Georgia schools to implement literacy coaching in 60 schools to enhance reading skills

The Georgia Department of Education has taken a proactive approach to address reading challenges in the state by allocating $30 million to provide literacy coaches for 60 elementary schools with the lowest reading scores in Atlanta, Georgia.

Georgia’s healthcare system is facing a significant challenge as more and more individuals are losing their healthcare coverage. The state is witnessing a rise in the number of uninsured citizens, leading to Georgia being referred to as “a state of the uninsured.” This alarming trend has serious implications for the well-being of the population and calls for immediate attention and action.

More than third of kids in Georgia’s elementary schools are reading below grade level

About 36% of children in Georgia’s elementary schools are currently not reading at the expected level for their age. In an effort to address this issue, the state has committed to investing $10 million annually for a period of three years to employ literacy coaches.

Improving these reading scores is of utmost importance, according to Amy Denty, the individual responsible for overseeing literacy efforts at the Georgia Department of Education.

Denty emphasized the importance of data-based decision-making in schools.

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Denty is optimistic about the positive impact a robust coaching program can have on teachers in the classroom. She firmly believes that by deploying 60 literacy coaches to schools facing significant challenges, it will provide the necessary support to teachers who are in need.

Georgia Republican lawmakers have proposed a bill that aims to grant voters the right to inspect and count their ballots digitally. This move comes as a response to concerns regarding the transparency and accuracy of the voting process. By allowing voters to have direct access to their ballots in a digital format, proponents of the bill argue that it will enhance confidence in the election results. The proposed legislation seeks to address the growing demand for increased transparency and accountability in the electoral system.

“We often mention that universal screeners serve as a warning sign, but it is crucial to delve deeper and assess the specific needs of each student,” she clarified in an interview with FOX Atlanta. “Coaches play a vital role in this process by offering demonstration lessons and working closely with teachers to provide guidance and support.”

11 Atlanta schools to be involved in the project

Eleven out of the 60 schools receiving additional assistance are located in Atlanta Public Schools, which are among the most challenged when it comes to reading proficiency.

Reading levels in Georgia’s elementary schools have not fully returned to pre-pandemic levels. However, there was a modest improvement in 2023. Third graders showed a 2% increase in their reading abilities, while fourth graders saw a 1% improvement. On the other hand, fifth graders experienced a slight decline of 1% in their reading skills.

Denty hopes that the presence of these literacy coaches will facilitate the efficient implementation of reading science in the teaching practices of educators.

The Georgia House has recently passed a tax relief package, which is expected to save Georgia taxpayers approximately $1.1 billion this year. This news comes as a relief to many individuals and businesses who have been struggling financially due to the ongoing pandemic. The tax relief package aims to provide much-needed financial support to those who need it most and help stimulate the state’s economy. This move by the Georgia House reflects their commitment to helping the residents of Georgia during these challenging times.

According to the speaker, the objective is to ensure the implementation of professional learning required by the Georgia Literacy Act in these schools. She emphasizes the importance of bridging the gap between the professional learning and its application, as failing to do so would render the efforts made in professional development futile.

Here is the complete list of schools that will be receiving literacy coaches.

What are literacy coaches and how they help students and kids

A literacy coach, also known as a reading coach, possesses the expertise to teach young children how to read and stays informed about the latest research in reading. Their primary role is to guide and train teachers in effectively supporting children’s reading skills.

A reading coach performs a wide range of tasks to support educators and enhance the reading skills of young children. They collaborate with teachers to develop coaching strategies, assess teaching methods and assessments, and provide a plethora of reading materials.

In the field of education, literacy coaches collaborate with teachers to develop lesson plans and provide assistance whenever needed. On the other hand, literacy specialists directly engage with students, delivering instruction and supporting teachers as required. The underlying principle that binds them together is the importance of teamwork in every aspect of education.

Literacy coaches collaborate closely with teachers, actively engaging in conversations to understand their individual needs, strengths, and concerns. By examining test results and considering the unique circumstances of each student, they determine the areas that require attention. Additionally, they assist teachers in developing daily plans that align with their instructional objectives, ensuring effective time management.

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