A team from Hartford, CT, attended our 2015 institute and has since revamped their literacy approach in 48 schools. They have realigned their instructional design and their professional development efforts to enhance impact. Kathleen England, the district’s former Chief Academic Officer, explains below how the Lectio approach has worked in Hartford.
Our district, comprised of 48 neighborhood, magnet and charter schools, did not have a consistent literacy curriculum in place. During my first year as CAO in Hartford, and the year we attended Lectio, the Early Literacy team was working in six schools to pilot a curriculum they had developed. We knew we needed to rapidly scale up development and implementation; but given limited capacity, needed guidance in thinking strategically.
What about the Lectio approach resonated with you, and specifically applied to your district’s work?
There were several aspects of our experience at Lectio that were helpful in shaping our team’s thinking. A key for us was having dedicated time to work together and to receive feedback from Lectio staff about our thinking and work. I most appreciated the structures that Lectio provided to help us think critically about next steps for the work.
What kind of changes have you made as a result of the program analysis you and your team did?
The most important shift I have made is in using a program evaluation mindset as a way to continue to refine both the curriculum and continued implementation. In just a year we have developed a curriculum to span PK-5 and are currently implementing it in 22 of our 26 schools. We have used our Lectio learnings to make smarter decisions about curriculum expansion and implementation, as well as to refine our approach to professional learning and coaching in the schools that are implementing the curriculum.