The Edmond Sun

September 6, 2012

REAC3H coaches assist state teachers with literacy goals

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Sixty professional educators are preparing to assist Oklahoma schools with the implementation of new education reforms such as third-grade reading sufficiency and the transition to Oklahoma C3 Standards, which include Common Core standards in reading and math and new state standards in social studies.

This is the second week of extensive training the coaches will be undergoing and after completing this week at the State Department of Education, 60 REAC3H coaches will be dispersed throughout the state to help train classroom teachers in the foundations for reading.

The 60 coaches will train one week each month at the State Department of Education and then will offer training through workshops and one-on-one classroom visits to the more than 60,000 teachers in the state.

Two of the coaches, Lisa Crosslin and Jamie Wood, will have offices in the Deer Creek District, and they will be helping school districts in their region including Edmond, Guthrie, Coyle and Mulhall-Orlando as well as Deer Creek.

“These are highly trained professionals whose main focus will be job-imbedded professional development,” State Superintendent Janet Barresi said. “The overall goal will be training in Oklahoma C3 Standards to increase proficiency and rigor in schools. Their primary assignment is in the area of pre-kindergarten to third-grade literacy to assure that all children are successful on the third-grade assessment. It will be very difficult to be successful in our new standards if children at the earliest ages are not proficient in literacy.”

According to information released by the State Department of Education, REAC3H, Regional Educators Advancing College, Career and Citizenship readiness Higher, is part of Barresi’s overall C3 Plan, which will ensure each Oklahoma graduate is college, career and citizen ready.

The plan is built on a number of reforms being implemented through the next few years, including the new curriculum standards, third-grade graduation requirements, Teacher and Leader Effectiveness evaluations, the A-F School Grading System, and a new Student Longitudinal Data System.

In a release issued Wednesday, Deputy Superintendent Chris Caram said the REAC3H coaches have an amazing amount of energy and practical resources to share with Oklahoma classroom teachers.

She said the coaches, all former classroom teachers or reading specialists, and some with administrative experience, will be the most highly trained teachers on Oklahoma C3 Standards. They will be the first to receive training on the next generation of assessments under the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

The state has been segmented into 30 regional districts, with 30 school districts agreeing to employ two of the coaches. The coaches will be housed at Career Technology Centers in their home region. Federal Ed Jobs funds from the U.S. Department of Education have been awarded to 30 Oklahoma school districts as a grant to offset the cost of salaries plus benefits of the 60 coaches, a total of about $4.1 million.

“We are excited to welcome Lisa and Jamie to Deer Creek as a part of the State Department of Education’s REACH initiative,” said Sean McDaniel, Deer Creek School District superintendent. “Both coaches will provide assistance for teachers and administrators as we implement Common Core standards, assessments and related strategies. We understand that our coaches are continuing to receive valuable professional development from the State Department of Education and look forward to them sharing those experiences here locally.”

REAC3H coaches will communicate with districts in their regions to offer before-, during- and after-school training based on best times and dates available for teachers, substitutes and administrators. The coaches also will offer training to career technology teachers and higher education instructors. | 341-2121, ext. 171