Monday, April 23, 2012

Navigating Implementation: The Role of the Principal

Navigating Implementation: The Role of the Principal

By: Jenny McFerin, Literacy Collaborative K-2 University Trainer

Literacy Collaborative is a comprehensive school reform model designed to improve reading, writing, and language skills of elementary children. The instructional framework, professional development, and coaching are the fundamentals of the model (Literacy Collaborative 2012).  In order to ensure fidelity of implementation, there are standards for the district, principal, literacy coach, and classroom teachers to follow. Buildings that follow the standards in implementation are schools with high academic success and teacher knowledge. While coming together as a team helps to manage the bumps in the road, the principal is a key element in navigating staff through the many challenges that come with change. 

I would like to offer three actions a principal can take to support implementation of Literacy Collaborative:
  1. Learn about the Literacy Collaborative Framework. Principals can learn about the framework by attending professional development offered by the literacy coach, being present in classrooms and engaging in conversations with teachers and the literacy coach about implementation.
  2. Communicate with the literacy coach and classroom teachers. Schedule regular meetings with the literacy coach to discuss what is going well in regards to implementation. Talk with teachers about the literacy happenings in the classroom.
  3. Provide resources that support implementation.  From schedules to materials, the principal has the capacity to strengthen opportunities for teaching and learning. Students need 2- 2 ½ hours of daily literacy instructions. Teachers need time to analyze data and make plans for intentional teaching based on the analysis.  Engaging in conversations with the literacy coach and colleagues about data and teaching will ensure student growth.
The leadership in a building determines the success of implementation. The principal has the capacity to positively impact student achievement and teacher growth. Creating a community of learners, communicating expectations and providing time and resources are keys for principals to consider while navigating implementation. 
What are you doing to support implementation in your building?
Literacy Collaborative (2012). Literacy Collaborative [This section of the website describes the Literacy Collaborative]. Retrieved from

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