Aug 7, 2020

How to Strengthen Home-School Partnerships for Remote Literacy Learning 

Sarah Sayko
Technical Assistance Specialist

As the global coronavirus pandemic continues, many districts will offer virtual, remote, or hybrid schooling models in the Fall.  Districts are actively planning the design and delivery of instruction within new models.  NCIL’s newly released online implementation toolkit on Remote Literacy Learning helps schools and families join efforts to support children’s literacy growth in remote or blended learning environments. 

The Remote Literacy Learning toolkit is especially important for children with, or at risk for, literacy-related disabilities during and following the pandemic. Children with disabilities are likely to have regressed more than others during COVID-related school shutdowns and distance learning. Now, more than ever, it’s essential that schools provide students with disabilities an education that is based on evidence and uses principles of effective instruction, regardless of the mode of instruction.  For literacy, this includes explicit and systematic instruction focused on the five big ideas of reading (phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension). Many features of effective reading instruction and intervention may still be successfully delivered in a distance learning setting. 

Home-school partnerships are the foundation of the toolkit. Through engagement with the toolkit, school staff and families will learn:

  • Features of remote literacy learning;
  • Roles that schools and families play;
  • Tips for planning and implementing remote literacy learning; and
  • Coaching steps to support literacy learning at home.

The overview section has an NCIL infographic and curated resources that provide guidance for how schools and families can effectively work together for remote literacy learning.  Other sections include NCIL Improving Literacy briefs and infographics that explain essential partnership conditions and include links to resources that give more information on the identified practices - such as examples, activities, and lessons. An infographic--Remote Literacy Learning: Coaching Steps for Families--  explains the principles of effective instruction and instructional delivery scaffolding in family-friendly ways.  We hope the new Remote Literacy Learning toolkit will be a useful and relevant resource to schools and families during these uncertain times.

-Sarah Sayko, Ed.D., Deputy Director NCIL and also works with Regions 4 and 8

The National Center on Improving Literacy (NCIL) is a partnership among literacy experts, university researchers, and technical assistance providers, with funding from the United States Department of Education. Our mission is to increase access to, and use of, evidence-based approaches to screen, identify, and teach students with literacy-related disabilities, including dyslexia.