The New Mexico Public Education Department partners with educators, communities, and families to ensure that all students are healthy, secure in their identity, and holistically prepared for college, career, and life.
In taking active steps toward the realization of this vision statewide, The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) applied and was awarded a $40 million Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant (CLSD) from the U.S. Department of Education. The state awarded approximately $38 million to 11 Local Education Associations across New Mexico to support literacy efforts, with the remaining funds devoted to statewide training and technical assistance to support local grantees.
The overall goal of the CLSD grant is to improve the pre-literacy skills of children under 5 years of age and significantly increase the percentage of elementary, middle, and high school students meeting the state’s language and literacy standards especially those who are economically disadvantaged and traditionally underserved. Additionally, the grant aims to increase family engagement in schools by 30%.
NM CLSD Sub-Grantees have been working toward these goals by:
- purchasing and implementing evidence-based rigorous curriculum for K-12 English/Language Arts courses.
- increasing the numbers of reading intervention teachers so that all students can be supported to learn to read.
- providing ample and high-quality professional development opportunities for teachers through training and coaching.
- developing programs, events, and activities for families to engage in school and learning.
Highlights of CLSD Grantee projects from Year 4
Alamogordo Public Schools focused on providing a plethora of materials as well as professional development to support their teachers last year. They ensured that every classroom had materials that support structured literacy instruction and multi-modal learning. They also enriched each classroom with new books and book sets.
Additionally, the grant allowed them to provide professional development for teachers to ensure that teachers are ready to implement new materials effectively, focus on structured literacy and embed literacy learning into subject areas in the secondary grades.
APS has developed family engagement events and activities that have involved 70% of the parents in the district.
The Presbyterian Ear Institute (PEI), the Albuquerque Sign Language Academy (ASLA) and ACE Leadership High School formed a partnership focused on serving students whose needs have not been met through traditional schooling. These include deaf and hard of hearing students, students with other special needs and high school students who thrive with hands-on, project-based learning focused on job skills. They have used CLSD funds to develop and support increasing literacy proficiency hiring Reading Interventionists, professional development for teachers, and supplemental materials at all three schools.
ASLA used funds in part to purchase new and updated curriculum supporting structured literacy including Fundations and Just Words. These are used with visual phonics for deaf and hard of hearing students.
At PEI, CLSD funds have been used to purchase LENA devices. These are worn by infants and young children to monitor the amount and quality of language that is occurring around the child. The family engagement specialist then meets with the family to discuss ways to increase the amount and quality of language to which the child is exposed.
CLSD funds have supported a new Curriculum and Instruction Director and a reading interventionist at ACE High School. They have worked to create and implement school-wide literacy strategies that are embedded within all projects.
Bernalillo used their CLSD grant to hire six Literacy Specialists/Interventionists who are working in the high school, middle school and two elementary schools. Last year, BPS adopted new ELA core curriculum which supports structured literacy for K through 8th grade. They focused on strengthening their Layer 1 instruction through intensive professional development on this new curriculum.
Bernalillo Schools has had huge success engaging families through the CLSD grant. Their fall event last year included over 1,000 people.
Cobre Schools used their grant to hire Reading Coaches, Reading Interventionists, a Family Engagement Coordinator, an Early Childhood Coach and two Educational Assistants. These positions support the implementation of new curriculum and evidence-based intervention supports. They also purchased and implemented new curriculum for grades K-12. They provided structured literacy training for all teachers.
Cobre Schools have seen their kindergarten readiness scores rise to 92%. Additionally, the numbers of students proficient in reading in grades K-5 have risen significantly above state averages over the past year.
Through the work of the Family Engagement Coordinator, Cobre Schools have increased family participation in district events to 84%.
Hondo Valley Schools used their CLSD grant funds to hire two Literacy Interventionists to support struggling students. Additionally, they created a literacy family program for parents of children ages birth through age 3. Other grant funded supports include coaching and professional development opportunities for teachers. They are in the process of implementing new English/Language Arts curriculum. For the past year they have provided an afterschool literacy program and a summer program for students.
Las Cruces Schools have used their CLSD grant to hire an Early Childhood Music Teacher, as well as to provide literacy and intervention coaching for teachers and to purchase curriculum and materials.
One highlight of their program was the Literacy Extravaganza held last spring in downtown Las Cruces. 251 families participated in the event. The success of family engagement events last year prompted them to begin the process of working toward Family Engaged Schools Certification for all schools across the district.
Last year, the Las Cruces CLSD Literacy Coaches provided teachers with 292 Professional Learning Community Sessions, 205 professional development opportunities, modeling/coaching for 110 teachers and further support for 137 teachers.
Los Lunas Schools used their CLSD grant to support Literacy Innovation Coaches across the district. These coaches provide support for teachers to implement new rigorous curriculum through training, materials, and modeling lessons. They created partnerships with seven local day care providers who are now working with early literacy programs, creating parent lending libraries, and increasing school readiness.
The district has developed “All Learner Days” for teachers to collaborate on implementation of their literacy plan. Additionally, the grant allowed them to provide comprehensive structured literacy professional development for all teachers as well as purchase many professional learning books for the faculty.
The district has also been successful in increasing parent participation in school literacy events. Last year there was an average attendance of between 16-50% of parents at events in semester 1, whereas in semester 2 that increased to over 60% family attendance at school events.
Portales Municipal Schools continue to focus on improving reading proficiency with support from the CLSD Grant. They used their funds to support a team of reading interventionists across the district. Some highlights of their program include the creation of Bright Beginnings, an educational toy lending library for young families, strong intervention support at all grade levels, effective coaching, and professional development for teachers in all grades. Additionally, PMS created a district wide family engagement program that has united their campuses and increased community involvement in the schools.
The grant has allowed them to provide evidence-based interventions to over 40 students each week in the birth to 5 age range, over 60 students daily in grades K-6 and over 40 students daily in grades 7-12.
For the fall semester 2022, they reported that 61% of families attended at least one school sponsored event. Additionally, their family engagement specialist has made over 40 contacts monthly with families regarding support with attendance, student needs and transportation.
Santa Fe Public Schools continued to develop literacy K-12 through new curriculum, professional development for teachers, coaching and the development of biliteracy programs. Highlights of last year include a huge increase in activities offered for families resulting in an increase in parent involvement across the district. Over 100 school-based family events were offered leading to a 1400% increase in participation over the previous year.
The district also provided substantial and creative professional development for all teachers, including an Early Literacy Summit and several workshops that focused on literacy across disciplines.
New curriculum was adopted last year across K-8th grades and support was provided for teachers in its implementation. The Secondary Literacy Specialist brought effective literacy support to many middle and high school teachers.
Santa Rosa Consolidated Schools and Vaughn Municipal Schools continue to develop literacy at all age spans through the implementation of new curriculum, the creation of new programs, professional development, and coaching support for teachers.
Highlights of CLSD programs include the creation of the Early Childhood Center to serve children 0-3. This program received a state award for excellence and will expand from serving 25 staff children to open to the public next school year. The district also received funding to remodel the facilities for the B-3 program and the pre-k. The expansion will allow the program to collaborate more fully with Head Start.
Another highlight is the renewal and development of the libraries across the district resulting in an increase in library use and circulation of materials. This included using CLSD funds to hire librarians and update book collections. One school reported a growth in circulation from 350 books per month to 1700 books per month.
Taos Municipal Schools has been working to improve reading proficiency across all age spans. The CLSD grant contributed to their work by supporting literacy coaches at all grade levels. This allowed them to develop relationships with six early childhood providers, supply them with curriculum, coaching and collaborative family events.
Taos Municipal Schools purchased new Amplify CKLA curriculum for K-5 and began implementing it last year. They are seeing that it provides increased rigor in the classrooms and support for literacy development. In the secondary grades, the district has been focusing on supporting literacy across the disciplines.
94% of K-3 faculty will be trained in LETRS by the end of the 22-23 school year. Additionally, 100% of K-5 faculty completed CKLA curriculum training with a focus on phonemic awareness in grades K-2. TMS reported that 100% of teachers and administrators have participated in professional development to support literacy initiatives.
The CLSD grant supported a family engagement specialist for the district. She worked with the coaches to create events throughout the district that resulted in a 40% increase in participation during the current school year. A highlight was an event this spring that brought the Pre-K families from throughout the district to meet the district kindergarten teachers. Representatives from each local school were present as well as community organizations. There were activities for families at each school table. They reported 250 participants.