Vision, mission, and pillars

The Literacy Collaborative vision, mission, and four pillars are intended to inform and support personnel who are responsible for the implementation and maintenance of Literacy Collaborative schools and classrooms. The vision, mission, and four pillars are based on research of effective practice and are essential for assuring quality implementation of the Literacy Collaborative.


Teaching for a literate life for all children


Investing in building educator capacity through professional learning to ensure the best preparation for the future of children


  • Collective ownership of student outcomes
  • Commitment to research-based instructional practices
  • Utilize data-driven teaching and decision-making
  • Investment in building evidence-based professional capacity

The four pillars of Literacy Collaborative

Pillar 1: Collective ownership of student outcomes

Educators create a common vision for literacy learning in the school, collaborating in teamwork and shared leadership.

Teamwork for literacy

Educators in the school work as one team responsible for the literacy outcomes of all children. Within the school community, educators form specific action groups for different purposes. Time is dedicated for literacy problem-solving, data analysis, and the implementation of Literacy Collaborative.

The School Literacy Leadership Team may include, but is not limited to:

  • Literacy coach
  • School administrators (principal, assistant principal, etc.)
  • Grade level representatives
  • Intervention specialists
  • School psychologist
  • School counselor

Educators strive to create a home-community-school partnership working together toward a common vision. The School Literacy Leadership Team communicates progress toward the common vision with interested groups including teachers, school administrators, families, community members, the board of education, etc.

Pillar 2: Commitment to research-based instructional practices

Educators commit to implementing a coherent set of research-based instructional practices.

Core instructional language and literacy practices

The Literacy Collaborative Comprehensive Literacy Framework includes a set of research-based instructional practices.

  • Students will have daily opportunities to think, talk, read, and write while engaging in whole group, small group, and individualized instruction
  • Teachers have daily opportunities to monitor student achievement and respond with immediate instruction. The Literacy Collaborative Comprehensive Literacy Framework includes:
    • Interactive Read-Aloud (Clay, 2004; Fountas & Pinnell, 2019; Hudson & Test, 2011; Kindle, 2009; Lennox, 2013)
      • Comprehending, Listening, Speaking, Discussing, and Interacting with texts (Beck & McKeown, 2001; Rosenblatt, 1986)
      • Learning through Inquiry and Integrating the Curriculum (Costley, 2015; Drake, 1993; Sandoval, 2005)
    • Shared / Interactive Writing (McCarrier, 2000; McKenzie, 1985)
    • Shared Reading (Button, Johnson, & Furgerson, 1996; Holdaway, 1979; Hundley & Powell, 1999)
    • Reading Workshop (Clay, 1991; Fountas & Pinnell, 1996/2016; Holdaway, 1979; NAEP, 2008)
      • Reading minilessons
      • Guided reading / book clubs
      • Independent reading / conferencing
      • Share
    • Writing Workshop (Anderson, 2018; Calkins, 2017; Heard, 2013; Ray, 2004)
      • Writing minilessons
      • Guided and independent writing / conferencing
      • Share
    • Word Study Workshop (Fountas & Pinnell, 2019; Ganske, 2000/2008; Henderson, 1990; Kaye, 2007; NICHD, 2000; Tempelton & Bear, 1992; Zutell, 1996/2000)
      • Explicit phonics / spelling / word study
      • Application / conference
      • Share
    • Ongoing Monitoring of Student Progress (Clay, 1991; Lyons & Moats, 2007; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998)
      • Assessment
      • Responsive teaching

Pillar 3: Utilize data-driven teaching and decision-making

Educators use student data to document growth over time, to reflect on the effectiveness of teaching and learning, and to inform decision-making.

Assessment and data

Schools engage in an ongoing process of data collection, analysis, and use. Educators use a variety of data sources to guide teaching, monitor student literacy growth, and inform implementation decisions. Educators meet regularly to review student data and make timely recommendations.

A variety of data sources may include:

  • Student level data
    • Classroom observation and assessment
      • Authentic literacy assessments may include:
        • Records of reading accuracy, fluency, self-correction, and comprehension
        • Documentation of early literacy behaviors
        • Phonics, spelling, word solving analysis
        • Student writing analysis
    • District / state assessments
  • School / district level data
    • School improvement plans
    • Program evaluation
    • Collaborative inquiry cycles
    • Action rResearch

Multi-tiered systems of support

Supplemental intervention for some children is essential for them to achieve successful literacy outcomes. Intervention is provided in addition to classroom literacy instruction and includes reading, writing and/or phonics instruction based on the individual needs of students.

  • The evidence-based (Ohio’s Evidence-Based Clearinghouse, 2020), short-term interventions coherent with the design of Literacy Collaborative are Reading Recovery (1st grade) and Leveled Literacy Intervention (Grades K‑8).
  • Other short-term and long-term support services should be made available by the school based on individual student need in the form of specialist services as determined by school personnel.
  • A team of educators meet regularly to review student data and make timely recommendations for appropriate intervention services.

Pillar 4: Investment in building evidence-based professional capacity

Educators engage in a variety of ongoing, job-embedded professional learning opportunities.

Professional learning

Literacy Collaborative is an evidence-based (Biancarosa, Bryk, & Dexter, 2010) professional learning project where educators value continuous professional learning and commit to being active members of a learning community

  • Coaches and literacy leaders play key roles in facilitating the development of literacy expertise in the school.
  • Responsive, ongoing, job-embedded professional learning is tailored to the needs of the adult learning community and the children they serve.
    • In-depth ongoing literacy training for teachers is designed to develop knowledge of the content that underlies the core instructional contexts that are necessary to develop readers and writers.
    • Educators arrange for and commit to a systematic professional learning plan that includes a predetermined number of days per year.
    • Professional learning days may, for instance, range from 10-40 hours per year, determined by:
      • Student literacy needs
      • Teacher literacy expertise
      • School literacy vision
      • District literacy initiatives
    • Professional learning is expanded through a variety of structures to build professional capacity, which may include:
      • Whole staff professional learning sessions
      • Grade level professional learning sessions
      • Book and lesson studies
      • Inquiry studies / action research
      • Other
  • Professional learning is expanded through a variety of regularly scheduled coaching structures, which may include:
    • One-to-one coaching
    • Cluster coaching
    • Peer observation and reflection

The role of the Literacy Collaborative coach

Educational improvement requires teamwork, a shared vision, systemic change, and ongoing professional learning. Literacy Coaches are stakeholders who work collaboratively to ensure teacher growth and student achievement.

Literacy Collaborative coach qualifications

  • The literacy coach holds a full time position.
  • The literacy coach candidate provides evidence of successful teaching appropriate for his/her assignment.
  • The literacy coach candidate will have a master’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • The literacy coach candidate will be interviewed and accepted by the school district.

Literacy Collaborative coach training

Coach(es) commit to a blended training model across the school year including:

  • Preparing the coach for implementing the Literacy Collaborative Comprehensive Literacy Framework
  • Preparing the coach for coaching across grade levels
  • Preparing the coach for designing and facilitating on-site professional learning
  • Participating in a hybrid training model consisting of:
    • On-site training at The Ohio State University
    • Online training
    • Site visits with a Literacy Collaborative University Trainer
  • Teaching students using the Literacy Collaborative Comprehensive Literacy Framework
  • Completing training assignments

Literacy Collaborative coach training and beyond

  • Work with the school leadership team to guide, monitor, and communicate the implementation of Literacy Collaborative and student achievement (see Pillar 1)
  • Provide whole group, small group and individual professional learning opportunities for the staff using The Literacy Collaborative Comprehensive Literacy Framework
  • Teach students using The Literacy Collaborative Comprehensive Literacy Framework
  • Contribute to problem-solving and decision-making related to assessment and data (see Pillar 3)

Literacy Collaborative ongoing professional learning for literacy coaches beyond the training year

Coaches commit to six days (three in the fall and three in the spring) that include:

  • Refining classroom teaching practices
  • Refining coaching and professional learning practices
  • Developing new understandings related to implementation
  • Developing the school system through sharing progress and inviting administrator stakeholders

Plans for and participates in a minimum of two site visits by the Literacy Collaborative University Trainer that include:

  • Supporting high quality implementation
  • Providing a shared experience around coaching, reflection, problem solving, and refinement of classroom practice
  • Providing opportunity for collaboration with administration, coach, and Literacy Collaborative University Trainer