Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies


Contact:

Megan Ashbaugh
Early Literacy Specialist

(405) 521-3363

Melissa Ahlgrim
Director, Reading Sufficiency

(405) 522-1591

Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies

The Oklahoma State Department of Education is excited to announce a new initiative to support 10,000 K-3 educators with evidence-based practices for reading instruction. The Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies will provide sustained and job-embedded professional learning on the science of reading, at no cost to educators. The Science of Reading Academies will be based on the Langague Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling, or LETRS, learning modules. The Science of Reading academies will be offered to four different cohorts of educators over the next three years. Cohort 1 will begin in August 2021 and end in May 2023. See the timeline for additional cohorts below.

The Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies are part of the state's comprehensive plan, Oklahoma Ready Together: An Action Plan for Supporting Students Through the Pandemic and Beyond. The OSDE is using approximately $13 million in federal relief to fund the professional development provided through the academies.

For more information, see this informational document on the Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies.

Informational Webinar

An informational webinar was held August 10, 2021. The recording of this webinar, along with the slides, can be found below. 

Registering for the Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies

Registration for Cohort 2 is available now, and will close on January 7, 2022. To determine eligibility and gain an overview of the expectation and benefits associated with the Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies, view the recording of the Informational Webinar (above) and review the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Important Registration Dates for Cohort 2
Register from: Register to: Receive materials by:
September 28 November 10 December 10
November 11 December 10 January 12
December 11 January 5 February 2

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies?

The purpose of the Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies is to increase the reading outcomes for elementary students by providing quality, job-embedded professional learning on the science of reading to 10,000 elementary educators by the end of 2024. Funded through the American Recovery Plan, the Science of Reading Academies are available at no-cost to educators who work with students in kindergarten through third grade in Oklahoma public schools.

What is LETRS?

LETRS, or Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling, is a professional development program based on decades of research on effective early reading instruction. LETRS is not a curriculum for students, but is a program designed to help teachers use curriculum resources already available in their districts in a more effective way. LETRS is program agnostic, meaning the knowledge teachers gain can be applied to any evidence-based curriculum resource.

Who is eligible to participate in the Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies?

The Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies, along with the content of LETRS, is for educators who work with students in kindergarten through third grade in Oklahoma public schools. This includes general and special education teachers, reading specialists, administrators and those who teach English learners or in Title 1 schools. Educators who work with students in pre-kindergarten or with students in older grades with identified reading difficulties may attend if space allows.

Why should educators participate in the Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies?

Educators who complete the Science of Reading Academies will gain a rich understanding of how to meet the needs of students in their classrooms. Teachers who complete the Science of Reading Academies may also earn a micro-credential that will be placed on their teaching certificate. Districts may choose to provide stipends to teachers who complete the Science of Reading Academies. Whether or not a stipend is provided and the amount of the stipend is at the discretion of the district. Districts who are interested in providing this benefit may use federal relief funds (ESSER I, II, or III) or Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA) funds.

What will participants be expected to do?

Educators who register for the Science of Reading Academies are making a commitment to complete coursework over the next two years. This will involve about one hour per week to complete asynchronous coursework and apply that understanding through activities with students. At the end of each 6-8 week unit, there will be a live session with a facilitator to solidify concepts discussed in the unit. 

Suggested Pacing Guides

Cohort 1, Volume 1 (2021-2022) 

Cohort 2, Volume 1 (Spring 2022)

Pacing guides for additional cohorts will be published at a later date.

What materials will participants receive?

Participants will receive an email with information and login access to the online portal about 5-10 business days after registration. Participants will also receive two print books that accompany the online modules. These books will be shipped to the district office of participating educators. Participants will need to communicate with their district office to obtain the materials.

How do the live sessions work?

Towards the end of each unit, educators will participate in a live session with a facilitator. Four of the eight live sessions will be in person and last 6 hours, while the other four live sessions will be virtual and divided into two 3-hour sessions. Sessions will also be offered in the evenings and on the weekends for those who desire that option. If a substitute is required, the district will need to cover the cost.

What if an educator wants to enroll in the Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies but is not ready to start right away?

The Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies will include four cohorts. Participants may decide which cohort will work best for their schedule. At this time, only Cohort 1 is open for registration.

Is this still applicable for educators who participated in LETRS in the past?

The Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies are using LETRS 3rd Edition for this professional development. LETRS modules offered through OSDE in the past have been through a previous edition and a different learning format. The research for LETRS 3rd Edition is updated and there are more opportunities for application of learning. This opportunity would be applicable for those who have already participated in some LETRS modules in the past. Those who participated in previous LETRS training and also participated in the LETRS 3rd Edition conveyed they were able to make deeper connections and found it to be a valuable experience.

Can educators who have completed LETRS 3rd Edition Volume 1 go straight to Volume 2?

If an educator has completed Volume 1 for LETRS 3rd Edition, please send a copy of the certificate of completion to Megan Ashbaugh at megan.ashbaugh@sde.ok.gov.  

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Last updated on October 7, 2021