On Tuesday February 17, 2009, Jean Massie, from the Gogebic-Ontonagon
Intermediate School District addressed the Wakefield-Marenisco
School Board on the proposed Literacy Program. The night before
addressing Wakefield-Marenisco Jean was in Ironwood describing
the same program to the IASD Board.
The proposal is the expansion of a literacy program that has
been in use at the Watersmeet School School District in grades
K-6 since 2005. The results of that program have been very
successful. Only six of the original 13 students remain in the
The proposal is that there will be three reading coaches
implanted within the school districts. Ironwood would have one
on site coaches. The remaining two coaches would be shared by
the other schools in the program.
The basis for the coaches is that together with the school's
teachers will be skillful collaborators in the elementary
setting. That the collaborators will interret and use
assessment to inform instruction. Together the coaches and
teachers will develop and implement skillful instructional
strategies to improve academic literacy in specific content
Massie defines a Literacy Coach as one who helps teachers
recognize what they know and can do, and assists teachers as
they strengthen their ability to make more effective use of what
they know and do, and will support teachers as they learn more
and do more.
What will be different if the plan is implemented? One shot
workshops will be replaced with site-based, job-embedded
Professional development will take place through collaborative
Key elements of the program are composed of;
Reflection and Inquiry: Question why we are engaging in certain
Feedback: Ask for and receive feedback on classroom practice.
Theory and Knowledge: integration of theory into practice.
Ms. Massie went on to state that the Literacy Coach is not the
solver of another's problems. The Coach understands the concept
of building on teacher strengths vs. using a deficit model (i.e.
What's wrong here). The coach maintains faith in people's
ability to grow and believes in their own capacity to serve s a
It is proposed that the program be implemented in a three year
Grades K-3 would be implemented in the first year, followed by
Grade 4 in the second year and grades 5 and 6 in year three.
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