Institute for Professional Learning at Groves Academy®
The Institute for Professional Learning at Groves Academy forms school literacy partnerships to share the evidence-based teaching methods from our school to advance literacy instruction with other teachers and schools in the community.
The vision of Groves Academy is to redefine the way our nation is taught, one student, one teacher, and one school at a time.
The Groves Literacy Framework™
The Groves Literacy Framework, which was developed at Groves Academy, uses an Orton-Gillingham-based curriculum, and is rooted in decades of literacy and brain research. Students who receive Groves literacy instruction at our school can advance over two grade levels in reading during the first year of instruction.
The success of struggling readers in our school inspired us to establish the Institute for Professional Learning (IPL) in 2016 to help advance literacy instruction in other schools.
Focus on K-3 Readers at All Levels
The Groves IPL efforts focus on emerging and struggling readers at all levels in kindergarten through 3rd grade because during these crucial years students are learning to read. Starting in 4th grade, students begin reading to learn.
There is a need for better literacy instruction in our nation:
- Over 30 percent of our nation’s 4th grade students cannot read at a basic reading level, meaning they cannot recognize the printed words and
- 65 percent of 4th grade students cannot read proficiently, meaning with good comprehension (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2017).
Helping students become stronger readers early can help them throughout their lives.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, 70% of all incarcerated adults cannot read at a 4th grade level, so they lack the reading skills to navigate many everyday tasks or hold down anything but lower paying jobs. (U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey and 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy.)
We believe we have a moral obligation to democratize good literacy instruction for all students in our community and nation.
School Literacy Partnerships
Our school literacy partnership process begins by meeting with interested school administrators, and then teachers in their school. Teachers are asked to vote if they wish to adopt a partnership program in their classrooms, which includes 30 minutes of weekly classroom literacy coaching. We move forward to the next steps if we have 90% commitment from the teaching staff.
School partnerships begin in the fall and typically last for three years, with the goal to make a school site self-sufficient. Schools have the best chances for success when six criteria are met:
- Strong building leadership that supports the teachers, Groves coaches, and program
- Teacher commitment to the Groves Literacy Framework and its implementation
- A building-wide commitment to fidelity of the Groves literacy program
- Sufficient time allocated to daily literacy instruction
- Appropriate grouping of students based on assessment data
- Flexibility in classroom scheduling to accommodate weekly coaching visits
In the first year, K-2 teachers begin the implementation, with grade 3 joining in year two along with intervention for struggling readers. In year three, a dedicated coach from the school staff is identified and trained by Groves staff to make the program sustainable.
Each year, oral reading fluency data is collected in the fall, winter and spring to identify high and moderate risk students and track program progress. Groves coaches assist in the interpretation of the data, student groupings, and intervention planning.
2018-19 Preliminary Results
Oral reading fluency data show how a student's reading score compares to his or her peers and if the student is at risk of reading failure. Scores are analyzed using published norms based on 6.6 million U.S. students (Hasbrouck-Tindal, 2017).
Our preliminary results for 2018-19 are promising.
Overall, the students in our 2018-19 literacy partnership schools who completed both fall 2018 and winter 2019 assessments show improvement, with the results of students in 1st grade being especially encouraging:
- Partner schools reduced by 27% the number of students in grades 1-3 considered “High Risk” (0-10th percentile in reading fluency)
- Public/Charter partner schools reduced by 57% the number of “High Risk” 1st grade students
- Catholic partner schools reduced by 87% the number of “High Risk” 1st grade students
Interested in Learning More?
We want to hear from you. New literacy partnership discussions can begin anytime. However, the planning process starts in late winter and early spring, with signed agreements in place by early May for the following school year.