Metro Schools Lays Blueprint for Driving Literacy Achievement



National literacy data indicates that 37 percent of fourth-grade students and 36 percent of eighth-grade students are not scoring at- or above-proficiency (source: 2017 NAEP). In Nashville, two out of three third graders aren’t reading on grade level by 3rd grade – an indicator which can pre-determine a student’s future successes many years into the future. These sobering statistics are the reasons literacy instruction is a priority in Metro Schools.

Enter Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Comprehensive Literacy Plan – the district’s blueprint to improving student achievement, specifically literacy. This plan was developed with input from multiple groups and is now being rolled-out district-wide. Review the entire plan from cover-to-cover here.

“This is an open invitation to our entire community to learn more about what literacy is, what it can and should look like within classrooms and how each of us can help develop our students,” said Chief Academic Officer Dr. Monique Felder, chair of the literacy advisory council. “We believe with a shared vision and equal dedication, our laser-focused literacy efforts will shift student achievement.”

The literacy plan is built on the foundation of advanced literacy, which emphasizes critical thinking, knowledge building and communication to provide students with skills that increase their access to opportunities and foster a lifelong interest in reading and writing. Through a collection of seven hallmarks, educators, families and community members alike are encouraged to help students build the skills they need to tap into academic opportunities.

Literacy goes beyond reading and writing. A strategic, interdisciplinary approach to advanced literacy works to encourage knowledge building across all content instruction, a sentiment that Dr. Paula Pendergrass, an advanced academics resource teacher, echoed.

“Literacy is the foundation that connects all disciplines of study,” said Pendergrass. “It connects reading to mathematics, mathematics to science, science to the arts, etc. Most importantly, it has the power to open doors of opportunities for all of our students.”

Over the next year, we’ll continue to unpack the district’s literacy efforts as we march towards the same goal: all students reading on grade level by 3rd grade by the year 2025.