K-3 students to identify struggling readers early and will provide targeted interventions so that all students are reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade.
Vital resources were recently e-mailed to the LEAs required to submit this year. Please reference that email for all the guidance documents that will assist you in meeting the MOWR requirements for this year.
All guidance documents can also be found on our webpage: http://www.azed.gov/mowr/.
Don’t hesitate to reach out for any assistance. We are eager to review the great things happening in K-3 literacy across the state.
Welcome back to the start of a brand new school year! We hope that you all had a wonderful summer! As you begin to tackle your long to-do list for the beginning of the school year, we wanted to provide some important information and guidance related to MOWR. While this email is lengthy, it should serve as a resource for the entire year.
As you may know, the main focus of Arizona’s MOWR legislation is to promote early identification and intervention for struggling readers so that they are reading at or above grade-level by the end of 3rd grade. As part of this commitment to early literacy, Arizona statute requires schools and districts to annually submit K-3 literacy plans and assessment data to the Arizona Department of Education. Districts with letter grades of C, D, or F must submit literacy plans and data every year. Districts with letter grades of A or B submit during odd numbered school years, for example the upcoming 2017-2018 school year. Beginning this year, MOWR funds will be released for all LEAs only upon the submission and approval of the MOWR literacy plans.
Last spring, the Arizona State Legislature adopted new recommendations that have changed some of the requirements for reporting. If you have not done so already, you may view a brief video overview of these changes on Youtube.
As promised, we have developed updated guidance resources to help you navigate the changes and understand the MOWR requirements for the 2017-2018 schoolyear. Please click on the links below to access these resources. MOWR information and guidance can also be found on our Move On When Reading .
Important MOWR Dates 2017-2018
MOWR Guidance Documents
Additionally, we will be hosting live webinars to walk through the literacy plan portal and to answer any questions you may have. These webinars will be most beneficial for school and LEA approvers with no previous experience with MOWR literacy plans or those who would like a refresher. These webinars will be offered on an ongoing basis.
As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Move On When Reading.
The MOWR team thanks you for taking on these important responsibilities and for your continuous commitment to Arizona students. We wish you a successful school year ahead!
Sean Ross, M.Ed.
Director of English Language Arts and Humanities
K-12 Academic Standards
Arizona Department of Education
Sarah Bondy, M.Ed.
K-3 Early Literacy Specialist
K-12 Academic Standards
Arizona Department of Education