Oklahoma Striving Readers

April 2019 Newsletter

Can you believe April is here? The testing season is here and we will quickly be looking at the end of the school year. Summer is always a time for educators to recharge and pursue professional development opportunities. Striving Readers has several pd opportunities for your teachers and administrators. These opportunities are free to attend and it is appropriate to use your Striving Readers money to pay for travel and stipends if needed. If this is something you would like to include in your budget please submit a budget amendment.

Upcoming Striving Readers professional development:

Independent Reading Workshop Presented by Dr. Nicole Bosworth, National Director of Literacy, Scholastic Education: April 30th in Tulsa at the Marriott Southern Hills. Please see flier below for more information.

Building Academic Vocabulary with researchers from Marzano: June 4th in Tahlequah and June 5th in Oklahoma City. Please see the flier below for registration links and more detailed information.

Engage OK: State Department of Education free annual professional development event July 15th-18th and July 23rd. Click the link to see dates, locations, and registration. http://engage.ok.gov/about/

Oklahoma Writing Project: Join us for grade band specific writing professional development on August 1st (Drumright, OK) and August 2nd (OKC area). Registration will begin in mid April.

  • Lower elementary: 6 traits of writing and writing across the curriculum

  • Upper elementary: 6 traits of writing and increasing students’ writing stamina

  • Mid/High School: College, Career, and Community Writer’s program

Also, please mark your calendars and plan to attend our annual convening on June 10th from 9:00-3:00. Our meeting will be held in the OKC metro area. This is an important meeting and we will be looking at student data, introducing our revised annual monitoring document, and gathering ideas from one another about teaming with families and communities. This is a perfect time to bring your literacy team together to reflect on the successes and barriers your district encountered this year. Please put this meeting on your calendars now and we will be sending more information in the next few weeks.

There are many resources featured in this month's newsletter including a link to register for our next OSRCL zoom call on April 16th. We will be discussing secondary ELA resources and Jason Stephenson, director of secondary ELA, will be joining us. You will also find information regarding Evidence Based Practices, the IMPACT elements, and the link to the OSRCL professional development survey.

The Striving Readers team is here to support you. Please reach out to us whenever we can be of assistance. Our contact information can be found at the bottom of the newsletter.

Upcoming Professional Development Fliers

Tweet what's happening in your district using #OSRCL!

OSRCL Zoom Call Scheduled

Our next Zoom meeting for OSRCL district leaders will be on April 16th, 2019 at 10 am. Register in advance for this meeting at the following link.


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Our conversation will revolve around secondary literacy. We will provide some resources and introduce Jason Stephenson, Director of Secondary ELA, who will be joining us to help answer questions and provide support. Please be prepared with challenges, success, or questions you have regarding secondary literacy.

Evidence Based Practices

This short guide, ESSA and Evidence Claims: A Practical Guide to Understanding What "Evidence Based" Really Means, is an excellent resource providing an overview of the tiers of evidence and provides 5 questions to ask when evaluating claims of evidence. It is a helpful resource to use when considering the materials, programs, and personnel purchased with your Striving Readers grant.

As you plan next year’s OSRCL budget, please remember that OSRCL grant funds can only be used on activities and programs that meet moderate to strong levels of evidence according to ESSA. Click here for an overview of the levels of evidence.

The Evidence for ESSA or What Works Clearinghouse websites can be used to determine levels of evidence. The Practices Guides describe instructional recommendations that can be implemented with existing standards or curriculum. If you are looking to adopt a program or attend professional learning, you can align them with the practice guide strategies that meet strong to moderate evidence. Click here for a list of literacy practice guides and an overview of the recommendations.

OSRCL Professional Learning Resources

Building Academic Vocabulary PD with researchers from Marzano. Tuesday, June 4th Indian Capital Technology Center in Tahlequah and Wednesday, June 5th Moore Norman Technology Center South Penn Campus in Oklahoma City. See flier above in newsletter for more information and registration links.

OSRCL Chat - “Addressing the Barriers of Time”

ON February 21st, we hosted our first OSRCL chat focused on the article Addressing the Barriers of Time. The article discussed addressing time in planning effective professional learning and gave two ideas for addressing time.

  • Conducting a Time Audit - Teachers list instructional practices and the estimated time spent on each one. For three days, monitor the actual time spent on practices and reflect collaboratively on results.

  • Much of our conversation revolved around the second strategy entitled Cleaning the Junk Drawer. In this strategy, teachers make a list of all literacy practices and then educators collaborate on prioritizing the list to create non-negotiables, align practices to research, and eliminate unneeded practices.

If you were unable to join us, please take a look at the article and presentation.

The OSRCL team partnered with Clinton Public Schools for a webinar discussing Clinton's Local Literacy Team, Family English Classes, and Clinton's Parents As Reading Partners (CPARP) to provide ideas and resources as you revise your district's literacy plan.

Click on the link below to access this webinar:


In May 2018, OSRCL hosted a partnership webinar with Oklahoma City Public Schools about how they utilize early childhood partnerships. You can find that recording here and the presentation slides here.

The 90 Minute Reading Block

November 15, 2018 at 3:30

Led by Michelle Seybolt and Sharon Morgan, OSRCL

Click on the link below to access this webinar:


Revising Your Literacy Plan

Led by Dr. Brook Meiller

Click on the link below to access this webinar:


Professional Learning Workshops sponsored by the Oklahoma State Department of Education


Professional Development Survey

Please remember to have your staff complete the online OSRCL Professional Development Survey every time they participate in a half day or longer literacy professional development. The survey results are returned to you to help make decisions for follow up and future professional developments at your school.

Family Guides From the Oklahoma State Department of Education

The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) is excited to share the Oklahoma Family Guides for English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies for Pre-K through 2nd Grade.

The OSDE Family Guides are resources aligned with the Oklahoma Academic Standards and developed specifically for Oklahoma families to complement classroom learning. They illustrate what is expected of students at each grade level in different content areas along with activities families can do at home to further support children's learning experiences.

The Oklahoma Striving Readers Team

Dr. Brook Meiller

Project Manager


(405) 522-0285


Sharon Morgan,

Literacy Specialist


(405) 522-3241


Michelle Seybolt

School Improvement and Data Specialist


(405) 522-2214


The U.S. Department of Education awarded the Oklahoma State Department of Education with a three-year Striving Readers grant totaling $21,530.920 in October 2017. The cost of this publication has been purchased with these federal grant funds in the amount of $0.00.