MDE literacy program seeing results

A program from the Mississippi Department of Education is paying off.

Nine elementary schools where the MDE deployed literacy coaches to help teachers become more effective in teaching their students to read have achieved sustained academic improvements and no longer need coaching support.

Established in 2013 as part of the Literacy-Based Promotion Act, the literacy coach program assigns coaches to schools in which 3rd-grade students have the lowest literacy skills. Coaches work closely with teachers and school leaders to improve instructional strategies and to ensure a school climate that advances literacy and academic goals.

The nine schools that exited literacy support in 2018-19 include:

  • Aberdeen Elementary School, Aberdeen School District
  • Greenlee Attendance Center, Attala County School District
  • Sandhill Elementary School, Greene County School District
  • Key Elementary School, Jackson Public Schools
  • Bogue Chitto School, Lincoln County School District
  • Nettleton Primary School, Nettleton School District
  • Gautier Elementary School, Pascagoula-Gautier School District
  • A.W. James Elementary School, Sunflower County Consolidated School District
  • Dexter Attendance Center, Walthall County School District

The Literacy-Based Promotion Act focuses on prevention and intervention to help children develop the reading skills required for 4th grade. The law requires 3rd-grade students to meet reading standards by the end of the school year to be promoted to 4th-grade.

Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, 3rd-grade students must score at level 3 or higher on the reading portion of the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) English Language Arts test qualify for promotion to 4th grade. In previous years, students had to score at level 2 or higher to qualify for promotion.

To learn more about how literacy coaching support helps schools improve student outcomes, view the recent Mississippi School Spotlight Video featuring Key Elementary School.

The MDE’s team of literacy coaches has nearly tripled since the first year of the Literacy-Based Promotion Act. The number of schools served has nearly quadrupled.