The Partnership in Comprehensive Literacy (PCL) model uses literacy as a tool for measuring school growth in four related areas: student learning, teacher knowledge, instructional alignment, and school culture.  The model focuses on essential components within the district: classroom literacy framework, school-embedded professional development, intervention programs for struggling learners, and accountability and research.



The Whitefish Bay School District strives to foster a culture of literacy by providing students with a cognitive apprenticeship* environment that would enable them to grow into successful readers, writers, listeners and speakers.    



Through the 4K-8 Literacy program in Whitefish Bay schools, ten features of design will ensure implementation of a comprehensive literacy environment:


  1. A Framework for Literacy uses a differentiated workshop approach for meeting the needs of all students, including a lance of whole group, small group, and individual conferences within an integrated, inquiry-based curriculum.
  2. Coaching and Mentoring uses scaffolding, coaching cycles, and a gradual release model for increasing teacher efficacy.  The goal is to develop mentor teachers with content expertise for assisting other teachers in specific areas.
  3. Model Classrooms provide clinical settings where mentor teachers implement the literacy framework and peer teachers observe the teaching and learning interactions in real time.
  4. High Standards provide learning targets for all students, including tailored support for students who need assistance to achieve the learning targets.
  5. Comprehensive Assessment System includes a school-wide, seamless assessment system with multiple measures for evaluating progress, including formative and summative assessments, and walk-throughs for assessing the school environment.
  6. System Interventions are structures that includes multiple waves of literacy defense.  This includes a solid core curriculum with whole and small group and independent instruction, classroom based targeted instruction, and intensive instruction.
  7. Collaborative Learning Communities are embedded into the school climate, including literacy team meetings, professional learning communities, teacher book clubs, peer observation, cluster visits, teacher conferences, and demonstration lessons.
  8. Well-Designed Literacy Plan is developed and revised for continuous growth, including short and long term goals with progress monitoring benchmarks.
  9. Technology and Research are naturally embedded into teaching and learning contexts.  Students use technology to access information, conduct research, and produce products.  Teachers use technology for professional learning, collaboration, and research.
  10. Spotlight and Advocacy are techniques for disseminating information on the model, including news releases, research articles, school reports, conference presentations and other advocacy efforts.




  1. To provide a literacy model that is designed with built-in structures for aligning, coordinating, and addressing evidence-based practices and literacy growth at multiple levels.
  2. To promote student and staff self-awareness and learning through literacy tasks that are situated within an authentic and engaging context, with access to quality resources, materials and exemplar texts at every grade.
  3. To define a clear, usable and collaboratively developed curriculum that helps teachers pace content, identifies what is most important to teach.
  4. To develop the expertise of every teacher and principal in the pursuit of becoming transformative literacy leaders that are working together for children.



*Cognitive Apprenticeship- Students acquire cognitive and metacognitive processes through assisted instruction with a knowledgeable adult.  Ann apprenticeship framework for accelerating the learning for all students include: Observation and responsive teaching, modeling, clear and relevant language for higher level thinking, scaffolds, structured routines, assisted and independent work, transfer of knowledge.

Maria Kucharski,
May 31, 2016, 12:09 PM