Elementary Literacy Adoption


Kathy Connally
Director of Teaching & Learning

State Standards

What materials we use now:

  • Making Meaning (Comprehension Strategies)
  • Fountas and Pinnell Phonics
  • Work Study based on Words Their Way
  • Benchmark Bookroom Materials
  • Good Habits, Great Readers, Bookroom Materials
  • Lucy Calkins Units of Study in Narrative, Informational and Opinion Writing
  • Handwriting Without Tears

Adoption process and timeline

During a literacy adoption, a team of teachers and staff will survey parents and teachers, review evidence-based practices and instructional materials to make recommendations for integrating new instructional materials into a balanced literacy program. 


The literacy adoption will accomplish the following:

  1. Provide research-based, standards-aligned, quality instructional materials. Review and select Reading and Writing instructional materials to support a comprehensive literacy program as aligned to state standards and current research on research-based practices.
    • Provide instructional materials to teach Common Core Standards for Reading Foundational Skills (click here for information on these standards).
    • Provide instructional materials to teach Common Core Standards for English Language Arts Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language standards (click here for information on these standards).
  2. Provide instructional materials for tiered supports in Literacy. Provide literacy materials that support multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) for structured learning in the general education program for students with reading difficulties.
  3. Comply with current legislation requiring the use of research-based assessments and instructional materials to provide tiered support in the general education classroom for students with decoding and reading fluency challenges by the fall of 2021. (Click here for info about the dyslexia law)
  4. Provide professional development.Support a comprehensive, multi-tiered instructional materials with professional development on core instructional practices including developing a deeper understanding of the following:
  • High leverage and research based instructional practices.
  • Multi-tiered Systems of Support for literacy assessment and instruction
  • Reading difficulties including those associated with dyslexia
  • Matching intervention and instruction to assessed student needs 

The Literacy Adoption will be broken into 3 phases:

Phase 1: Review, select and implement tiered instructional materials for Reading Foundational Skills standards.

Phase 2: Review and selection of instructional materials for remaining Reading standards and Writing / Language standards.

  • Review and select reading and writing instructional materials together to ensure a cohesive and comprehensive literacy program and explore opportunities for integration of reading and writing instruction. This does not preclude selection of separate reading and writing programs.
  • Propose an implementation plan. The current default plan would be to implement reading first in the fall of 2022, then writing two years later in the fall of 2024.

Phase 3: Implementation of Reading and Writing instructional materials.

DRAFT Timeline: Adoption teams may recommend adjustment of the timeline for decisions and/or implementation.

2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25 
F19 W20 S20 F20 W21 S21 F21 W22 S22 F22 W23 S22 F23 W24 S24 F24 W25 S25
  Phase 1: Reading Foundational Skills Materials Selection Foundation Skills Initial Use Training                    
    Foundational Skills Field Test Implementation of Reading Foundational Skills instruction materials
   Phase 2: Reading and Writing Material Selection  Phase 2 follow-up if needed
        Phase 3: Reading Initial Use Training              
Reading Field Test Implementation of Reading instructional materials
            Writing Field Test      
    Writing Initial Use Training
  Implementation of Writing Materials


Meeting Schedule for Phase 1

Adoption team meetings are scheduled for the following dates:

  • December 17, 2019
  • February 3, 2020
  • March 16, 2020
  • May 4, 2020


December 17, 2019

The first meeting of the Reading Foundational Committee was held on December 17. The committee reviewed the materials adoption timeline and consensus process. Committee members determined consensus to be defined as 85% endorsement or support. Criteria for evaluating instructional materials, ensuring curriculum materials are equitable for all students and aligning standards was a focus. Dedicated time was spent understanding the new state legislation regarding dyslexia and reading challenges consistent with dyslexia (E2SSB 6162) and taking a deep dive into K-5 Reading Foundational Standards. Data from a recent parent survey regarding foundational literacy skills was examined.

Specific objectives of the committee include recommending a dyslexia screener K-2 and reading foundational instructional tools K-5 after field testing takes place in Fall 2020.

February 3, 2020

The Reading Foundational Skills Committee reconvened February 3. Parent survey comments were reviewed. Teacher training, differentiation, phonics, and love of reading were highlighted as parent priorities. Dr. Alicia Roberts Frank, ESD Special Education Administrator, joined the meeting virtually and focused discussion on Reading Foundational Skills standards, key elements of successful reading interventions, dyslexia/tiered instruction, multi-tiered systems of support, a screener for literacy skills associated with dyslexia, and potential professional development.

Research and evidence based interventions at Tier 1 and Tier 2 were discussed. The scoring criteria for resources and materials the committee will be using was reviewed. Committee members dedicated time to begin reviewing curriculum materials.

May 14, 2020

The Reading Foundational Adoption Committee reconvened remotely on May 14. The committee reviewed the timeline for curriculum evaluation and field testing (happening in 2020-2021) with full implementation in 2021-22. A summary of the ISD teacher survey was provided for members. A remote scoring process was shared for the remaining pieces of curricula including an in-person option. At the upcoming 5/27 meeting, the committee will reach consensus on options /curricula to field test to meet the needs of all students, small groups, and Title/LAP. This includes the dyslexia screener for K-2.  

May 27, 2020

The Reading Foundational Committee reconvened on May 27 via Zoom. The focus of the meeting was to decide on what materials would be field tested. Committee members scored curriculum at the March meeting and the scoring was reviewed. The committee reached 100% consensus to bundle materials. Each curriculum bundle was discussed in small groups and the committee came together to share their feedback. Proposals were made on which bundles to field test. The bundles focused on the needs of all students, some students (in-class targeted) and Title 1/LAP.

The following materials will be field tested for use for:

  • Universal Instruction: Lessons taught to ALL students
  • In class small group instruction: Small group lessons provided to student selected based on individual need
  • Targeted intervention: More intensive small group instruction based on results of diagnostic assessment
  • Personalized Learning: adaptive, individualized online learning platform

Materials to field test:

  • Words Their Way Classroom
  • Benchmark Phonics Workshop
  • Really Great Reading
  • Jan Richardson/Literacy Footprints
  • iReady
  • Lexia

Additional Supplemental Materials

The following materials are also being reviewed for supplemental use with materials that are selected from the list above.

  • K-2: Heggerty Phonemic Awareness
  • Decodable text selection

October 1, 2020

The Reading Foundational Committee reconvened on October 1. New Committee members were introduced. Field testing programs, a dyslexia screener, and decodable readers were reviewed as well as how the field testing would take place throughout the district K-5. All three district regions are represented. K-1 will be scheduled to field test Mid-November to Mid- January, and Grades 2-5 from January/February. The challenges of field-testing remote vs live was discussed, as was the possibility of transitions due to COVID.

A sub-committee for the Dyslexia Screener was formed and will be facilitated by Shelly Ward to discuss the next steps in recommending a universal screener.

A Decodable Reader sub-committee was formed to reinforce phonics skills and teach for the transfer of phonics skills in context for K-1 support. 

A discussion was held around including the iReady Toolbox in the field test. The committee voted to include iReady Toolbox and will be given access to take a closer look. The next meeting is scheduled for November 12.