ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : SI-00-070

Date Created : 01/25/2000


Co-op Directors
Secondary Principals
Elementary Principals

Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: Optional
Section:   School Improvement and Professional Development - Ms. Janinne Riggs
K-12 Literacy Professional Development Registration

Regulatory Authority:

Contact Person:
Krista Underwood-Ella, Effective Literacy, Reading Recovery

Phone Number:



The Arkansas Department of Education and the Education Service Cooperatives announce the availability of professional development for teachers of Grades K-12 focusing on literacy instruction. These professional development opportunities complement the Smart Start Initiative and are described below:

EARLY LITERACY LEARNING IN ARKANSAS (ELLA) is a three (3) year professional development process. Teams of primary teachers in Grades K-2 receive training in classroom strategies to support emergent readers. All schools who commit to send a team of two to three primary teachers will be considered for ELLA training. Priority for registration will be given, but not limited, to those schools having Reading Recovery programs. Schools who have existing ELLA teams may elect to send additional teams. The first year of ELLA will consist of four (4) days of professional development in the summer and four (4) additional days of training throughout the school year. Approximately four days of training will be required during the second year and one to two days during the third year of ELLA.

EFFECTIVE LITERACY FOR GRADES 2-4 is a two (2) year professional development process promoting a balanced literacy approach in reading, writing, and assessment. All schools are encouraged to enroll a team of two to three teachers from Grades 2-4. However, priority for registration will be given, but not limited, to schools currently participating in ELLA. The first year of training will consist of four (4) days of initial professional development in the summer and four (4) additional days of training throughout the school year. Approximately three to five days of professional development will be required during the second year of training.

MULTICULTURAL READING AND THINKING (McRAT) is a two (2) year professional development process designed to help teachers in Grades 4-12 infuse critical thinking and multicultural concepts into the existing curriculum. Students develop effective strategies for thinking about what they have learned and communicating that information in writing. Instruction focuses on four higher order thinking skills that students can use in all academic subjects and transfer to real life situations. Assessment involves performance-based techniques with emphasis on pre- and post-writing assignments. McRAT consists of an initial one-week summer training with monthly training held throughout the year. A three (3) day summer institute and four and one-half days support is provided the second year. Stipends are provided to the participants when not on contract and a grant is awarded to the district to assist with substitute reimbursement. Due to the number of requests, priority will be given to teachers in Grades 4-8.

READING RECOVERY/EARLY LITERACY is a training for teachers who provide early intervention for primary children. Teachers learn how to implement strategies for accelerating the learning of first-grade children at risk of reading failure through one-on-one tutoring and small group instruction. Reading Recovery/Early Literacy training requires one year of training in which weekly training sessions are held. After the initial training, approximately six one-half days of continuing education are required annually during the employment of the teacher as a Reading Recovery teacher.

The training for ELLA, EFFECTIVE LITERACY FOR GRADES 2-4 and McRAT are provided by the literacy specialists housed in each of the education service cooperatives. READING RECOVERY/EARLY LITERACY training is provided by Regional Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders located in some education cooperatives and the Reading Recovery Training Center in Little Rock. Initial training for all professional development will begin in the summer of 2000 with continued training throughout the 2000-2001 school year.

Professional development for ELLA, EFFECTIVE LITERACY FOR GRADES 2-4, and McRAT will fund professional books, materials and supplies to be utilized in the training. Schools must provide teacher release time for training sessions during the school year and will be required to provide some additional materials for implementation. READING RECOVERY/EARLY LITERACY training requires graduate work that must be funded by the school district.

Attendance by school administrators in an administrators' orientation is a prerequisite requirement for schools seeking to participate in any of the professional development. The orientation sessions will be held in the education service cooperative to which the school belongs. Please contact the local education service cooperative for information about the date, time and place of the administrator's orientation for that area. Requests for participation in the professional development will be considered upon receipt of the appropriate professional development registration forms (see attached) and confirmation of administrator's attendance at the orientation. Prompt return of the registration form by MARCH 17, 2000 to the EARLY CHILDHOOD AND READING UNIT, ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, #4 CAPITOL MALL, ROOM 401B, LITTLE ROCK, AR, 72201 is requested. For additional information concerning any of the professional development opportunities, please contact one of the literacy specialists at the area education service cooperative.


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