Dallas ISD is off and running for year two of its reading academies, after a first year in which 99.3 percent of participants completed the training successfully.
The academies, required by the Texas Legislature, are designed to equip kindergarten through third-grade teachers with evidence-based methods and practices, grounded in the science of teaching reading, that support student literacy development.
Dallas ISD also provides the training to assistant principals, district and campus instructional coaches, and librarians. More than 1,200 people were successfully trained last year, with 1,354 slated for this year.
“We had a great launch last year, and in year two, we will also train anyone who is new to a year-one campus,” said Yuddie Ewelike, instructional strategy manager for Early Learning.
Current teachers returned for training from July 19 through July 21. The training for new teachers will begin in sessions on July 31, Aug. 28 and Sept. 11, tailored to them and called New Teacher Reader U, Ewelike said. Throughout the year, participants will engage in a total of 10 days of training.
“By the end of the 2022-23 school year, all Dallas ISD elementary principals and K-3 teachers will have been trained,” Ewelike said. “We’re also putting together a plan to continue support for the campuses that complete the training so they can sustain that learning.”
That support, she said, will include coaching by Early Learning specialists for the highest-priority campuses, as well as curriculum tools.
The academies play a central role in Dallas ISD’s “Path to 60” goals spelled out by the Board of Trustees: that 60 percent of students – will meet or exceed third grade reading level on the STAAR test by 2025. The academies also provide teachers and administrators with the scientifically based tools and strategies to mitigate learning loss.
The academies are also included in the district’s It’s L.I.T. initiative, which is a comprehensive effort to get students reading and writing at grade level.