• Select a Common Core Literacy resource for use in all K-5 classrooms

Basis for Establishment:

  • Student achievement in the area of reading has shown a decline over the last three to five years
  • The Bellingham School District has engaged in the National Response to Intervention Initiative, which is a literacy-based initiative focused on effective core instruction as the first tier of instruction.
  • All kindergarten through fifth grade teachers were surveyed in spring 2010 and results indicated a lack of resources, consistency and a need for support
  • Research in highly effective schools and districts demonstrate a need for a shared vision and common alignment of instructional practice

Decision Making:

  • Consultative to the Director of Curriculum and Instructional Technology by committee members using the processes of consensus and input/feedback to provide a recommendation
  • Consultative work via Literacy Steering Committee, Literacy Advisory Committee, Administrative Team and via surveys to all elementary staff.


  • October 2010: Waver Day engage all K-5 staff in introduction to Common Core Standards and a need for district alignment
  • October-December 2010: Steering Committee meets with all potential resource company representatives
  • January 2011: Potential resource options shared with Administrative Team, Literacy Advisory Committee
  • January-June: Bellingham Literacy Information Posts (BLIPs) with updates, current research and links for potential resources sent via e-mail to all elementary staff and A-BLIPS (Administrative Bellingham Literacy Information Posts) shared at monthly administrative meetings
  • January-June 2011:  Literacy Advisory Facilitators meet with all involved departments and committees (ELL, SPED, Title I, RtI, Parent Advisory, Assessment Department)
  • January-June 2011:  Regular and ongoing surveys conducted of elementary staff to determine universal understanding, need and priorities
  • January-May 2011:  Subcommittees research:
    •  Comprehensive assessment comparing the Benchmark Assessment System and the Developmental Reading Assessment 2nd Edition
    • Leveled bookrooms across the district considering quality, quantity, use and needs
  • February2011:  Literacy Advisory Committee previews potential resources and determines alignment to Bellingham School District constructivist philosophy of balanced literacy
  • February 2011:  District Open House for all elementary staff to preview materials and discuss with Literacy Advisory Facilitators
  • March 2011:  Waver Day engage all K-5 staff in previewing materials with vendor representatives present for question and answer
  • March 2011:  Share information with Parent Advisory Council
  • April 2011:  Literacy Advisory Committee researches effectiveness of potential resources in other districts via phone calls, e-mails and site visits
  • April 2011:  Final sales presentation to the Literacy Advisory Committee of potential resources resulting in recommendation to Director of Curriculum
  • April 2011:  Families invited to preview selected resources
  • May 2011:  Recommendation shared with administrators and submitted to Superintendent for the approval process

Committee Members:

Literacy Advisory Facilitators:  Two teachers facilitate adoption process and renewed focus on literacy

Literacy Steering Committee: Six teachers, three administrators and Curriculum Department Teacher on Special Assignment

Literacy Advisory Committee:  A minimum of two representatives from each elementary school with representation from primary, intermediate, special education, district literacy or Title I literacy specialist

Responsibilities of Committee Members:

  • Regular meeting attendance
  • Communicate the content of the meetings and gather input from school staff as requested by the committee
  • Respectful and collaborative interactions with committee members


  • Communicate the purpose of the committee to district
  • Committee members serve as key communicators for the groups they represent
  • Post pertinent information on the district website
  • Use regular and ongoing surveys to communicate information and gather input
  • Provide monthly newsletters with current research and status of literacy adoption
  • Use district communication process to inform stakeholders of committee outcomes

Specific Meeting Schedule:

  • Meet during the school year
  • Literacy Advisory dates: 9/28, 10/7 Waiver Day, 2/15, 3/29, 4/18
  • Others scheduled as needed

Budget Implications:

  • Instructional materials
  • Support for staff to meet, including release time, printing, etc.
    • Common Core Curriculum Resource meetings
    • Revising and updating Literacy Guide
    • Evaluating and Assessing Leveled Libraries across the district
    • Comparing comprehensive assessments
  • Support for creation of electronic online access to revised Literacy Guide.
  • Professional development for district staff regarding common core resource, alignment and balanced literacy.

Related Document:

March 31, 2011: K-5 Parent Advisory