One of the trending topics regarding the HB3 Reading Academies upon reading specialist would be content. In the school year 2019-2020, TEA piloted the Reading Academies by hosting the "Read Grant" through regional service centers. School districts could "opt" to participate with teachers in first through fifth grades. The regional centers hired reading specialists to pilot the HB3 Reading Academies with teacher cohort groups on a smaller scale. Little did many know participating, but TEA did award all participants who completed the grant with HB3 certificates exempting them from participating in the HB3 Reading Academies the following school year.   

I mention the back story because it is part of the process where the content initially developed. During the Read Grant year, the content was given to specialists for delivery and then adjusted for the following release of the academies. 

TEA then released their Content Overview one-pager for the 2020-2021 school year to lay out the Science of Teaching Reading and content included in the new HB3 Reading Academies. Here is the list of content in the original order.

• Introduction, Overview, Scope, and Sequence 

• Science of Teaching Reading 

• Establishing a Literacy Community 

• Using Assessment Data to Inform Instruction 

• Oral Language (English and Spanish) 

• Phonological Awareness (English and Spanish) 

• Alphabet Knowledge, Print Concepts, and Handwriting 

• Decoding, Encoding, and Word Study (English and Spanish) 

• Reading Fluency 

• Reading Comprehension 

• Composition (English and Spanish) 

• Tiered Supports and Reading Difficulties

After the first year of HB3 Reading Academies, the content and sequence will shift slightly. Here is what we expect as of now:

• Introduction, Overview, Scope, and Sequence 

• Science of Teaching Reading 

• Establishing a Literacy Community 

• Using Data to Inform Instruction & Tiered Levels of Support

• Oral Language and Vocabulary

• Phonological Awareness

• Pre-Reading Skills

• Decoding, Encoding, and Word Study

• Reading Fluency 

• Reading Comprehension 

• Written Composition

• Putting It All Together

Next, many wonder how the content is delivered. TEA has partnered with Instructure to utilize their platform called Canvas LMS (learning management system). Canvas will house the content, submissions, and discussion boards. They break the content down into modules. For example, Establishing a Literacy Community is an entire module in canvas. If the district has chosen to do the comprehensive delivery style, this would be approximately three hours of in-person training (about a half of a day). Participants in the Reading Academies will complete the required training and have pre-work, discussion boards, and two artifacts to submit for moderated grading (one in the fall and one in the spring). Finally, it is essential to note that completing the HB3 Reading Academies has been equivalent to approximately 60 hours of content and rigorous such as enrolling in a master's level course.

Phrases to Note Related to the RA Training:

  • Reading Academies training is not a "sit and get" style of training.
  • Reading Academies training is not a "workshop."
  • Training build upon each other and is expected to be implemented into daily classroom instruction.
  • Pre-Work is a real thing = it must be completed.
  • Artifacts are not "optional."
  • "Life-Time" certificates are not exempted from the RA training.
  • Graduate level college courses do not exempt staff from the RA training.

It is vital to communicate the expectations to your staff as they enter into their Reading Academies training. Knowing what is expected helps participants plan as well as understand the whole concept of the HB3 Reading Academies. 

Here is an example of the SMORE I have used the past two school years to communicate information to my staff via a Reading Academies "Kick-Off" Call using Google Hangout. 

Click here for my 2021-2022 School Year SMORE link for staff Kick-Off call.

Completion Certificates and Tracker:

Finally, what you are not told at the start is about completion certificates. Once participants in the HB3 Reading Academies have successfully met all training requirements, they will be given an HB3 certificate directly from TEA housed in their TEAL account. Districts will need to ask for completion certificates to keep on file, ensuring all staff in K-3 have completed the reading academies. It has been asked if school districts can have access to certificates to pull, but currently, this is not an option. 

With teachers entering in the Reading Academies in various school years, I developed a quick tracker to help know who has completed the mandated training and who has not.  See below the training tracker.


I hope this gives you the birds-eye view of the HB3 Reading Academies. I wish you the best of luck in implementing the academies in your district or campus! 

No comments:

Post a Comment