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Supt. Woods announces placement of literacy coaches in elementary schools with highest need, adoption of state literacy coaching standards

Click here for the list of schools where full-time literacy coaches will be funded.

​February 15, 2024 – The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) will place 60 full-time literacy coaches in elementary schools throughout the state, focusing on the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools, State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced today.

These school-level coaches will ensure an intensive focus on literacy in schools identified for additional support, as part of GaDOE's broader tiered coaching model which will place regional coaches throughout the state.

Through this tiered and tailored model, teachers and leaders throughout the state will receive proven, nationally recognized training in structured literacy and the science of reading.

Georgia will also adopt the proven literacy coaching standards utilized with success by the Florida Department of Education. These standards, which detail the knowledge and abilities necessary for successful literacy coaching, will be used in the training and development of Georgia's regional and school-level coaches.

“We are focused on improving literacy outcomes for every student, ​in every school across our state," Superintendent Woods said. “Our goal is to create a truly statewide literacy coaching model – leveraging the talented teachers and leaders already in place in districts and schools, and targeting intensive supports where they're most needed. The coaches announced today will work directly with the schools in greatest need of improvement and ensure they have the resources to deliver high-quality early literacy instruction to every child."

The state's coaching model is designed to leverage the efforts of locally hired literacy and instructional coaches throughout the state, while providing a unified statewide framework and pushing in additional supports where needed.

“Georgia's school improvement model is focused on providing foundational resources, professional learning, and targeted technical assistance for every school, while working directly with underperforming schools to offer more direct and intensive supports," said Dr. Stephanie Johnson, GaDOE Deputy Superintendent for School and District Improvement. “That same model – which has demonstrated and documented success – will be the underpinning of Georgia's literacy coaching initiative, ensuring that every school is prepared to offer high-quality literacy instruction."

Georgia's Statewide Coaching Model is overseen by Dr. J. Nicholas Philmon, who played an integral role in the development of structured literacy practices in Marietta City Schools. Dr. Philmon will work with a design team of experts to create a detailed coaching plan, direct the hiring process for regional literacy support coaches and the 60 school-level coaches, and provide training to regional and school-level coaches and educators throughout the state.

This work will complement and directly support GaDOE's partnership with the Rollins Center for Language & Literacy to provide literacy courses for K-5 teachers and leaders along with a two-year literacy leadership cohort.