Literacy is Key in LCSS

In 2008, the Literacy Leadership Academy was formed in the Lumpkin County School System to lead the literacy efforts of the school district and the community.  The Literacy team continues its work today.

Its purposes are to:

√    Provide structure for balanced literacy in LCSS
√    Provide leadership in its implementation
√    Recommend materials and resources to support balanced literacy in LCSS

The first task of these leaders was to define literacy for Lumpkin County.  Below is their working definition:

 Literacy is actively participating in accessing, evaluating, using, and combining multiple forms of media, information, and knowledge in an authentic and meaningful way, in order to communicate effectively.

In short, it is the abillity to locate, evaluate, create, and communicate information and knowledge effectively.

The Literacy Leadership Academy then spent ample time examining the research on literacy (and summarizing it), and also mined the trend data on how students have performed in literacy.  From that research review and data mining, the Academy developed five essential ingredients that must be present in the Lumpkin literacy program:

  • BALANCE- vocabulary, comprehension, phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, and writing must all be taught, and they must be taught explicitly and in a balanced manner
  • CONNECTEDNESS- reading and writing must be taught across all curricular/content areas
  • ASSESSMENT- there must be an ongoing effort to assess students for mastery of reading and writing skills
  • COHERENCE- there must be a well-established K-12 literacy plan, which includes attention to alternatives to the main literacy program and materials to be used to support the plan
  • ENGAGEMENT- attention must be paid to motivating students to love to read (and learn) and to challenging them to meet high expectations