Richard O. Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy

Implementation Standards and Guidelines for Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy (PCL) Model

Standards for Implementing the PCL Model

A. Roles and Responsibilities of a PCL University Training Center

A PCL university training center is defined by the presence of a registered PCL trainer. Establishing a PCL university training center requires careful study and strong commitment from the supporting university and from the individual seeking PCL trainer status. University training centers are committed to training Literacy Coaches in a post-masters’ specialized program of study that aligns with the professional standards of the International Reading Association. All university centers are NCATE accredited institutions with IRA approved reading programs.

The roles and responsibilities of a PCL university training center are to:
  • Establish a certificate program of study for preparing Literacy Coaches.
  • Establish a certificate program of study for preparing Intervention Specialists.
  • Provide specialized training to district and building coaches.
  • Provide ongoing professional development to district and building coaches.
  • Provide training to intervention specialists in the Comprehensive Intervention Model.
  • Provide leadership training in literacy areas to administrators and other school leaders.
  • Establish model schools within districts as literacy demonstration sites.
  • Conduct and publish research in critical literacy areas.
  • Assist schools in program evaluation and improvement plans.
  • Disseminate information about the PCL model.
  • Advocate at local and state levels for literacy coaches and intervention specialists.

Functions of the PCL University Training Center

PCL University Training Centers represent a network of universities committed to preparing interventionists and literacy coaches to serve as agents of comprehensive school improvement.

The functions of the university network are to:
  • Provide an academic setting for literacy coaches and intervention specialists.
  • Support the ongoing implementations of PCL within the university training center network of affiliated sites.
  • Develop new implementations of the PCL model.
  • Serve as the achievement evaluation center for children served in the PCL university training center network.
  • Maintain integrity of the PCL model within the university training center network of affiliated sites.
  • Ensure and maintain integrity of the PCL university training center.
  • Provide for support of the PCL trainer role and the PCL university training center operation.
  • Respond to and initiate policy affecting the goals, mission and vision of the PCL model within the state or region. 

Procedures for Establishing and Operating a University Training Center for Training District/School Literacy Coaches

The first step in establishing a PCL university training center is to contact the Center for Literacy at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for eligibility criteria and implementation guidelines.

Eligibility

Universities and colleges with doctoral granting programs in reading, language arts, or literacy may apply to become a PCL university training center to train district/building literacy coaches.

Process for Applying to Establish a PCL Center

  • Study the PCL program carefully, involving key stakeholders within the university. Identify a team of key individuals to visit one or more partnership university training centers.
  • Contact the Center for Literacy at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to request information about formal application. When you receive the application, you will also receive information in order to better understand potential costs and commitments, as well as documents outlining the functions of a partnership university training center and the roles and responsibilities of a PCL trainer. This process should take place in the fall of the year proceeding the year of initial involvement, and letter of intent should be sent no later than January 5.
  • Study the requirements carefully. To discuss the requirements, consult with a PCL university trainer. Consider visiting a PCL University Training Center or inviting a PCL trainer to meet with your faculty and administration for better understandings of this significant undertaking.
  • Conduct a feasibility study to determine the long-range needs for a PCL center in your area. In collaboration with existing PCL university training centers within or bordering the state or region, determine the need based on the projected number of sites that might be served by the center.
  • Secure the support (academic and financial) of the university program faculty and administration before submitting a proposal to establish a PCL center.
  • Prepare a long-range implementation plan that is consistent with the procedures outlined above.
  • Secure commitment from key faculty and administrators to support the center within the structures of the university (department, college, and university).
  • Prepare a long-range fiscal plan (at least 5 years) to assure that costs of operating the center are secure. Be aware that university fiscal commitment is necessary; dependence on external sources entirely does not provide stability for the investment. Funding should not be dependent on income from training classes; numbers of trainees will fluctuate, and the budget must accommodate these shifts in training cycles.
  • Select one or more highly qualified and successful individuals for training as a PCL trainer of district/building coaches.
  • Allocate adequate funds for the position and training of one or more PCL trainers.
  • Specify that the director of the PCL university training center shall be a registered PCL trainer.
  • Plan for institutionalization of PCL model within the structure of the department, college, and university.
  • Seek faculty support for establishing a PCL training center.
  • Negotiate non–PCL responsibilities of trainers to the department, college, and university relative to resource support.
  • Seek institutional approval for graduate courses for district/building coaches training in the PCL model.
  • Plan for adequate secretarial support.
  • Plan for data management and analysis of PCL outcomes.
  • Include within the budget a means of supporting the trainer to include additional responsibilities of the position and professional development requirements (e.g. travel, required PCL meetings, telecommunications, visit from Dr. Dorn during the initial training year, and additional support).
  • Identify established PCL coaches training sites near the university that can provide field experiences for literacy coaches-in-training.
  • Develop and implement procedures and processes for district/building coaches selection, matriculation, orientation, and training.
  • Plan for years with no training classes, recognizing that the PCL trainer will continue to be responsible for professional development of trained district/building coaches, technical support to PCL sites, national involvement in PCL trainer activities, and more.
  • Establish a means for collaborative planning among university training centers in the region (in neighboring states).
  • Support ongoing evaluation and research related to the PCL Model.

Requirements for Selection of PCL Trainer

The potential PCL trainer is required to:

  • Hold a doctoral degree in a related area.
  • Have experience in teaching children.
  • Have experience in coaching classroom teachers.
  • Demonstrate evidence of leadership, with exceptional competence in working with colleagues and teachers.
  • Possess strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Have experience with data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the structures of schools and systems.
  • Be nominated by the university that is the proposed PCL training center (preferably holding a tenure-track line).

Functions of the PCL University Training Center

The functions of the PCL university training center are to:

  • Define and organize a network of affiliated PCL training sites for district and school coaches.
  • Provide an academic setting for PCL professionals.
  • Support the ongoing implementations of PCL within the university training center network of affiliated sites.
  • Develop new implementations of the PCL model.
  • Serve as the achievement evaluation center for children served in the PCL university training center network.
  • Maintain integrity of the PCL model within the university training center network of affiliated sites.
  • Ensure and maintain integrity of the PCL university training center.
  • Provide for support of the PCL trainer role and the PCL university training center operation.
  • Respond to and initiate policy affecting the goals, mission and vision of the PCL model within the state or region.

Standards and Guidelines for University Trainer

PCL university trainer will vary greatly in areas of expertise upon entry to the training. For this reason, an individualized program that is responsive to the strengths and needs of each person will need to be designed for each trainer-in-training. Training as a university trainer requires fulltime participation for one academic year at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Center for Literacy. Essential components of a PCL trainer’s program include academic course work, teaching children, training district/building literacy coaches, and preparing the university center for implementation. The roles and responsibilities of the university trainer include:

Academic Course Work

1.1 Participate in 21 credits of post-doctoral coursework at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Center for Literacy.

1.2 Participate in regular academic seminars on the theory of reading and writing acquisition, reading difficulties, and research.

1.3 Participate in sessions on developing trainer skills, including sessions in the following areas:

  1. Roles and responsibilities of a PCL trainer.
  2. Development of coursework for district and building coaches.
  3. Implementation of the PCL model at the local, state and regional levels.
  4. Research and evaluation for ongoing development.
Teaching Children

1.4 Teach 1-2 (CIM) intervention groups each day in a 30-minute session throughout the training year.

1.5 Keep data on children in intervention groups.

1.6 Receive site visits from the university trainer at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

1.7 Conduct and receive colleague visits from other members of the training class.

1.8 Communicate with school personnel and parents of children.

Involvement in School Literacy Coach Training

1.9 Participate in training for school literacy coaches conducted by district coaches and observe the district coach, gradually assuming increased responsibility for facilitating the training class.

1.10 Participate in school visits to teachers and teachers-in-training.

Involvement in District Literacy Coach Training

1.11 Participate in the training class for school literacy coaches conducted by a PCL trainer (i.e., attend weekly class, observe, and analyze the trainer role.)

1.12 Contribute to the teaching of the theory and leadership classes for district coaches, as appropriate, in areas of expertise.

1.13 Participate in overall planning and analysis of selected district coaches’ training sessions with trainer.

Professional Development

1.14 Participate in an annual PCL Spring Institute.

1.15 Participate in annual PCL Fall Conference.

B. Roles and Responsibilities of District Administrator

District administrator understands the school or district roles and responsibilities for implementing the Partnership in Comprehensive Literacy model. The administrator agrees to implement the model as outlined by the PCL university training center, including the implementation of a Comprehensive Intervention Model (CIM) that provides layers of support for struggling learners across grade levels.

Standards and Guidelines for District Administrator

2.1 Understand the importance of the PCL implementation standards and agree that PCL schools will implement the model with depth and fidelity.

2.2 Agree to support PCL schools in implementing the Comprehensive Intervention Model (CIM) with depth and fidelity, including Reading Recovery for struggling first graders and supplemental intervention groups throughout all grades.

2.3 Provide district and school-based coaches with the necessary materials to implement the model as outlined by the PCL university training center.

2.4 Ensure that principals and literacy coaches will meet their roles and responsibilities within the model, as outlined by the PCL university training center.

2.5 Agree to continue funding of the PCL model for a minimum of three years.

C. District Coach Qualifications, Roles and Responsibilities

The District Coach acquires knowledge in five interrelated areas: 1) literacy processing theory and literacy research; 2) literacy curriculum and assessment; 3) supervision, coordination, and evaluation of a district literacy program; 4) systems change for school improvement; and 5) adult learning, including knowledge of contingent coaching and mentoring techniques for supporting teacher development. The major roles of district literacy coaches are to: 1) provide training and professional development to building coaches for implementing PCL schools; 2) provide training in the Comprehensive Intervention Model to building coaches and intervention specialists; 3) supervise, coordinate and evaluate a district’s literacy plan for continuous school improvement; 4) guide schools in curricula decisions; 5) teach struggling readers daily; and 6) participate in the PCL literacy coach network.

Standards and Guidelines for District Coach

3.1 Understand the vision, mission, and goals of the PCL model and demonstrate the commitment to implementing the model with depth and fidelity.

3.2 Participate in literacy coach coursework and earn a literacy coaching certificate diploma.

3.3 Maintain active status in the National Registry of PCL Literacy Coaches.

3.4 Teach struggling readers daily.

3.5 Establish a model school for clinical training, including a one-way mirror and other training facilities.

3.6 Teach a yearlong graduate class following the training year for school literacy coaches.

3.7 Provide professional development and technical support for trained literacy coaches in subsequent years.

3.8 Teach a graduate class for intervention specialists and classroom teachers in the Comprehensive Intervention Model.

3.9 Provide site visits to literacy coaches during training year to observe all aspects of the coaching role.

3.10 Provide site visits to trained coaches to observe one or more aspect of the coaching role.

3.11 Collect and analyze district data to assess the effectiveness of the implementation for literacy improvement.

3.12 Meet routinely with building administrators to organize, analyze, reflect, plan, and problem solve around implementation issues.

3.13 Spotlight and advocate for the PCL model with parents, staff, district administrators and school board members.

3.14 Use the discussion board and other electronic communications to solve problems and collaborate with other coaches, colleagues, and peers.

3.15 Submit an annual report to the district administration and to PCL university training center.

3.16 Attend all required professional development at the PCL university training center.

3.17 Agree to continue the implementation of the PCL model for a minimum of three years.

D. School Literacy Coach Qualifications, Roles and Responsibilities

The major role of the school literacy coach is to implement and coordinate comprehensive literacy improvement at the school level. The responsibilities of a school literacy coach include: 1) providing demonstrations of the literacy framework; 2) conducting coaching cycles across the grades that focus on teaching struggling readers and writers; 3) developing model classrooms at each grade level with the goal of developing a model school; 4) coaching teachers to become mentors for other teachers; 5) coordinating the school’s literacy program; 5) organizing collaborative learning communities throughout the school; 6) managing school-wide assessments for monitoring literacy achievement across the grades; 7) teaching struggling readers daily in intervention groups; and 8) participating in the PCL network of literacy coaches.

Guidelines and Standards for School Literacy Coach

4.1 Understand the vision, mission, and goals of the PCL model and demonstrate commitment to implementing the model with depth and fidelity.

4.2 Participate in all sessions of literacy coach training/graduate coursework and meet all requirements to ensure the successful implementation of the PCL model in Year 1.

4.3 Maintain active status in the National Registry of PCL Literacy Coaches.

4.4 Provide demonstrations of the literacy framework at each grade level.

4.5 Use coaching cycles across the grades for increasing teachers’ knowledge for instructing struggling readers and writers.

4.6 Implement model classrooms at each grade level and move toward developing a model school as soon as possible.

4.7 Coach teachers to become mentors for grade level peers.

4.8 Teach struggling readers daily.

4.9 Meet routinely with building administrator(s) to organize, analyze, reflect, plan, and problem solve around implementation issues.

4.10 Develop and maintain a seamless assessment system for monitoring the progress of students and ensuring that any student who falls below the proficiency level receives appropriate and timely literacy intervention and support.

4.11 Make curricular recommendations for appropriate reading and writing materials across the school.

4.12 Use discussion boards and other electronic communications to solve problems and collaborate with other coaches, colleagues, and peers.

4.14 Submit an annual report to the district or university coach.

4.15 Attend all required professional development by the district coach or university coach trainer.

4.16 Agree to continue the implementation of the PCL model for a minimum of three years.

D. Roles and Responsibilities of the School Administrator

The school administrator understands the school’s roles and responsibilities for implementing the Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy model. The administrator agrees to implement the model as outlined by the university training center, including the implementation of a Comprehensive Intervention Model (CIM) that provides layers of support for struggling learners across grade levels.

Standards and Guidelines for School Administrators

5.1 Participate in the Network of Literacy Administrators (NLA), including attendance at NLA meetings and the Administrators’ Institute at the fall Reading Recovery/K-8 Comprehensive Literacy Conference.

5.2 Attend a summer orientation on the PCL model.

5.3 Provide funding for the coach and some teachers to attend the annual Reading Recovery/K-8 Comprehensive Literacy Conference.

5.4 Ensure that the curriculum is aligned to state and national professional standards with benchmarks designed to monitor students’ progress.

5.5 Attend team meetings and provide common release time for teachers to study professional texts and problem-solve on teaching and learning issues.

5.6 Implement a school wide intervention program with a fully implemented Reading Recovery program for the lowest first grade students and supplemental small-group support for grades K-8. Accountability also includes a school wide seamless assessment system with multiple measures (including formative and summative) for evaluating student progress over time.

5.7 Ensure the literacy coach adheres to the roles and responsibilities as outlined by the PCL Training Center and aligned with the Standards of the International Reading Association.

5.8 Provide funding for a wide range of reading materials designed to match student needs (including classroom libraries, guided reading books, non-fiction texts to support content learning, big books, poetry, etc.).

E. Roles and Responsibilities of the Classroom Teacher

The classroom teacher understands the roles and responsibilities for implementing the Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy Model. The classroom teacher agrees to implement the model as outlined by the university training center. Teachers organize the classroom to meet the needs of diverse learners, including selecting appropriate materials and working with whole group, small group, and individual learners. Teachers use a workshop approach to learning across the curriculum, including reading, writing, language, and content workshops. Small group reading and writing instruction is provided to meet the needs of diverse learners; and explicit mini-lessons are tailored to meet the needs of the majority of students across the curriculum. Daily one-to-one conferences are scheduled with students during the workshop framework.

Standards and Guidelines for Classroom Teacher

6.1 Implement a workshop framework across the curriculum.

6.2 Analyze data to monitor student learning and inform teaching decisions.

6.3 Engage in pre-and post-conferences with the literacy coach.

6.4 Collaborate with colleagues on effective literacy practice.

6.5 Participate in intervention team meetings and collaborate with intervention specialists in aligning interventions for struggling learners.

6.6 Provide a classroom intervention for children who are performing below level.

6.7 Participate in weekly team meetings with grade level colleagues to plan, reflect and problem-solve around implementation issues and to discuss students’ progress.

6.8 Use discussion boards to problem-solve with other literacy professionals.

6.9 Seek opportunities to attend PCL conferences and institutes.