Level Up with Literacy

The State Support Team 1 Literacy Newsletter

Welcome to Level Up with Literacy!

State Support Team 1 has developed Level Up with Literacy to provide you with timely literacy information and resources to help you meet your goal of providing a high-quality education to all learners.


We won’t flood your inbox. Level Up with Literacy is a bi-monthly publication full of relevant information you can immediately put to use.


Look for local and national PD opportunities, resources for instructional and system-wide
support, and other ways to build your knowledge and experience.


You received this publication because you are subscribed to SST1’s eBRIEF! Newsletter. If you wish to continue to receive SST 1’s Level Up with Literacy, please sign up on our website.

Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement

Earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Education released its Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement to promote the importance of early learning and expand access to quality early learning experiences. This plan calls for schools to develop a literacy framework and encourages all educators to promote language and literacy development across all ages, grades, and subject areas.


As a part of this plan, Ohio’s Theory of Action promotes language and literacy instruction and intervention by linking and coordinating efforts through the five focus strands: Shared Leadership, Multi-tiered System of Supports, Educator Capacity, Family Partnerships, and Community Collaboration. We will focus on building Educator Capacity in this issue.

Increasing Educator Capacity

District leaders, principals, and teachers should always work together to develop and increase understanding of language and literacy fundamentals to support and implement quality instruction for all learners.


It is important that literacy leaders also continuously seek ways to ensure all students have access to high-quality, evidence based language and literacy instruction.


The Ohio Department of Education is committed to supporting quality instruction that includes interventions to meet each students’ individual needs.


State Support Team 1 consultants work to build educator capacity through professional development and coaching that deepens educators’ understanding of how children learn to read, the reading difficulties some students face, and interventions that align to the science of reading.

The Science of Reading

We can start to develop educator capacity by ensuring all educators have a common understanding of the Science of Reading. Reading is a complex skill, and competency is gained through language comprehension and word recognition, both of which are made up of several individual skill areas and concepts.


Quality instruction is key to developing literacy skills in students.


Educators should continue to build their base knowledge of the science of reading and use evidence-based language and literacy practices to support the growth of students’ literacy and language skills.

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The “Science of Reading” is a body of basic research in developmental and educational psychology, cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience on reading, (one of the most complex human behaviors) and its biological bases.” - Dr. Mark Seidenberg

Resources for Educators Aligned to Educator Capacity

The tools and informational resources below are designed to directly impact educator capacity—from district leaders to classroom teachers.

Systems-wide Supports


As building and district leaders, you need to be equipped with various research and evidence-based tools to support all teachers. This resource guide can be utilized to provide you a toolbox of research-based materials and training.

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Instructional Supports


Early Learning

This video series demonstrates a teacher working one-on-one with a student to provide reading interventions.


Adolescent Learning

Check out this blog post that tackles the question, "How do I teach whole group reading lessons online?"

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A Shout Out from the Field

In 2018, Swanton Local Schools created a detailed district Literacy Plan based on their local data and the results of the Reading-Tiered Fidelity Indicator. The district has committed to implementing this plan with fidelity for the past several years, which has resulted in Swanton focusing on using literacy as a lever for school improvement in grades PreK - 12.


Here is a high-level look at their plan:


  • Swanton formed Implementation Teams at the Middle and High Schools; these teams participated in rigorous, explicit and job-embedded professional learning regarding use of Evidence Based Strategies to improve outcomes for students in the area of adolescent literacy.
  • As a result, the Implementation Team is now leading professional development for their colleagues, coaching other teachers in implementing reading strategies with fidelity, and opening their classrooms as model sites for other teachers to observe and learn what effective implementation of literacy strategies looks like in the classroom.
  • These teams work diligently to establish a system to effectively systematically integrate the work. Administrative support includes aligned walkthroughs and feedback.
  • Literacy is a consistent focus and a line item in every TBT, BLT, and DLT session.
  • Swanton believes and implements shared leadership which allows teachers to work collaboratively and take the lead for ensuring the entire district improves their literacy instruction.
  • Data from the Elementary School indicates: 100% of the teachers are using shared common language. Daily coaching and modeling occurs in the classrooms, and classroom doors are open for others to observe.


We celebrate the shared leadership, coaching, modeling, and spirit of innovation leading change in Swanton Local Schools!

Professional Learning Opportunities

Adolescent Literacy Leaders Network

Virtual meetups begin October 15 | Hosted by Ginna Fall, M.Ed., SST 1 Consultant

Science of Reading Series

Professional Learning series begins January 10 | Presented by Michelle Elia, Ohio Literacy Lead

Beginning the Journey: The Reading Process

Video resource presented by Dr. G. Reid Lyon

The Science of Fluency: Part 1

Video resource presented by Dr. Jan Hasbrouck

The Science of Fluency: Part 2

Video resource presented by Dr. Jan Hasbrouck

Deciphering Decodable Text

Video resource presented by Alicia Sparks

Multi-faceted Nature of Skilled Reading

Intermediate - Advanced Learning presentation from the PaTTAN Literacy Symposium.

Structured Literacy vs. Typical Literacy

Intermediate - Advanced Learning presentation from the 2020 Fox Reading Conference

Contact State Support Team 1

We are here for you!

Please feel free to reach out if you have questions or need guidance on instruction, increasing educator capacity, or any other literacy-related topic.

There are no copyright restrictions on this document; however, please cite and credit the source when copying all or part of this document. This document was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Award #H027A200111, CFDA 84.027A, awarded to the Ohio Department of Education). The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and no official endorsement by the Department should be inferred.