Connecticut K-3 Literacy Initiative

“Our Kindergartners are now 70% proficient. And when you think of the RtI triangle, everybody says our triangle is inverted, it’s upside down, because more of our children are struggling rather than succeeding. We put the triangle right-side up.

Ellen Delgado

Literacy Coach, East Hartford Schools

Closing the Achievement Gap

In the recent Nation’s Report Card on NEAP results, Connecticut ranked as having one of the largest education achievement gaps in the country.  This gap represents a disparity in the reading and mathematics skill levels of low-income and minority students with their peers. Funded through legislation developed by the General Assembly’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, the Connecticut K-3 Literacy Initiative (CK3LI) was created to train teachers and administrators in the best research-based literacy practices and to address the state’s achievement gap from the earliest grades.

The Pilot Study

Analyses were conducted by Center for Behavioral Education & Research at the Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut (a partner in CK3LI) on 4 Pilot Schools that participated in the K-3 Reading Model pilot since the 2012-2013 school year. These initial Pilot Schools included approximately 900 students in grades K-3, more than 80% of which represented a minority and/or were eligible for free and reduced lunch.

Summary of Early Literacy Analyses:

  • Students who received the full K-3 Reading Model demonstrated greater literacy growth and achievement than students who did not receive the full K-3 Reading Model
  • Students who receive multiple years of the K-3 Reading Model demonstrate greater literacy growth and achievement than students who receive fewer years of the K-3 Reading Model – so effects are cumulative over time

“The transformation has been amazing.”

The Statewide Literacy Initiative

After the success of the pilot, the Connecticut K-3 Literacy Initiative was expanded to include more schools and districts. HILL for Literacy is a partner in CK3LI along with Literacy How, CBER, and the CT State Department of Education. In SY 14-15 we brought our literacy leadership training to many districts across the state. Participating schools are already reporting tremendous growth in their scores, and all of the organizations involved in Ck3LI are excited to continue working toward closing the achievement gap.

School Success Highlights

  • Andrew Avenue School reported that their Kindergartners went from 55% reading on benchmark at the beginning of the year to 95% at the end!
  • At Langford Elementary, kindergartners went from 36% reading on benchmark to 75% on benchmark by the end of the year.
  • One very happy teacher at Norris Elementary reported that her first grade class went from 25% reading on benchmark to 81% over the course of the year
  • At MD Fox, 70% of their kindergartners met benchmark this year!

“I feel since we’ve started with this project, the teachers have embraced it, these new leaders have surfaced in the building, and that’s what’s propelling us forward…As a result of the work that we’ve done, this collaboration is happening. They’re talking about kids, they’re talking about common assessments, they’re talking about student progress, things I haven’t seen them do in the past.”

Michelle LaVasseur

Principal, West Bristol School

“We’re seeing tremendous growth within our schools. They came in with a research-based system and it brought all the intangibles of effective practices, best practices, together for teachers in a very coherent way….We’re starting to see predictably positive trends in achievement over time. Kids are happy, teachers are happy, and we’re moving in the right direction. It’s terrific.”

Ed Orszulak

Principal, East Hartford Schools

How Can I Help My Community?

We don’t take the challenge of teaching kids to read lightly: according the 2013 NAEP results, 66% of 4th graders fail to read at grade level each year and we know that we can help them. How? Working with leadership-oriented principals and superintendents, and supported by the highest-quality literacy professionals in the nation, HILL for Literacy helps schools transform into efficient, systemic platforms for literacy excellence. Contact us to find out how we can help your school or district today, or click below to learn more about how you can support our programs in your community!