The West Virginia Board of Education believes a strong foundation in Pre-K- 5th Grade is essential for all of West Virginia’s children. This foundation is dependent upon all West Virginia children reading on grade level by the end of 3rd Grade. During the 2013 Legislative Session, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin charged the WVBE to address West Virginia’s 3rd Grade Reading Achievement and low fourth grade NAEP reading achievement results.
The Office of Early Learning (Grades Pre-K through 5) is dedicated to the development of strong foundations for early learning for all West Virginia children. A commitment to ensuring strong foundations requires a comprehensive approach to early learning programming based on research and developmentally appropriate practices that target strong relationships, engaging environments, standards, curriculum, assessment, and professional development. To ensure all of West Virginia’s children are provided opportunities to succeed and become lifelong learners, the Office of Early Learning has established four key priorities:
• Advance a unified commitment to excellence and equity in early childhood education and early learning;
• Establish strong foundations for early learning from school readiness through 5th grade;
• Close the literacy achievement gap by 3rd grade; and
• Ensure all children are on target to achieve career and college readiness.
The WVDE Office of Early Learning, in collaboration with state and national early childhood education leaders, has established an Advisory Committee on a Comprehensive Approach to Early Learning that is committed to closing the literacy achievement gap. This Advisory Committee is committed to the development of a cohesive system of early childhood education based on research and best practices. Through a collaborative, intentionally-designed, and well-implemented PreK-5th Grade approach, not only will closing the literacy achievement gap by 3rd Grade be possible, but West Virginia children will be better prepared for school and set on a course for career and college readiness.
The WVDE Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Advisory Council was initially formed in 2010 to serve as a team of diverse early childhood professionals throughout the state to review and respond to West Virginia Universal Pre-K and West Virginia School Readiness projects and initiatives. Projects focusing on program assessment and school improvement, curriculum and instruction, and school readiness were initially targeted. Since the formation of the advisory council, there has been much positive work in early childhood education and WV Universal Pre-K to support the WVDE’s professional development and policy initiatives. With leadership from the WV Pre-K Steering Team, this council has been responsible for designing the state’s ELSF Professional Development System, as well as assisting with WV Universal Pre-K Program Assessment and Improvement and School Readiness initiatives.
However, as WV Universal Pre-K has continued to grow, expand, and lead to a strong emphasis on developmentally appropriate practices and early childhood education, so too has an emphasis on early childhood education beyond WV Universal Pre-K. In 2012 the WVBE created the Office of Early Learning (Pre-K – 5th Grade) and in 2013 Legislation passed Senate Bill 359. With these two significant changes over the last year, the WVDE has expanded its views on early childhood education and necessitated the repurposing of the WVDE Pre-K CQI Advisory Council. This repurposing allows the WVDE Pre-K CQI Advisory Council to expand and target initiatives Pre-K through 5th Grade and assist the Office of Early Learning in a comprehensive approach to early learning.
The WVDE Advisory Committee on a Comprehensive Approach to Early Learning will guide the Office of Early Learning’s broadened Pre-k - 5th Grade work through six targeted work groups – Universal Pre-K, School Readiness, Third Grade Literacy Proficiency, Curriculum and Instruction, Workforce Development and Advocacy and Public Engagement. Clayton Burch, Executive Director for the Office of Early Learning, will chair the Advisory Committee and meet with work group team leaders quarterly. Team leaders will work collaboratively with state, local, and national stakeholders to establish comprehensive work plans to meet the goals of the WVDE Office of Early Learning P-5 Logic Model, ultimately impacting the 3rd grade literacy gap and career and college readiness. The WVDE Advisory Committee on a Comprehensive Approach to Early Learning will report regularly to the WVBE High Quality Educator Committee as major initiatives progress.
For more information contact:
August 9, 2013 WVDE Advisory Committee Kick Off Meeting
Taking Charge of Change so ALL West Virginia Children Are Successful in School and Life - attached
Lori Connors-Tadros, Ph.D. , Senior Project Director, Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes
Video Links from Presentation:
Summer Learning - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahhj3wxxkdM&feature=player_embedded
A Governor's Guide to Early Literacy: Getting All Students Reading by Third Grade
(National Governors Association)