The Baltimore City Public Schools’ Blueprint for Success lays out a plan for how we will move towards our goal of building a generation of young people with the skills, knowledge, and understanding to succeed in college, careers, and their community. Literacy is a focus area in this plan. Literacy in its fullest sense encompasses understanding and analyzing spoken and written texts from fiction and poetry to speeches, primary source documents in history, scientific research papers, news reports, opinion pieces, and more, in both print and digital form. It involves synthesizing information from multiple sources and subjects to solve real-world problems. It includes understanding modes of expression that are appropriate in different settings and being able to harness them to create clear, compelling, and powerful written and spoken texts of all kinds, from evidence-based essays to oral presentations to creative works in print and online. This is the literacy our students want and deserve in order to access what interests them, and it is what they need for success not only in all school subjects, but in careers and in life.
In 2018, as part of our plan to increase teacher capacity and student achievement in literacy, City Schools created 20 literacy coach positions to work in 20 Intensive Learning Sites (ILS) - schools that focus deeply on the literacy practices of teachers, with the goal of lifting all student achievement in literacy. Literacy Coach is a 12-month (i.e., year-round) position.
For the 2019-2020 school year, City Schools seeks 20 additional Literacy Coaches for newly identified ILS. Each Literacy Coach will serve in a non-evaluative role that supports the development of teachers and teacher teams through teacher reflection, learning, and decision making aimed at creating agency and capacity. Each Literacy Coach has deep knowledge of the curriculum and literacy instruction and are trained in partnership with the New Teacher Center (NTC) to plan and facilitate cycles leveraging the NTC framework. The role of our Literacy Coaches is helping to create optimal learning environments for instruction while focusing explicitly on the promotion of literacy skills for the young people of our City.