• Gather advice regarding PreK-12 Literacy instruction that is focused on developing Readers and Writers and Effective Communicators as stated in the Bellingham Promise.
  • Meet two to three times a year to address issues related to literacy standards, instruction and assessment, and professional development needs.
  • Communicate findings to affected stakeholders.

Basis for Establishment:

  • To increase opportunities for teachers, principals and Department of Teaching and Learning to collectively collaborate around the development of readers, writers and effective communicators as stated in the Bellingham Promise.
  • To create an ongoing process for addressing standards, instruction and assessment decisions, alignment and communication regarding literacy instruction.
  • To advise regarding needs and priorities in literacy.

Decision-Making Process:

  • This group will make any necessary decisions based on a consensus of those present and primarily serve in an advisory capacity to Department of Teaching and Learning and the Superintendent.

Plan of Work:

  • Convene committee to understand the scope of the work of the year (and ongoing).
  • Understand how the Developing Readers, Writers and Effective Communicators Advisory group relates to other Teaching and Learning Advisory groups and the Bellingham Promise.
  • Review recent research on best practices in literacy.
  • Analyze current assessment data.
  • Examine current state, local and other related standards, assessments and instructional implications.
  • Collect feedback from staff, students and parents, as needed.


  • Rotating/staggered memberships: Three-year, two-year and one-year memberships will be established at each level, so that we can have an ongoing advisory group over time without losing momentum
  • Eight elementary teachers: two PreK-1; two second or third grade teachers and two fourth or fifth grade teachers, one literacy intervention teacher from across the system.
  • Four middle school teachers: one from each middle school. Ideally balancing for each grade level.
  • Four high school teachers: representing different schools.
  • Charisse Berner, Director of Teaching and Learning – Co-chair
  • Dawn Christiana, Director of Teaching and Learning– Co-chair


  • Communicate and make public all meeting agendas and minutes
  • Director of Teaching and Learning shares outcomes with DTL team to surface potential impact on priorities across the system.


Budget Implications:

  • The advisory group may recommend that a review committee be formed to address significant curricular needs.