• Participate in a PK-2 Foundational Skills program review and adoption process for grades PK-2 Foundational Skills materials.

Basis for Establishment:

  • Our current adopted foundational skills curriculum was published in 2003, is outdated, not aligned with current Washington State Standards, and not used by most teachers.
  • Research supports the need for systematic, explicit instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics for students to become proficient readers and writers.
  • In 2018-19, recommendations from elementary principals, the Understanding and Serving Students with Dyslexia Advisory Group and participants of the Foundational Literacy Skills AdHoc Committee all prioritized implementing a foundational skills curriculum.

Decision-Making Process:

  • Advisory group to the superintendent.
  • Recommend Foundational Literacy Skills materials for grades PK-2.

Plan of Work:

  • Establish representative committee
  • Establish stakeholder groups (teachers, principals, Department of Teaching and Learning, community members).
  • Establish criteria for materials selection
  • Review evidence-based curricula against criteria.
  • Review presentations from publishers for finalist curricula.
  • Gather input from stakeholders throughout the process.
  • Present final recommendation to the superintendent.


The committee will consist of 17-20 regular members. Committee members will be selected to include representation from K-2 teachers, literacy intervention teachers, and special education resource teachers room with representation from all 14 elementary schools.

  • Stephanie Korn, Director of Teaching and Learning, co-chair
  • Charisse Berner, Director of Teaching and Learning, co-chair
  • Sharece Steinkamp, Principal, Geneva
  • Pam Pottle, Principal, Northern Heights
  • Nina Ballew, Early Childhood Specialist
  • Megan Cooley, Kindergarten Teacher, Birchwood
  • Kyla Stefani, Kindergarten Teacher, Northern Heights
  • Karin Otterholt, Kindergarten Teacher, Roosevelt
  • Julie Johnson, 1st Grade Teacher, Parkview
  • Sarah Rose, 1st Grade Teacher, Alderwood
  • Julie Sargent O’Connell, 1st Grade Teacher, Geneva
  • Jennifer Wilkinson, 2nd Grade Teacher, Alderwood
  • Sarah Snyder, 2nd Grade Teacher, Lowell
  • Quinn Reno, 2nd Grade Teacher, Cordata
  • Jodi Kinzel, Literacy Intervention Teacher, Carl Cozier
  • Analisa Ficklin, Special Education Administrator
  • Sara Buetow, Parent/ Community Member
  • Stephanie Strachan, Parent/Community Member, Wade King
  • Ex-officio member: Kristi Dominguez, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning


  • Attend committee meetings and report back to constituents as needed
  • Actively participate as a representative of your stakeholder group including sharing feedback and collecting information as needed.


  • Advertise group early January 2020, selection by Feb. 6, 2020.
  • March 2020 to May 2020 group meetings.


  • Six meetings from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., specific meeting topics may shift over the course of the meetings as a result of the process.
  • Meeting 1 – March 3: Clarify scope of work and timelines, establish norms, develop vision and philosophy aligned to The Bellingham Promise, establish screening criteria.




PowerPoint Presentation

  • Meeting 2 – March 23: Screen materials, identify no more than 3 semi-finalists, create staff and community feedback form.
  • Meeting 3 – March 24: Screen materials, identify no more than 3 semi-finalists, create staff and community feedback form.
  • Meeting 4 – March 31: Publisher’s presentations.
  • Meeting 5 – April 28: Examine semi-finalists using rubric, review feedback, make recommendation, complete Instructional Materials Committee paperwork including bias screening.
  • Meeting 6 – May 5: Additional meeting date if needed.

Budget Implications:

  • Substitute reimbursements and costs for outside of workday for committee meetings
  • This committee’s recommendation will result in budget allocations required to purchase materials and provide professional development that can be provided through LAP funding.