Board Policy #330.0 Literacy

Board Policy #330.0 Literacy


1. Policy Statement

The York Region District School Board believes that building strong literacy skills is essential for promoting student achievement and well-being and is committed to equity and excellence in literacy learning for each student. Multi-literacies are woven into the Board’s planning processes and delivery of the Ontario Curriculum which become honed as students progress in their education and as they apply their literacy skills in areas of interest and study. To that end, every student shall receive relevant, inclusive, engaging and comprehensive literacy instruction based on the expectations defined in the Board priorities, the Ontario Curriculum or Individual Education Plans (IEP). In addition, every member of the learning community shall be provided with opportunities for on-going growth regarding how an understanding of literacy and its critical, multi-faceted elements are best woven into an equitable educational experience.


2. Definitions


2.1 Learning Community

A learning community is a community in which students, parents, school staff, trustees, Board personnel and community members work together to enhance student learning, achievement and well-being through a collaborative process with a focus on continual planning, implementation, monitoring and reflective action through Board, department and school improvement plans.


2.2 Literacy

Literacy is the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable achievement, personal well-being and full participation in an interconnected and changing world community.


2.3 Multi-literacies

The notion of multi-literacies acknowledges the many facets of literacy in current educational practice. The following list is not exhaustive but indicative of the multiple applications of literacy development;

  • basic literacy (reading, writing, listening, responding, viewing and representing)
  • social and emotional literacy,
  • health literacy,
  • digital literacy,
  • media literacy,
  • information literacy,
  • cultural literacy,
  • financial literacy,
  • critical literacy,
  • mathematical,
  • scientific,
  • technological, and
  • environmental literacy.


3. Responsibilities


3.1 The Board of Trustees is responsible for:

  1. reviewing the Literacy policy in accordance with the policy review cycle;

  2. understanding the policy and communicating about it with members of the community; and

  3. championing the efforts of staff and students in the implementation of strong literacy instruction across the curriculum as literacy is foundational to student achievement and well-being; and

  4. ensuring literacy remains a central focus of the work of the York Region District School Board.


3.2 The Director of Education is responsible for:

  1. implementing and operationalizing the Literacy policy across all programs, subjects and courses in our schools.


3.3 The Associate Director of Education, Student Achievement and Well-Being is responsible for:

  1. supporting the Curriculum and Instructional Services Department and the Superintendents of Schools with the implementation and monitoring of the Literacy policy.


3.4 The Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Services is responsible for:

  1. managing and providing leadership in developing the supports and resources to ensure the implementation of the Literacy policy; and

  2. working collaboratively with the Superintendent of Student Services and the Superintendents of Schools and the leadership of networks to help build teacher capacity for strong implementation of the policy.


3.5 Superintendents of Schools are responsible for:

  1. providing leadership and supports for principals/vice-principals in the implementation of the Literacy Policy; and

  2. establishing learning networks to build capacity in the implementation of the Literacy policy.


3.6 Principals and Vice-Principals are responsible for:

  1. providing literacy leadership and promoting continuous learning in their schools;

  2. gathering, analyzing, interpreting and using school literacy achievement data for decision making related to instruction and school planning; and

  3. facilitating, and providing, job-embedded professional development opportunities and resources to support the development of literacy.


3.7 Curriculum and Instructional Services staff is responsible for:

  1. working collaboratively to identify the types of resources and supports needed to implement engaging, effective literacy instruction in classrooms;

  2. supporting individual teachers as needed;

  3. working collaboratively with stakeholders across the system such as Literacy teachers and administrators to help build staff capacity in literacy instruction; and

  4. liaising with Ministry and provincial organizations to support the development of resources in the curricular area they support.


3.8 Student Services Regional Support staff are responsible for:

  1. providing staff development opportunities and acting as resource for school teams to advance the knowledge base of others;

  2. advocating for effective literacy practices on behalf of students; and

  3. communicating effectively with students and parents/guardians about students strengths and needs and together developing plans that support continued literacy achievement.


3.9 Teachers are responsible for:

  1. classroom instruction and assessment “for”, “as” and “of” learning;

  2. promoting literacy development across the K-12 curriculum;

  3. working collaboratively to promote continuous improvement of equity of outcomes for all students;

  4. communicating effectively with students, parents/guardians, and other educators regarding the plans and actions that support increased literacy achievement; and

  5. supporting their colleagues in building professional capacity in the area of literacy implementation, assessment and differentiation of programming based on student needs.


3.10 In-School Support Staff are responsible for:

  1. working collaboratively as part of a school team to support individual student literacy learning.


3.11 School Councils are responsible for:

  1. providing insights and information regarding ways that parents/guardians and the community can support literacy learning in the school and at home; and

  2. working with the principal and school staff to identify areas of focus in the School Improvement Plan.


3.12 Community Partners are responsible for:

  1. providing resources/opportunities to practise and refine literacy skills through enhanced, authentic/experiential learning.


3.13 Parents/Guardians are responsible for:

  1. monitoring their child’s progress in literacy; and

  2. working collaboratively with the school, teacher and child to plan for their child’s improvement.


3.14 Students are responsible for:

  1. working collaboratively with others to increase their understanding and improve their literacy learning by becoming skilled self-assessors.


4. Related Documents

Refreshing Our Literacy Frame: Promoting Student Achievement and Well-being Guidelines for Literacy


5. Department

Curriculum and Instructional Services


6. Policy History

Approved 1996

Revised 2002

Revised 2006

Revised 2012


It is the expectation of the York Region District School Board that all employees, students and persons invited to or visiting Board property, or partaking/volunteering in Board or school-sponsored events and activities, will respect the policies and procedures of the Board.


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