ASLI Conference Informs Literacy Instruction

ASLI Conference Informs Literacy Instruction
Posted on 06/12/2023
Educations attend ASLI

In May, 19 LKSD educators attended the Alaska School Leadership Institute conference in Anchorage. ASLI is designed for leadership teams from small schools to learn with colleagues from districts around the state, plus dedicated time to work together as a school or district team.

The conference in 2023 focused on the Alaska Reads Act, which was signed into law by Governor Dunleavy in June 2022, creating four new programs to support early literacy. The new programs were created to assist school districts in their efforts to bring all students to reading proficiency by 3rd grade, in hopes of making their future in all arenas of education more accessible.

At ASLI, educators learned about the science of reading in order to best implement the new programs. 

LKSD Instructional Coach, Tad Lindley, said the brain science piece was especially helpful. 

“Just because a child scores low on their proficiency test doesn’t help identify what part of the brain needs development for better reading. It could be phonological, or identification of symbols. Or maybe the child can do both of those things, but needs help to combine them,” he said.

Lindley explained that schools will implement up to 13 assessments during school year for K-3 students. The tests are designed to help educators identify where the breakdown is happening in each student’s reading, and then target that area for further instruction.

“You might have a classroom of 20 kids, and maybe 10 are below proficient, but that doesn’t mean they have the same breakdown in their reading learning,” Lindley explained. 

The assessments will help identify subgroups and target those students with exactly what they need to break through and learn to read.

In addition to the science of reading, staff had time to collaborate with other educators from around the state. 

“It was really good to talk to people from other districts and see what they’re doing,” Lindley said. “A lot of collaboration happened. The LKSD team debriefed at the end of each day, so we could share out what we learned.”

In the end, the conference helped educators hone skills they can take into the 2023-24 school year and beyond.

“It sparked a hunger to know more about brain science behind reading, Lindley said. “Most importantly, we walked away with a real hope we can make this work and it can have a tremendous impact on our students.”

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