Mission Possible: 100% of students reading at or above grade level
    Every day is filled with opportunities to be a difference maker in the lives of our nearly 9,000 students. And our students deserve the very best we can give! Jefferson City Public Schools is committed to them as together we strive to become the premier school district in the State of Missouri. Here is what JCPS is doing to support our students reading at or above grade level: 

    Lesson Planning

    Guided Reading Lesson Planning - Our teachers use a clearly defined lesson plan template for planning guided reading. The template supports the identification of the needs of all the students in the room and guides the planning process to ensure students receive instruction based on where they currently are in their learning.

    K-12 Intentional Lesson planning - We use the Collaborative Instructional Review (CIR) rubrics for planning engaging, rigorous, and relevant lessons. Teachers use the JCPS ELA curriculum units which supports consistent district-wide pacing of the ELA Missouri State Standards.

    Professional Development

    Literacy Training - We have ongoing PD for new teachers, all 1st grade teachers, reading staff, coaches and elementary principals to ensure fidelity to the balanced literacy model. We have chosen 1st grade as a starting point since most students learn to read in 1st grade. Additional grades will be added each year.

    Lab Classrooms - These are classrooms taught by master teachers with highly effective practices and results in their classroom. Teachers and instructional coaches from across the district visit these rooms to observe, collaborate, and set goals to put in place that will improve their own literacy instruction back in their classroom. Currently, we have an ELA lab classroom at grades K and 3. We will be adding a lab classroom in 1st and 5th soon. Our goal is to have a lab classroom for each grade level by the fall of 2019.


    Reading Intervention Specialists - We employ 27 reading staff that provide intervention to K-8 struggling readers. All students receive Tier I instruction from their classroom teacher. Struggling readers receive additional support from the reading staff.

    Instructional Coaches - We have an instructional coach in every building except JCAC. Their role is to provide preK-12 classroom support by helping teachers to process student data and to help design instruction and intervention for all students. Our coaches meet with the teachers to plan collaboratively.


    Comprehensive Balanced Literacy Model - This is a framework that engages all students in a variety of instructional settings. The framework incorporates a workshop model that uses interactive read alouds, reading and writing mini-lessons, independent reading, differentiated small group instruction, individual conferencing, and share time.

    Guided Reading - This important component of balanced literacy is where all students are placed in small flexible groups for targeted instruction appropriate for their reading level. Students reading below grade level work in guided reading groups daily; all students work in guided reading groups several times per week. Running record are routinely used to assess reading levels and reading behaviors. The results help teachers determine student needs and to make adjustments to guided reading groups.

    Close Reading - A strategy used in all grades K-12, in all content areas, to help students process difficult text for the purpose of comprehension and fluency. This is a district-wide expectation and all buildings are investing professional learning around implementation.

    Foundational Skills - The JCPS ELA curriculum lays out expectations for our primary teachers to address the foundational literacy skills for emerging readers. This includes the resources and the professional development needed.

    Literacy Team Meetings - Monthly meetings conducted by reading specialists and grade level teachers to discuss student reading progress and effective practices to meet the needs of all students.

    Data Teams - All buildings K-8 will use data teaming. This structure brings grade level teachers or department teams together to review student work and achievement data of the students in their rooms. The teams use the results to plan instruction intended to meet the needs of all students.

    Middle School Workshop Approach - We have implemented PD to train our middle school ELA teachers on the workshop model that uses interactive read alouds, reading and writing mini-lessons, independent reading/writing, differentiated small group instruction, individual conferencing, and share time. Each of these components are intended to address the varied needs in the classroom and offer learning opportunities to all students regardless of ability. For consistency, this model is used in the elementary schools and carried over to middle school.


    iReady Toolbox - Teachers K-8 have a lesson planning toolkit that aligns with the literacy standards for each grade. The resource provides a framework for designing instruction around the standards, and outlines steps to take when planning intervention for struggling students.

    iReady Individual Licenses - Struggling students are assigned a license to a personal learning portal that provides specific literacy lessons based on their iReady assessments results. The program guides students through lessons based on their ability and moves them ahead or back based on their performance.

    Diagnostic & Formative Assessments - Formative assessments are a core element in our instructional model because it helps teachers understand how to use student data to drive their decision making and meet the needs of their students. We use the iReady, Next Steps Guided Reading Assessment, running records, Words Their Way Spelling Inventory (K-1) and teacher created assessments to group and instruct based on needs of the students.

    Community Partnerships - We partner with ABLE Tutoring and the public library to provide support for struggling readers. Our goal is 150 tutors and we are working with ABLE to train their tutors on best practices for tutoring literacy.

    ELA Curriculum - This year teachers will be piloting new literacy resources for grades K- English II. We are piloting resources that we believe utilize a balanced literacy approach, and will provide the support teachers need for quality, engaging lessons aligned with our JCPS ELA Curriculum.

    Leveled Bookrooms - We have been working to update the resources available in our leveled bookrooms in each elementary building. Sets of engaging leveled texts have been purchased to provide more diverse, relevant resources for teachers to utilize in guided reading K-5.

    Classroom Libraries - K-5 teachers are working on building classroom libraries with a goal of 1,000 books per room. The books are organized in a variety of ways to be inviting and promote student choice. Many books are leveled to help students make just-right book choices.

    JCPS Literacy Site - A website has been developed for elementary staff to have current district literacy documents and planning resources easily accessible.

    Middle School ELA Mentor Texts - Each grade level selected picture books to support intentional planning of reading mini-lessons within the JCPS ELA Curriculum. Each teacher was provided a tub that includes their own grade level texts to utilize for interactive read alouds and mini-lessons.