Action Step and Orientation

S1. Evaluate the level of implementation of the Texas State Literacy Plan (TSLP).

The TSLP is a tool for school improvement. The Action Steps and Indicators of the LASERS framework describe the practices and systems that support high quality literacy instruction.

TSLP graphic

Sustainability is woven throughout all the components of the LASERS framework as the main focus of the Level D descriptors in each Action Step of the first five components. That level, and the Sustainability component itself, center on continuously evaluating effectiveness and implementing systems to maintain progress toward literacy goals. This lesson focuses on updating and evaluating your level of implementation of the TSLP to sustain and build upon your progress.

Part 1 of this lesson explains how to generate or update your implementation plan and your Implementation Map to set priorities for improving student literacy achievement.

Part 2 presents important considerations in planning for increased sustainability.

To get started, download the Implementation Guide for this component and refer to the Action Step for this lesson. Review the Implementation Indicators for each level of implementation and note the Sample Evidence listed at the bottom of the chart.

Part 1—Implementing the TSLP

For participants who have completed other modules of this TSLP online course, you will notice this lesson connects to and reviews important ideas you saw in other modules. Because Sustainability is woven throughout the LASERS components of the TSLP, it is appropriate to think about how to sustain your efforts at the beginning and at key decision points along your school’s literacy reform journey.

As your school implements the TSLP, you and your leadership team will need to

  • create an Implementation Map and implementation plan based on the realities of where your school is now;
  • communicate with all staff, letting them know what the expectations are for implementing the initiatives and activities in the plan and what support is available for meeting the expectations; and
  • update both the Implementation Map and your implementation plan by evaluating progress regularly, adjusting your priorities and focus, and determining next steps based on progress or newly identified needs.

The implementation guides for Action Steps S1 and S2 have only Levels A through C because reaching Full Implementation with Fidelity of Sustainability is the ultimate goal; Level D would be redundant here.

The Implementation Inventory is designed to be completed by your team so that the assessment reflects the result of group discussions and reflections on the literacy work currently happening at your campus. Maintaining established meeting times throughout the year helps you and your team have these discussions regularly.

An implementation plan outlines how you and your staff will work on a particular Action Step. Your team selects an Action Step to focus on by reviewing your current data and discussing this question:

Which Action Step will act as the greatest lever for improving support for students?

You can answer this question using the six-step “TSLP Implementation Process: Working on an Action Step,” which guides you to prioritize an Action Step and create an implementation plan.

Part 2—Increasing Sustainability

In a study by Century and Levy (2002), sustainability is defined as “the ability of a program to maintain its core beliefs and values and use them to guide program adaptations to changes and pressures over time” (p. 3). You and your team will want to consider how you can sustain and increase practices that are aligned to your literacy goals and the guidelines laid out in the TSLP.

Sustainability of practices is particularly a concern when temporary funding is used to support improved practices. Ideally, conversations about sustainability take place as use of temporary funds is planned, and they continue throughout a grant or temporary funding period, not just as the end of the funding is approaching. You can see examples of ways to build sustainability in Level D of each Action Step except those in the Sustainability module, which has only Levels A through C.

There are common threads throughout Level D in the Leadership, Assessment, Standards-Based Instruction, Effective Instructional Framework, and Reporting and Accountability components. You will notice that some Indicators in Level D focus on establishing systems for monitoring progress toward literacy goals and evaluating the effectiveness of literacy initiatives. Others focus on establishing written policies and procedures to share when there are personnel changes. Professional development is a strong thread throughout the TSLP, and in Level D, you are reminded to provide professional development to new staff to ensure that all staff members have the capacity to implement the practices and skills targeted in your literacy improvement efforts.

As this process progresses, the culture of the organization can be transformed. “The new way” becomes “the accepted way” and eventually becomes “the way we do education here in our school, district, or state” (Fixsen & Paine, 2009, p.14).

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TO LEARN MORE: The U.S. Department of Education has published a series of briefs on a variety of topics concerning sustainability.

Sustainability Advanced Seminar: Facilitation Guide for District and School Leaders provides resources and tools for district and school personnel whose responsibilities include increasing reading achievement.

Implementation: Promising Practices to Sustained Results explores several approaches to implementation and offers guidance on why strong implementation is needed not only for achieving initial success, but also for sustaining improved outcomes over time.

You can find these resources, among others, here.

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NEXT STEPS: Depending on your progress in implementing the TSLP, you may want to consider the following next steps:

  • Use the six-step “TSLP Implementation Process: Working on an Action Step” and, as a team, create or update a TSLP implementation plan for your school.
  • Communicate your plan with all stakeholders and involve staff in executing your plan.
  • Maintain a regular meeting schedule for your campus-based leadership team to evaluate progress toward goals and plan for next steps.
  • Review Level D in each Action Step and determine what systems need to be established or reviewed and what policies and procedures need further development.

Assignment

S1. Evaluate the level of implementation of the Texas State Literacy Plan (TSLP).

With your site/campus-based leadership team, review your team’s self-assessed rating for Action Step S1 in the TSLP Implementation Status Ratings document and then respond to the four questions in the assignment.

TSLP Implementation Status Ratings 6-12

As you complete your assignment with your team, the following resources and information from this lesson’s content may be useful to you:

  • Refer to Part 1 for an explanation of generating or updating your implementation plan and your Implementation Map to set priorities for improving student literacy achievement.
  • Refer to Part 2 for important considerations in planning for increased sustainability.

Next Steps also contains suggestions that your campus may want to consider when you focus your efforts on this Action Step.

To record your responses, go to the Assignment template for this lesson and follow the instructions.

References

Century, J. R., & Levy, A. J. (2002). Sustaining your reform: Five lessons from research. Benchmarks: Quarterly Newsletter of the National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform, 3(3), 1–7.

Fixsen, D., & Paine, S. (2009). Implementation: Promising practices to sustained results. Sustaining Reading First, 5, 1–16.