Last fall, AIM began working with educators in 10 Louisiana schools as part of the state's K-2 Literacy Coaching Pilot. More than 161 educators participated in Pathways to Proficient Reading as part of the program allowing teachers across the state how to dig deeper, says Jane Anne Watson, the pilot’s Northern Louisiana Literacy Coordinator. “Now they know that you have to dig deeper and how to do it.”
AIM Pathways is one of four literacy training providers approved by Louisiana for the statewide roll out of it's Literacy Foundations Training program which as part of Act 108 requires early literacy training based on the Science of Reading for K-3 teachers of reading, math, science, and/or social studies as well as principals and assistant principals of schools that include the K-3 grade levels.
Educators involved in the Louisiana pilot program with AIM Pathways, which included administrators, teachers and literacy coaches, were particularly drawn to classroom examples.
“The AIM Pathways content is a box with a bow,” said one Rapides Parish literacy coach. “It shows step-by-step how to teach a child below grade level. Now I know how to accommodate students with the core curriculum.”
The commitment of participants in two course groups is evident by their success in the Pathways to Proficient Reading course.
At Acadian Elementary in Rapides Parish, 100% of the AIM Pathways participants not only completed the entire Pathways to Proficient Reading course, but they also ALL ended with overall course grades above 90%! Further there was a 25% increase in Acadian's average knowledge inventory scores from before the course to after. And, in Catahoula Parish, participants from two schools had perfect attendance at all of the virtual community of practice sessions with AIM facilitators.
The literacy coach pilot project, which was created following the release of the Louisiana Early Literacy Commission’s LA Reads report in 2020, will be expanded next year to include training over 300 literacy coaches throughout the state, said Phaedra Early, manager of the K-2 Literacy Coaching Pilot.
“Now we have that common language together. We have that common vision of what a classroom should look like,” said Watson, who is already working with Pathways participants on next steps for the 2021-2022 school year. “When the classroom expectations change they know the why. You’re not just mandating something, They understand why that’s important.”