Curriculum, News

Preparing for the Virginia Literacy Act: A Guide for Educators



With the recent passing of the Virginia Literacy Act (VLA), Virginia is poised to become a nationwide leader in improving early literacy. Set to take effect in the 2024-2025 academic year, this legislation introduces significant changes to how literacy is taught and monitored in schools. It’s crucial that educators understand what these changes are, and how best to prepare for them. Here are some key ways educators can ready themselves for these new mandates:

Embracing Evidence-Based Literacy Education

The VLA mandates the use of scientific reading research and evidence-based literacy education for all students from kindergarten through the third grade. Teachers should familiarize themselves with these methodologies and learn how to effectively integrate them into their lesson plans.

Devising a Literacy Plan

The legislation also outlines what steps to take if a student fails to reach literacy benchmarks. It states that teachers and reading specialists should create an individual literacy plan (also called a reading plan) with tailored instruction and intervention.

Using Authorized Literacy Screening Tools and Data

To identify students who aren’t meeting literacy benchmarks, teachers will need to use authorized literacy screening tools and student-centric data. Understanding how these tools work and how to interpret the data is vital in providing the necessary tailored instruction and intervention.

Engaging in Continuous Professional Development

For the successful implementation of the VLA, continuous professional development will be necessary for teachers, reading specialists, and principals alike. Embracing a culture of lifelong learning will help educators stay up to date on best practices in literacy education.

Fostering Home-to-School Partnerships

The VLA encourages families to be involved in their child’s literacy plan if the child doesn’t meet literacy benchmarks. Teachers can help facilitate this by using online resources to engage parents and caregivers in the literacy development process.

Collaborating with Reading Specialists

Reading specialists will play a pivotal role under the VLA, as they will collaborate with classroom teachers to manage interventions for students not meeting literacy benchmarks. Teachers should leverage this opportunity for collaboration, using it as a chance to learn from the specialists’ expertise.

How Progress Learning Can Help Improve Literacy and Meet the Virginia Literacy Act

As Virginia takes this step towards improving literacy, it’s up to educators to rise to the challenge. However, they may need a little help.

That’s where we come in. Progress Learning is an evidence-based supplemental solution, proven to raise reading scores in schools and districts across the country. Here’s how we can help improve literacy and meet the VLA: 

Study Plans

With Progress Learning, every student receives an individualized Study Plan with Focus Areas. These plans are tailored to the student’s unique literacy needs and pinpoint specific strengths and weaknesses. The Study Plan provides students with practice and remediation in weak areas and can help teachers and reading specialists in devising a literacy plan.

Built-In Literacy Tools

We offer a variety of engaging, built-in literacy tools designed to align with the Science of Reading and boost vocabulary, fluency, and reading comprehension. These tools aren’t just for ELA and reading — they’re also integrated into all our subjects, including math, science, and social studies. By weaving these tools into all subjects, students will develop a strong literacy foundation.

Student-Centric Data

Progress Learning offers in-depth student-centric data that allows teachers and reading specialists to guide their instruction and intervention. With over a dozen different reports, teachers can easily see where students need support, create reading plans, and inform their teaching practices.

Liftoff Adaptive Intervention for Reading

For struggling students who are below literacy benchmarks, we offer our award-winning program, Liftoff Adaptive Intervention. Designed for grades 2-8, Liftoff helps students build their reading knowledge from the ground up and fill in learning gaps they may have missed along the way. Fun games keep students engaged, while effective evidence-based literacy tools ensure students grasp and retain information.

Home-to-School Support

As a K-12 online tool, we make it easy to foster the home-to-school connection. Progress Learning can be used anytime, anywhere there is a Wi-Fi connection. Parents and families can easily access our platform from home, see what their child is working on, and actively support them in their practice. 

MetaMetrics® Partners

We are proud to align our reading passages with Lexile measures. Teachers can use these measures to match students with just-right reading materials, track progress, and guide their instruction or reading plans. 

Ongoing Professional Development

Finally, we offer ongoing professional development for our educators, reading specialists, and principals. From recorded webinars to live training sessions, our subscribers have access to a wealth of resources for continued growth and learning.

Ready to boost literacy in your school or district? Request a demo of Progress Learning today!

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