Progress and Updates in Early Grade Literacy and Middle School Math

Dec 12, 2022 | Early Grade Literacy, Middle School Math, News

With the 2022-23 school year half over, partners from the Early Grade Literacy and Middle School Math Change Networks provided updates and progress in their site-based improvement projects, as well as their priorities for 2023.

In the Early Grade Literacy Change Network, 2022 saw a large expansion of the work across three partner school districts. This 2022-23 school year, there are 13 site-based teams, from the Marana Unified, Tucson Unified, and Sahuarita Unified School Districts. Each of these teams began the year by setting their goals for their continuous improvement cycles, identifying students to target, and have begun implementing small tests of change. Each of these teams will also be receiving funds from C2C to support these efforts.

These site-based projects are focusing on improving reading and phonics skills to ensure students are reading at grade level, with one project focusing on shifting students’ mindsets around reading. Early in the schoolyear, students performed an assessment to set the baseline metrics for each of the projects, and they will be measured again at the end of the year.

Fifteen of the participating teachers this school year also participated last year, a testament to our partnership’s successes in our early grade literacy work. Kristina Brewer, the principal of Roadrunner Elementary in the Marana Unified School District, voiced her excitement for continuing the work this year.

“I am looking forward to creating a collaborative partnership between 2nd and 3rd grade this year to help our scholars most impacted by school closures,” Brewer said. ”Our 3rd grade team has been positively impacted by the partnership with C2C and I am excited to see them spread their energy and momentum to their 2nd grade colleagues.”

The Middle School Math Change Network met in early November to provide share learnings and establish priorities for the school year. Amber Schlak, the Change Network Facilitator, was able to share learnings and connections from the StriveTogether Annual Convening to kick off the discussions about the focus areas.

Partners first discussed strategies for diversifying and expanding the teach pipeline, including strategies for certifications, livable wages, and hiring a workforce that reflects the diversity of Pima County. Next, the focus of the discussion shifted toward the need to transform systems for future teachers by exploring strategies around teacher recruitment and retention, including “grow your own” strategies centered around creating a pipeline for high school students to enter post-secondary education on a path toward becoming teachers. Priorities for the Change Network as we enter 2023 will be focused on teacher recruitment and retention, along with providing support to educators and professional development opportunities.

Additionally, Jen Hendrickson of Marana Unified School District will be launching this year’s math cohort, expanding upon last school year’s work in the district to encompass additional fifth and sixth grade teachers. You can read more about these cohorts here.

We are excited for each of these Change Network’s impact to grow as we head into 2023. For more information about Early Grade Literacy and Middle School Math, contact Amber Schlak.