Literacy

The Rhode Island Board of Education and the General Assembly place a major emphasis on the critical importance of literacy proficiency for all students.  This commitment, on the part of the RIDE and the State of Rhode Island, requires districts to focus intensely on PreK-12 Literacy curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Student at Paul Cuffee School reading about JFKLiteracy instruction should reflect confirmed scientific research about literacy development, intervention, and the prevention of reading difficulties. It should be designed to meet individual student needs by being accessible, flexible, and engaging. 

This instruction incorporates strategies, methods, and resources that ensure literacy success for all through use of best practice about how students best develop literacy, and how successful programs work to ensure that virtually every student attains proficiency.

In addition, literacy instruction is required beyond the primary years to include a focus on literacy acquisition through grade 12. The belief that students need literacy instruction only in the early grades is being reshaped by the research that literacy learning is an on-going process. Most students refine and rethink their reading preferences during the middle and high school years. They become increasingly more sophisticated readers of informational text and establish their own foundation for lifelong reading habits.  

Therefore, all content area teachers must provide and reinforce instruction of literacy skills and strategies that are effective in their subject area.


Check out the PARCC Assessment resources that are now available!


The PARCC sample items and tasks can and should be viewed as one of the many types of materials educators can use during the transition to the CCSS and PARCC. In addition to educators, students and parents may also find the sample items and tasks to be a useful resource for learning more about the CCSS and how state assessments may appear in the future. The prototypes provided will be expanded to include additional items across contents and grade levels. It is anticipated that the next release of items will be by early FALL 2013.

Rhode Island currently has the following literacy initiatives and policies in place to assist LEAs:

  • Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) and Grade Span Expectations (GSEs) have been developed in Reading and Written and Oral Communication to define what students should know and be able to for curriculum, instruction and assessment purposes.  In order to ensure alignment with Grade Level Expectations (GLEs), Grade Span Expectations (GSEs), and research based practices, all districts need to develop/revise their curriculum, instruction, and assessment periodically to meet these needs.
  • Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in the History/ Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
  • A Personal Literacy Plan (PLP) is a plan of action used to accelerate a student’s learning in order to move toward grade level reading proficiency.  Personal Literacy Plan Guidelines have been developed to assist educators in this endeavor.
  • The Rhode Island Comprehensive Literacy Plan provides a foundation for and unifies all state literacy initiatives for students from birth through grade 12.  All Rhode Island local education agencies (LEAs) are expected to utilize The Comprehensive Literacy Plan to serve as the foundation of their literacy efforts and to maintain congruence among and across curriculum, instruction, and assessment.  In addition, institutions of higher education involved in teacher preparation are expected to use The Comprehensive Literacy Plan to inform and augment course and program decisions at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Additional Resources

Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands (REL-NEI): REL-NEI's recently published report about states' efforts to improve adolescent literacy highlights Rhode Island’s adolescent literacy policies and practices.  The mission of REL-NEI is to help PreK-16 educators at the state, district, and school levels increase their use of scientifically based evidence to make decisions that lead to improved student achievement and reduced performance gaps among student groups.  REL-NEI serves Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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