NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Education announced that more school districts are joining the Read to be Ready Coaching Network this year to strengthen our youngest students’ reading …
NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Education announced that more school districts are joining the Read to be Ready Coaching Network this year to strengthen our youngest students’ reading abilities.
Among the 16 new districts joining the network this year is Polk County Schools. This brings the total to 99 — about two-thirds of all districts in the state.
The other districts joining this year are Scott County Schools, Smith County School System, Pickett County Schools, Jackson County Schools, Macon County Schools, Clay County Schools, Sumner County Schools, Dyer County Schools, Wayne County Schools, Bedford County Schools, Benton County Schools, Alamo City School, Kingsport City Schools, Oak Ridge Schools and Dayton City School.
The department is also releasing the Read to be Ready Coaching Network report on year one, which highlights some key takeaways and pieces of feedback from the first year of the network and indicates that participating educators have seen growth in their content knowledge, instructional practices, and coaching skills.
The coaching network is part of the state’s Read to be Ready initiative that launched in February 2016 with the goal to move 75 percent of Tennessee students to reading proficiency by the end of third grade by 2025. The coaching network aims to improve literacy instruction in early grades classrooms across the state by encouraging more effective literacy education practices.
“The best way we can set our students up for a lifetime of success is providing them a strong educational foundation from day one,” Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “The Read to be Ready Coaching Network is a critical piece of the department’s broader efforts to support strong literacy skills throughout a student’s educational journey, while directly giving educators the tools they need to help our students to be successful.”
Since the launch of the coaching network in September 2016, more than 200 teacher-coaches have provided intensive support and professional learning opportunities for educators focused on grades K-3 reading. These reading coaches have worked directly with more than 3,000 teachers to improve reading programs and practices in schools across the state.
The state education department worked with districts in the network to provide training and support focused on deepening both coach and teacher knowledge of interactive read-alouds, shared reading practices, and the department’s tenets of effective coaching.
As noted in the report, pre-and post-surveys regarding coach and teacher content knowledge show substantive growth in both coaches and teachers in the inaugural year of the network. Additionally, a majority of teachers in the network reported receiving critical supports from their Read to be Ready coach at least once a month, and 92 percent report that working with their coach is improving their teaching.
To join the coaching network, districts must commit to the network assurances, which include funding a reading coach who will support a cohort of approximately 15 teachers.
A complete list of participating districts is available in the complete Read to be Ready Coaching Network update report, available online at http://tn.gov/assets/entities/education/attachments/r2br_year_one_report__coaching_network.pdf.
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