Quarterly Meetings


December 14, 2023June 1, 2023March 9, 2023

Meeting Objectives:

  • Identify the key changes and updates in the Ohio literacy standards;
  • Discuss the role of teacher professional development and ongoing support in implementing effective linguistically inclusive literacy instruction;
  • Identify the unique language and literacy needs and strengths of culturally and linguistically diverse students in the classroom; and,
  • Review evidence-based strategies and best practices for language and literacy instruction to effectively meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students.

Dr. Linda Cavazos
Dr. Linda Cavazos profile pictureWith 30 years of experience in education, Dr. Linda Cavazos is a seasoned professional development/technical assistance provider and researcher. She has dedicated her career to supporting the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Dr. Cavazos has been instrumental in providing capacity-building and technical assistance support at various levels, including national, state, regional, and local contexts. Her expertise spans high-quality professional development, evaluation, data analysis, and the creation of tools and resources.

Having earned her doctorate in Multicultural Special Education from The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Cavazos now serves as the Executive Director of English Learner Leadership Advocacy Support Consulting. Her rich background in education, coupled with a fervent passion for advocating for English learners, positions her as a valuable leader in the field. Driven by a commitment to educational equity and linguistic diversity, she continues to contribute significantly to the field through her consulting work. She focuses on developing sustainable strategies for English learner success and promoting effective advocacy initiatives. Dr. Cavazos envisions an inclusive and empowering education system and remains a prominent figure in the realm of English learner advocacy.

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Meeting Outcomes:

  • Discuss efforts underway in Ohio’s P20 education system to improve preparation and practice in literacy aligned with the Science of Reading and Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement;
  • Describe the IES 2008 and 2022 Practice Guide recommendations;
  • Describe an evidence-based set of vocabulary and comprehension practices (i.e., Schoolwide Promoting Adolescents’ Comprehension of Text; SW-PACT) that align with the IES Practice Guide recommendations; and,
  • Discuss ways to integrate the SW-PACT practices into preservice reading methods coursework.

Dr. Jade Wexler
Jade Wexler is an Associate Professor of Special Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. In collaboration with members from her lab, the Adolescent Literacy and Professional Development Lab, her current research focuses on (1) developing and evaluating: reading interventions to support adolescents with reading difficulties and disabilities in the content-area and supplemental intensive intervention settings, and (2) professional development and coaching for instructional leaders (e.g., literacy coaches) and teachers to support teachers’ adoption and sustained implementation of evidence-based literacy practices in the middle school setting.

Dr. Wexler has published more than 45 articles in peer-reviewed journals and is the co-author of three books focused on adolescent literacy. She has also published numerous teacher-focused practice guides. Wexler presents frequently at conferences and consults often with school districts and federally funded centers (e.g., the National Center for Intensive Intervention). She serves on several editorial boards such as Reading Research Quarterly, Learning Disability Quarterly, and Teaching Exceptional Children.

Dr. Wexler has directed large-scale studies funded by the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences (IES) (see https://projectcali.uconn.edu/) and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), The Meadows Foundation, and The Greater Texas Foundation. She has conducted studies in public schools and public charter schools, as well as juvenile correctional facilities and other alternative school settings.

Wexler currently serves as Principal Investigator (PI) of two federally-funded grants supporting work on AIM Coaching, an adaptive intervention literacy coaching model for middle school instructional leaders (e.g., coaches). The goal of AIM Coaching is to help provide instructional leaders with a literacy coaching model that they can use to support teachers’ implementation of evidence-based literacy practices to build a schoolwide adolescent literacy model.

Work on the Adaptive Intervention Model Coaching, or AIM Coaching, is supported by $1.4 million from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and $1.6 million from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). With the support of an IES Development and Innovation grant, the researchers will refine and rigorously evaluate AIM Coaching, along with their collaborators at UT Austin. While AIM Coaching is being fully refined and evaluated through the IES grant, the researchers also plan to study its use in schools under routine conditions, outside of a highly controlled experimental setting, with the support of the OSEP grant (for more information on the grants please see https://education.umd.edu/research-college/labs/adolescent-literacy-professional-development-lab). Also as co-PI of PACT Plus, a model demonstration project funded by OSEP, she provides professional development and coaching for middle school teachers to support the development of school-wide adolescent literacy models (see https://www.meadowscenter.org/projects/detail/pact-plus).

Wexler greatly values the inclusion of her students in designing and implementing research. With a focus on bridging research to practice, she also greatly values the partnerships she has formed with school district administrators and teachers. In addition, as a former high school special education English and reading special education teacher in Maryland, she aims to bring her practical experience in the field to her research.

Finally, at the University of Maryland, she is the co-director, together with Ana Taboada Barber, of the Language and Literacy Research Center (LLRC; see https://education.umd.edu/research/centers/llrc) which aims to promote collaborative research among experts and students interested in literacy and language within the College of Education and local education agencies.

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Meeting Outcomes:

  • Discuss efforts underway in Ohio’s P20 education system to improve preparation and practice in literacy aligned with the Science of Reading and Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement;
  • Describe the Hochman Method for teaching writing;
  • Explain explicit writing strategies for teaching writing across grade levels & content areas; and,
  • Demonstrate an understanding of effective strategies for scaffolding writing instruction.


December 8, 2022September 8, 2022June 2, 2022March 24, 2022

Meeting Objectives:

  • Discuss efforts underway in Ohio’s P20 education system to improve preparation and practice in literacy aligned with the Science of Reading and Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement;
  • Describe the importance of using formal math vocabulary when teaching math;
  • Explain how to use a word-problem attack strategy;
  • and, Demonstrate an understanding of five common word-problem schemas.

Dr. Sarah R. Powell
Sarah R. Powell graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2009 with a degree in special education from the Peabody College of Education & Human Development. Dr. Powell is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin and is the Associate Director of the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk. Her research, teaching, and service focus on mathematics, particularly for students who experience mathematics differently.

Dr. Powell was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2019. She was awarded the Louise Spence Griffeth Fellowship for Excellence in 2019, was named the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Faculty Fellow in 2020, and received the Dean’s Distinguished Research Award in 2022.

Dr. Powell has been awarded over $38 million to in external funding to develop and test interventions for students with mathematics difficulties, emphasizing word-problem solving, mathematics writing, data-based decision-making, and the vocabulary within math. Dr. Powell is currently the Principal Investigator (PI) of an Institute of Education Sciences efficacy grant called RAAMPS related to word-problem solving at Grade 4. Dr. Powell is also PI of SPIRAL, an IES grant which works collaboratively with Grade 4 and 5 teachers who provide mathematics instruction to students with mathematics difficulty. Powell is also Co-PI of two federal grants STAIR 2.0 (funded by IES) in which the team works with middle school special education math teachers and SCALE (funded by the US Department of Education) in which the team is replicating a fraction intervention in Grades 4-8. Dr. Powell also collaborates on other local, state, and national projects to advance mathematics learning for all learners. Dr. Powell has over 60 referred publications and has a website with evidence-based mathematics resources for educators and caregivers (http://www.sarahpowellphd.com/).

Agenda Summary:

  1. Welcome & Introduction
  2. Literacy Instruction for Multilingual Learners Professional Learner Series
  3. Improving Literacy Partnerships as a Statewide Team
  4. P20 Literacy Partnership Spotlight
  5. Keynote Presentation: Writing Matters: The Science of Writing
  6. Keynote Summary: Writing Matters: The Science of Writing
  7. Small Group Discussion
  8. Small Group Share-Outs & Keynote Speaker Takeaways
  9. Facilitator Wrap-up

Young-Suk Kim, EdD
Young-Suk Grace Kim, Ed.D., is a professor and the Senior Associate Dean in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine. She received her Ed.D. at Harvard University in Human Development and Psychology with a concentration on Language and Literacy, and a minor concentration on Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education. She was a former classroom teacher in San Francisco, California.

Dr. Kim’s primary research areas include development of language, cognition, and literacy skills and instruction across languages and writing systems. Her work includes reading comprehension, reading fluency, listening comprehension, dyslexia, academic language, higher order cognitive skills, written composition for monolingual children (English, Korean, Spanish, Chinese), bilingual or multilingual learners, and English learners. Her research has been supported by the Institute of Education Science, the U. S. Department of Education, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Science Foundation.

She serves as the Editor-In-Chief for the journal, Scientific Studies of Reading; and the Chair of the Vocabulary SIG for the American Educational Research Association.

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Meeting Objectives:

  • Discuss work underway in Ohio to support the professional learning of all educators;
  • Explain evidence-based practices to put into place to close the literacy opportunity gap;
  • Specify critical elements to move systems into sustainable change; and
  • Learn about efforts underway in Ohio IHEs to improve preparation and practice in literacy aligned with the Science of Reading and Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement

Dr. Tracy Weeden
Dr. Weeden is a seasoned leader dedicated to advancing literacy success for all, and academic excellence for children regardless of zip code. Weeden has spent her career developing innovative academic programs while scaling transformational systems change.

While serving for the past 5 years as President and CEO of Neuhaus Education Center (NEC), Dr. Weeden has expanded the reach and impact of the Neuhaus Education Center from a local non-profit to a broader impact across the State of Texas, and on a national and international level. The NEC mission provides evidence-based professional learning to educators, information and resources to families, and adult literacy services.

Prior to serving at NEC, Dr. Weeden was the Executive Director of Academic Planning for Scholastic Achievement Partners. Dr. Weeden also spent 5 years as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for the Houston ISD. In Katy ISD, Weeden served as a high school English teacher, a recruiter, and then as the Coordinator of Personnel Development in central office for Katy ISD. Dr. Weeden also served as a middle school Dean of Instruction in Katy ISD. Her roots are in her beloved City of Detroit, where and she served as a high school English and Theatre Arts Teacher. Weeden professes to always remaining a teacher at heart.

A graduate from the University of Detroit, with a B.A. in Speech Communications and English, Dr. Weeden also received her M.Ed. and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Houston and is a loyal Cougar.

Meeting Outcomes:

  • Learn about work under way in Ohio to support the professional learning of all educators;
  • Obtain an in-depth exposure to current research on three cueing systems;
  • Understand the implications of this research for instruction and intervention;
  • Learn about efforts under way in Ohio IHEs to improve preparation and practice in literacy aligned with the Science of Reading and Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement; and
  • Understand the results and implications of participation in the P20 Literacy Collaborative for Ohio IHEs.

Maria S. Murray, PhD
Maria S. Murray, Ph.D., is the founder and CEO of The Reading League, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to advance the awareness, understanding, and use of evidence-aligned reading instruction. Prior to founding The Reading League, Dr. Murray was an associate professor at the State University of New York at Oswego, where she taught courses related to literacy assessment and intervention for ten years. She received her Ph.D. in Reading Education from Syracuse University, where she served as project coordinator for Dr. Benita Blachman’s numerous federally-funded early reading intervention grants. Dr. Murray is passionate regarding the prevention and remediation of reading difficulty, and consistently strives to increase educator knowledge and the connections between research and practice.


December 2, 2021September 9, 2021June 10, 2021March 25, 2021

Meeting Outcomes:

  • Learn about work under way to develop the Ohio Dyslexia Guidebook;
  • Obtain an in-depth exposure to current research on reading disabilities;
  • Understand the implications of this research for assessment and intervention;
  • Evaluate different instructional models for prevention and remediation of reading problems in children; and
  • Learn about efforts under way in Ohio IHEs to improve preparation and practice in literacy aligned with the Science of Reading and Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement.

Jack M. Fletcher, PhD 
Jack M. Fletcher, Ph.D., is a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston. He received a BA degree from Davidson College in 1973 and a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Florida in 1978.Dr. Fletcher has been affiliated with The University of Houston since 1979, first as an adjunct assistant professor (1979-85), then as a tenured Associate Professor (1985- 1989), adjunct Professor (1989- 2006), and beginning his current tenured appointment in 2006. From 1978- 1985, Dr. Fletcher was the Acting Director of the Mental Retardation/ Developmental Disabilities Research Section at the Texas Research Institute of Mental Sciences; from 1989-2006, Dr. Fletcher was a tenured Professor in the Division of Developmental Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at The University of Texas Medical School- Houston. For the past 30 years, Dr. Fletcher, a board-certified child neuropsychologist, has worked on issues related to child neuropsychology, including studies of children with spina bifida, traumatic brain injury, and other acquired disorders. In the area of developmental learning and attention disorders, Dr. Fletcher has addressed issues related to definition and classification, neurobiological correlates, and most recently, intervention. Dr. Fletcher directs a Learning Disability Research Center grant and a long-term study involving genetic, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological factors in spina bifida, both funded by the National Institute of Child health and Human Development. He served on the NICHD National Advisory Council, the Rand Reading Study Group, the National Research Council Committee on Scientific Principles in Education Research, and the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education. The author of 3 books and over 350 papers, Dr. Fletcher was the recipient of the Samuel T. Orton award from the International Dyslexia Association in 2003 and a co-recipient of the Albert J. Harris award from the International Reading Association in 2006. He was President of the International Neuropsychological Society in 2008-2009.

Meeting Outcomes:

  • Review demographics and diversity of English Learners (ELs) across the country;
  • Recognize the significance of teacher knowledge of literacy when teaching ELs;
  • Understand the difference between literacy acquisition and literacy development;
  • Discuss the role of the Reading Rope as a visual metaphor of skills development over time;
  • Examine how a language’s phonology can cause cognitive dissonance or serve as a springboard for new learning; and
  • Learn about efforts under way in Ohio IHEs to improve preparation and practice in literacy aligned with the Science of Reading and Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement.

Antonio A. Fierro, EdD
Antonio A. Fierro, EdD is a national trainer of the distinguished teacher curriculum Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS). As a former Texas State Teacher of the Year, he brings over 25 years of experience to the field of education. He has served as an early childhood ESL/Bilingual teacher, a district ESL/Bilingual specialist, a state master trainer of the Texas Reading Academies, a senior analyst with the national Reading First initiative, and reading director of a major urban Texas school district. His areas of interest include early childhood education and, because of his own experience as an English learner, research and practices that impact students learning English as a second language. Antonio is also dedicated to advancing the knowledge base and understanding of dyslexia and other reading disabilities as his own 15-year old son, Antonio Jr., is dyslexic.

Meeting Outcomes:

  • Learn about the importance of early identification of reading difficulties and how to address them;
  • Learn about the current research on the potential reading achievement of students;
  • Learn about research-based components of effective instruction;
  • Learn about an outcomes-based model for integrating assessment data with instructional decisions; and
  • Learn about efforts under way in Ohio IHEs to improve preparation and practice in literacy aligned with the Science of Reading and Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement.

Jan Hasbrouck, Ph.D.
Dr. Jan Hasbrouck is a researcher, educational consultant, and author. She served as Executive Consultant to the Washington State Reading Initiative and as an advisor to the Texas Reading Initiative. Dr. Hasbrouck was a reading specialist and literacy coach for 15 years before teaching at the University of Oregon and later becoming a professor at Texas A&M University. Dr. Hasbrouck has provided educational consulting to individual schools across the United States as well as in Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, and Germany, helping teachers, specialists, and administrators design and implement effective assessment and instructional programs targeted to help low-performing readers.

Dr. Hasbrouck earned her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Oregon, and completed her Ph.D. at Texas A&M. Her research in areas of reading fluency, reading assessment, coaching, and English Learners has been published in numerous professional books and journals. She is the author and coauthor of several books including “Conquering Dyslexia”, “Reading Fluency”, “Student-Focused Coaching” and “Educators as Physicians”, along with several assessment tools. Dr. Hasbrouck works with the McGraw Hill publishers as an author of their “Wonders” and “Wonder Works” reading and intervention programs. In 2019 she helped found Read Washington, a 501(c3) nonprofit organization with the mission to “provide professional development opportunities, based on the science of reading, so every student becomes a skilled and confident reader.” She also enjoys volunteering at her grandson’s K-8 school in Seattle.

Meeting Outcomes:

  • Identify cultural dialect forms used by African American preschool and elementary school-aged children;
  • Describe the impact of these differences on standardized assessment of language and reading skills;
  • Discuss the role of oral code-switching and dialectal variation on identification of reading and language impairments in impoverished African American learners; and
  • Learn about efforts under way in Ohio IHEs to improve preparation and practice in literacy aligned with the Science of Reading and Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement.

Julie Washington, Ph.D.
Dr. Julie Washington, Ph.D.  is a Professor in the School of Education at the University of California – Irvine (UCI). Dr. Washington directs the Learning Disabilities Research Innovation Hub funded by the National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute on Child Health and Human Development. She is also director of the Dialect, Poverty and Academic Success lab at UCI. Currently, Dr. Washington’s research is focused on the intersection of literacy, language variation, and poverty. In particular, her work focuses on understanding the role of cultural dialect in assessment, identification of reading disabilities in school-aged African American children and on disentangling the relationship between language production and comprehension on development of reading and early language skills for children growing up in poverty.


December 3, 2020September 10, 2020June 11, 2020March 12, 2020January 30, 2020

Dr. Carol Tolman, Presentation
Carol Tolman, Ed.D, was awarded a doctorate in Educational Psychology with a concentration in literacy and has been a consultant at the state, district, and school levels for over 15 years. Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Tolman was a classroom teacher and Special Educator with more than 25 years of experience in public schools at the elementary and secondary levels. She spent 12 of those years designing and implementing an innovative, exemplary reading clinic for academically challenged middle and high school students.

In addition to spearheading many successful, long-term literacy initiatives throughout the country, Dr. Tolman has published Working Smarter, Not Harder: What Teachers of Reading Need to Know and Be Able to Do and The Relationship between Teacher Knowledge and Effective RtI: When we Know Better, we Do Better (IDA Perspectives).

Carol is co-author of LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) Presenter’s Kits, co-author of LETRS Modules 1, 2nd Edition, co-author of LETRS Module 10, 2nd Edition, and co-author with Dr. Louisa Moats of the LETRS 3rd Edition series of text and online supports for teachers of reading and spelling.

Dr. Tolman has presided over the LETRS Leadership Board, created LETRS On-Line, and provides LETRS Trainer of Trainer (TOT) workshops to prepare others for the rigorous study involved in becoming a Certified Local LETRS Trainer.

Dr. Tolman has presented internationally in China and Australia and is passionate about the importance of empowering teachers with the knowledge necessary to impact change for all children.

Meeting Summary

On September 10, 2020 the P20 Literacy Collaborative held a virtual meeting via Zoom, from 9:00 am-2:00 pm. Participants could interact with one another or the presenter through a group chat function where they could post comments or questions.

Dr. Mary Murray began the meeting at 9:05 by asking attendees to sign in using Zoom’s chat box feature. She and Dr. Dottie Erb welcomed the Collaborative’s new members.

Dr. Melissa Weber-Mayrer, Presentation
The first speaker—Dr. Weber-Mayrer, Director, ODE Office of Approaches to Teaching and Professional Learning—addressed the state’s commitment to improving literacy achievement for every learner. She noted that her office oversees the state’s Learning Management System and also discussed the state’s strategic plan, Each Child, Our Future. Strategy 9 of the plan relates to literacy specifically, but she also singled out other strategies that her work impinges on: Strategy 2, supporting principals; Strategy 3, improving targeted supports; Strategy 7, working with parents to help meet needs; and Strategy 8, promoting the importance of early learning.

Dr. Weber-Mayrer then discussed the ODE’s role in organizing literacy initiatives, and the many grants and programs under Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement. These included building a regional system of supports (a professional learning series on evidence-based practices), dyslexia grants, P20 grants, the development of a statewide family engagement center, running Ohio’s What Matters Now network, and others. Dr. Weber-Mayrer stressed the interrelated nature of the ODE’s many programs. Across these, Weber-Mayrer pointed to the centrality of the science of reading and noted the ODE’s role as policy implementer. She stressed the ODE’s intention to move from being a department of compliance to one of quality support.

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Meeting Summary

On June 11, 2020 the P20 Literacy Collaborative held a virtual meeting via Zoom, from 9:00 am-2:00 pm. Participants could interact with one another or the presenter through a group chat function where they could post comments or questions.

(9:00 AM) Welcome & Introductions
Mary Murray, EdD and Dottie Erb, PhD, Co-facilitators, P20 Literacy Collaborative
  • Dr. Murray and Dr. Erb introduced themselves, and Dr. Murray asked that members mute their mics and for new members to unmute and introduce themselves.
  • New members: Mary Dodds (ODE); Allison Laumann (Third Grade Teacher, Washington Elementary, Marietta), Maria Pappas (Chief of Core Curriculum, Youngstown City), Bonnie Stalter (First Grade Teacher, Washington Elementary, Marietta) Kim Christensen (Senior Lecturer, Bowling Green), Robin Haught (Title 1 Teacher, Washington Elementary, Marietta)
  • Dr. Murray welcomed new members and provided an overview of the agenda. Dr. Erb introduced the presenter.
(9:15 AM) The Psycho-social Impact of Reading Difficulties on Children and Youth
Steven P. Dykstra, PhD, Practicing Psychologist, Milwaukee County, WI, and Founding Member, Wisconsin Reading Coalition
  • Today’s topic— “A Developmental Model of Trauma, Growth, and Resilience: The Place for Language and Reading”
  • Presenter noted the group will discuss the best ways to teach reading, but he is not a reading teacher and does not have the toolbox to teach first graders in the classroom.

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Meeting Summary

On March 12, 2020 the P20 Literacy Collaborative held a virtual meeting via Zoom, from 9:30 am-1:00 pm. There were 43 participants in attendance. Participants could interact with one another or the presenter through a group chat function where they could post comments or questions.

Dr. Dottie Erb began the meeting by previewing the agenda and providing a summary and overview of the ongoing work of the Collaborative. She then instructed the group about where to access resources through the Deans Compact website. Dr. Mary Murray then introduced the speaker, Dr. David Kilpatrick.

Dr. Kilpatrick began his presentation at 10:00 am by reviewing the objectives for his presentation:

  • Understanding word-level reading development, both identifying new words and remembering
  • Understanding the basis of word reading fluency
  • Understand why some students struggle in word-reading
  • Learn the “elusive” research-based reading interventions
  • Consider how these research findings should influence instruction and intervention

During the first hour, Dr. Kilpatrick introduced the field of the scientific study of reading, highlighting the scope of the work and research, and some of the niche areas within the field of reading research – specifically, orthographic learning (the scientific study of how we remember words) and the study of interventions for students who struggle with word-level reading. His work and his goal, he shared, involves trying to bring together these two areas of research – reading through the lens of orthographic mapping (how we store words in memory) and to move the research into the hands of teachers and those who can put it into practice, as he noted that there are huge gaps between research and practice. He continued his introduction by sharing several resources, including research journals. He said that “Reading Research” is not its own discipline – but is covered by many fields and is an interdisciplinary enterprise.

He then covered the following key terms relevant to the presentation:

  • Auditory vs phonological
  • Phonological vs phonemic
  • Orthography and orthographic
  • Phonological awareness vs phonics
  • Decoding (phonic decoding and word-level reading)
  • Sight word and sight word vocabulary

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Meeting Summary

On January 30, 2020, the P20 Literacy Collaborative, under the auspices of the Higher Education Literacy Steering Committee, convened a one-day meeting at the Conference Center at OCLC in Dublin, Ohio. This meeting was the second gathering of the P20 Literacy Collaborative, which brings together in one community of practice stakeholders from Ohio institutions of higher education (IHEs), educators from school districts, representatives from the state’s ESCs and SSTs, and others.

Teams from each of the seven funded Improving Literacy Partnership Grants, and members of the Higher Education Literacy Steering Committee, established in 2019, attended the meeting. In addition, participants from a related grant-funded initiative—at an eighth IHE—also attended. The work of the Collaborative is grounded in the “science of reading.” Its aim is to help higher education faculties update teacher education curricula to reflect findings from high-quality research on early literacy instruction. The theory of action supporting the effort maintains that curricula grounded in the “science of reading” will prepare educators to provide instruction that results in improved literacy outcomes and improved equity outcomes across Ohio school districts.

Sign-in sheets documented the participation of 42 members of the Collaborative, not including project staff from the University of Cincinnati’s Systems Development and Improvement Center, the guest speaker, and the evaluators. The 42 Collaborative members included 16 representatives from Ohio school districts, 21 IHE representatives, and 1 SST representative. The other three members in attendance were from the Ohio Department of Education (n=2) and the Ohio Department of Higher Education (n=1). Thirty-three attendees returned completed surveys (i.e., a response rate of 79%).

These are the meeting’s intended outcomes:

  1. To understand Ohio’s approach to improving literacy outcomes for all learners;
  2. To gain a clear idea about how to establish supportive time standards for improving literacy;
  3. To gain a clear idea of the components of literacy learning supported by research;
  4. To gain a clear idea of quality of instruction standards; and
  5. To learn about efforts of university-district partner teams to improve teacher understanding and application of evidence-based language and literacy practices.

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November 21, 2019

Michelle Elia, MS, Ohio Literacy Lead
Michelle Elia has served students in Ohio as an intervention specialist, special education consultant, and Regional Early Literacy Specialist. She currently works on behalf of the Ohio Department of Education as one of 2 Ohio Literacy Leads, a role that allows her to work with district administrators, teachers, and students across the state. She provides professional development and coaching for teachers in evidence based instructional practices (aligned with the science of reading, PBIS, UDL, brain research, and differentiated instruction) to engage ALL students in the learning process. She also coaches district and building leaders to make appropriate systems changes in their school-wide reading model. Michelle serves as a board member of the International Dyslexia Association Northern Ohio, is a member of the Infohio Literacy Task Force and Ohio’s What Matters Now Network, is a national LETRS trainer, and works as an adjunct professor at both Youngstown State and Walsh Universities. She has two professional goals – to help educators to teach with a growth mindset, and to ensure that reading is taught based on science, and not belief systems.

Ohio P20 Quarterly Meetings