This toolkit helps families and schools work together to support children’s literacy success in and out of school.

You will learn:

  • Tips for starting or enhancing discussions about literacy instruction and intervention
  • Ways to increase your joint understanding of evidence-based literacy practices
  • Strategies for addressing concerns about children’s literacy development together

This toolkit includes:

  • An Online Tutorial
  • Research Briefs & Infographics
  • Tools & Resources
  • Facilator's Guides

Online Tutorial

In this tutorial, you will learn evidence-based information about family and school partnerships for children’s literacy success, all in an interactive online experience. The tutorial includes a school and family track. You can use the table of contents in each track to learn how to talk and interact often, discuss literacy instruction and intervention, share literacy resources, and address concerns together.

Approximate tutorial length per topic: 30 minutes

Schools and Families can use these checklists to reflect on the item statements related to the tutorial's learning objectives for each section/session and identify next steps.  After finishing the tutorial or facilitated workshop series, the completed checklist guide what the individual or team can do as an immediate next step. 

Supplemental Materials

Explore these resources with ideas or questions linked to the tutorial.

Partnering With Your Child’s School

You and the school share responsibility for your child’s language and literacy learning. Collaborate with your school to make decisions about your child’s literacy education right from the start. Your child benefits when you and the school work together to support her literacy development. Working together promotes faster development and catches trouble spots early.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Partnerships

The way you and families approach home-school interactions and relationships, impacts children’s literacy success.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Partnerships
Route to Reading: Schedule Regular Maintenance

Regular and positive communication and interaction between you and the school make partnering to support your child’s literacy learning possible.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Partnerships

Regular and positive communication and interaction between you and families make partnering to support children’s literacy learning possible.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Partnerships

You and the school can share literacy resources to help your child and others get evidence-based literacy instruction. Learn to spot questionable or ineffective practices.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Partnerships

You and the school can discuss key assessment tools, rubrics, grading criteria, or strategies to determine together if your child is successful in learning literacy content, skills, or completing an assignment.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Partnerships
Route to Reading: Inspect the Manual - Schools

You and families can talk about individual children’s literacy profiles and how literacy instruction and intervention are matched to children’s literacy needs.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Partnerships

You and the school can talk about your child’s literacy profile and how literacy instruction and intervention is matched to your child’s literacy needs.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Partnerships

Addressing needs together promotes faster development and catches trouble spots early. Find a solution that you and the school can both support.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Partnerships

Addressing needs together promotes faster development and catches trouble spots early. See if you and families can find a solution that you both can support.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Partnerships

A well-functioning Multi-tiered System of Support for Reading (MTSS-R) collects fidelity of implementation data – including data on family engagement – and uses it to make improvements to the health of the system.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Partnerships

Talk and Interact Often

Families and schools can partner for children’s literacy success by talking and interacting often.


Big Ideas

  • Family engagement for children’s literacy learning and achievement is a shared responsibility among families, schools, and communities.
  • Trust is the primary ingredient for strong home-school relationships for children’s literacy learning and achievement. Strong home-school relationships rely on open, two-way communication.
  • An effective system of support and services for children’s literacy learning involves home and school partnering together.

Visit these Resources to Learn More

Understanding Screening: Overall Screening and Assessment

Assessment is a process of collecting information. Screening is an assessment process that helps teachers identify students who are at risk for not meeting grade-level learning goals.

Audience: 
Parents & Families, Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Screening
Global Family Research Project

This resource explains why engaging in your child's education matters and shares five ways families, teachers, schools and communities can work together to support children's learning and school success, including a reflection exercise.

Topic: Partnerships

Global Family Research Project

This resource explains why engaging in your child's education matters and shares five ways families, teachers, schools and communities can work together to support children's learning and school success, including a reflection exercise.

Topic: Partnerships

New America and The Joan Ganz Cooney Center

This resources provides tips for parents on what they can do to promote literacy in a digital environment.

Topic: Partnerships

The Search Institute

Shifts that successful schools, organizations, and coalitions are making to develop key character strengthens in youth.

Topic: Partnerships

Understood.org

Partnerships between schools and families can improve students' grades, attendance, persistence, and motivation. Research shows that this is true regardless of a family's race or income.

Topic: Partnerships

Understood.org

If your child is struggling, here are some questions to ask about how the school provides extra help and how you can participate in the process.

Topic: Partnerships

NCSI

This continuum can be used to assess the cultural norms that currently exist and to think about what changes are needed to create authentic opportunities for partnership that can improve learning conditions and outcomes for historically marginalized populations.

Topic: Partnerships

Colorin colorado!

Here are some steps you can take to develop a strong partnership with your child's teachers.

Topic: Partnerships

Colorin colorado!

Here are some steps you can take to develop a strong partnership with your child's teachers.

Topic: Partnerships

Discuss Literacy Instruction and Intervention

Families and schools can partner for children’s literacy success by discussing literacy instruction and intervention.


Big Ideas

  • Knowing what scientific research says about how kids learn to read can help you determine if the literacy approach, strategy, or program is evidence-based. 
  • It is important to identify if the evidence-based literacy practices are appropriate for children’s grade-level or if any key practices are missing.
  • Discussing literacy instruction and intervention can help you determine if the literacy approach, strategy, or program is designed and delivered effectively.

Visit these Resources to Learn More

What Do We Mean by Evidence-based? Infographic

The term evidence-based is defined by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). According to ESEA, evidence-based programs are supported by strong, moderate, or promising research evidence of their effectiveness; or they demonstrate a rationale that they can improve a targeted outcome. NCIL supports the implementation of approaches with the highest levels of evidence supported by rigorous evaluations.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Evidence-based
Meadows Center

The second installment of MCPER's new "10 Key" series, this document distills the latest research findings into 10 easy-to-follow recommendations that states, school districts, and schools can use to improve students' writing outcomes.

Topic: Writing

Meadows Center

The third installment of MCPER's new "10 Key" series, this document distills the latest research findings into 10 easy-to-follow recommendations that states, school districts, and schools can use to improve elementary students' reading outcomes. Also included are descriptions of what students should know and be able to do at the elementary grade levels.

Topic: Vocabulary, Comprehension, Writing

The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk

This handbook describes ten reading practices for middle and high schools with strong evidence of effectiveness from high-quality research, including selected grade level descriptions of what students should know and be able to do.

Topic: Vocabulary, Comprehension, Writing

National Center on Intensive Interventions and Rhode Island Parent Information Network

This infographic provides an overview of intensive intervention.

Topic: Interventions

National Center on Intensive Interventions and Rhode Island Parent Information Network

This infographic provides tips for parents in supporting their child who is receiving intensive intervention.

Topic: Interventions

National Center on Intensive Interventions and Rhode Island Parent Information Network

This infographic provides questions to ask school teams who are providing intensive intervention.

Topic: Interventions

REL-SE

This guide provides you with information on how to support families as they practice foundational reading skills at home.

Topic: Partnerships

REL-SE

This guide provides you with information on how to support families as they practice foundational reading skills at home.

Topic: Partnerships

REL Central

This handout presents strategies for bridging the digital divide during remote learning.

Topic: Partnerships, Remote Learning

Understood.org

Here are sample conversation starters to make it easier to talk with the teacher about reading struggles.

Topic: Partnerships

REL Southeast

This inforgraphic describes characteristics of evidence-based teaching practices.

Topic: Evidence-based

NCII

School teams can use this guide to better understand intensive intervention
and how to engage parents and families with the process.

Topic: Partnerships

REL-SE

The information in this Third Grade Teacher's Guide is designed to assist teachers in supporting out-of-school literacy activities that are aligned to classroom instruction, informed by student need, grounded in evidence-based practices, and facilitated by ongoing parent-teacher communication. The Teacher's Guide provides a framework for literacy support activities presented during schools' family literacy nights and parent-teacher conferences.

Topic: Beginning Reading, Partnerships

REL-SE

To assist you in helping families support literacy, the Georgia Department of Education partnered with the Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast to create a suite of grade-specifc Teacher's Guides that certifed teachers can use with families to encourage and facilitate literacy support for children at home.

Topic: Professional Development, Partnerships

Share Literacy Resources

Families and schools can partner for children’s literacy success by sharing literacy resources.


Big Ideas

  • Two important foundational skills in early reading instruction are phonemic awareness and phonics. 
  • For children who struggle to read, working with phonemes and decoding words can be especially difficult.
  • Learning to listen, speak, read, and write well also includes developing oral language skills and reading fluently and with meaning.

Visit these Resources to Learn More

Understood

Here's what you need to know about decoding, and why it's so important for reading.

Topic: Phonics

Understood

Use these seven tips to help improve your child's reading comprehension.

Topic: Comprehension

The Meadows Center for Improving Educational Risk

As children move into higher grades, the texts they read become more complex. Children need to be aware of when their comprehension breaks down and have strategies for learning new information. Here are two evidence-based strategies that parents can use to help their children use comprehension strategies when reading at home.

Topic: Vocabulary, Comprehension

The Meadows Center for Improving Educational Risk

Parents can help students use comprehension strategies when reading at home. Here are two evidence-based strategies to try.

Topic: Comprehension

Reading Rockets

This resource gives four tips for teaching your child about phonemes in order to raise a strong reader and writer.

Topic: Phonological Awareness

Colorin Colorado

This resource gives four tips for teaching your child about phonemes in order to raise a strong reader and writer.

Topic: Phonological Awareness

TNTP

This document provides general guidance for supporting distance learning and MLLs/ELLs.

Topic: Remote Learning, General Literacy

Address Concerns Together

Families and schools can partner for children’s literacy success by addressing concerns together.


Big Ideas

  • All children benefit from explicit, systematic reading instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
  • Some children continue to struggle with reading even with evidence-based classroom reading instruction.
  • If you are concerned that a child’s reading difficulties are unexpected or unusual, seek further information from and others about next steps.

Visit these Resources to Learn More

Understood

Child Find a legal requirement for schools to find children who have disabilities and need services. Identifying these kids is an important first step toward getting them the help they need to succeed in school.

Topic: Reading Disabilities, Dyslexia

ECTA

States and jurisdictions must actively identify, locate and evaluate children birth to twenty one who may have disabilities or suspected to have disabilities as early as possible. This process is known as child find.

Topic: Reading Disabilities, Dyslexia

Understood

Talking to your child's teacher about dyslexia is important. Here are eight tips to help you have productive conversations.

Topic: Reading Disabilities, Dyslexia

Reading Rockets

Learning to read is a challenge for many kids, but most can become good readers if they get the right help.These tips can help you recognize when a child is struggling and learn how to find help.

Topic: Reading Disabilities, Dyslexia

Colorin Colorado

Learning to read is a challenge for many kids, but most can become good readers if they get the right help.These tips can help you recognize when a child is struggling and learn how to find help.

Topic: Reading Disabilities, Dyslexia

U.S. Department of Education

The purpose of this letter is to clarify that there is nothing in the IDEA that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in IDEA evaluation, eligibility determinations, or IEP documents.

Topic: Reading Disabilities, Dyslexia

Understood.org

As an educator, you know the importance of collaborative partnerships with families. But when it comes time to talk about a concern you have about a student, it can be hard to know how to start. Keep these things in mind.

Topic: Partnerships

Facilator's Guides

Class of students with hands up.

The purpose of the facilitator guide is to provide information and materials to effectively facilitate the School track of Families and Schools Partnering for Children’s Literacy Success Tutorial in-person as a workshop series and enable participants to achieve the learning objectives.

The purpose of the facilitator guide is to provide information and materials to effectively facilitate the Family track of Families and Schools Partnering for Children’s Literacy Success Tutorial in-person as a workshop series and enable participants to achieve the learning objectives.


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