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Focused Review on Early Literacy



The Focused Review on Early Literacy is an opportunity for school leaders and staff to identify areas of strength in regards to literacy instruction as well as areas for growth.  An effective system and educational leaders use data extensively to guide them in decision-making, setting and prioritizing goals, and monitoring progress. To support a robust early literacy initiative leaders and staff must align their understanding of reading assessment data at a system, school and class level. This aligned understanding supports a focused effort to achieve early literacy goals.  As part of the review, a CDE literacy consultant will determine the level of literacy implementation, understand trends and identify instructional next steps as aligned to READ Act data.

Aimed at READ Act data interpretation for elementary school staff (e.g., school leaders, instructional coaches, K-3 teachers) and district level leaders focused on early literacy. Support is focused on building leadership and coach capacity to analyze system implementation and literacy data. While the work is focused on K-3 teachers, intermediate grades could be included if that fits better within the school structure. 


Eligibility:  Eligible applicants are LEAs that have schools that are:

  • Identified for support and improvement under ESSA (i.e., Comprehensive, Targeted, Additional Targeted), OR
  • Have a Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan type on the most recent School Performance Framework

Prioritization:  If we are unable to cover all requests due to staff time/location limitations, then a prioritization process will be used. Consideration will be given to:

  1. Significant Reading Deficiency data for the last two years (higher rates will be ranked as priority districts)
  2. Geographic Location to field staff delivering technical assistance 


The duration of the services with in the Exploration route is January 2020 – December 30, 2020. LEAs/schools are eligible to apply for up to $10,000 for the Focused Review on Early Literacy. Additionally, interested LEAs/schools may receive funds for early implementation activities (up to $10,000). See the Exploration information sheet for details and funding amounts. An LEA/school may use the information obtained through the ELD Program review and improvement planning process to develop an application for additional funds in the District Design and Led route in a subsequent EASI application.


Each participating district will receive up to $10,000 per school to be used towards the following:

  • Costs associated with the review visit (e.g., substitutes, stipends, time for job-embedded learning opportunities and/or time for collaboration) and all staff debrief of the findings (e.g., stipends, copying)
  • Leadership/teacher development as a result of the data interpretation decisions.
  • Note: An LEA/school may request funds in addition to the $10,000 for the review in the Exploration route for costs associated with improvement planning (e.g., collaboration time, retreats, stipends, substitutes, hosting a community meeting) as well as early implementation activities (e.g., staff to coordinate improvement efforts, CDE facilitated EL supports, job-embedded learning opportunities). See the Exploration information sheet for details and funding amounts. 

Funds from this opportunity must be used to supplement and not supplant any federal, state, and local funds currently being used to provide activities. There will be no carryover of funds. Unobligated funds at the end of the fiscal year will be returned to the CDE.


Schools receiving funds under this grant opportunity are required to:

  • Update the UIP during the standard window to reflect the exploration work (i.e., external review, parent and community engagement, improvement planning). CDE will review the plan during the school’s standard window (e.g., January for schools on the accountability; April for remaining schools).
  • Schools identified for support and improvement through ESSA (i.e., CS, TS, and additional TS schools) must use the exploration results to meet the comprehensive needs assessment requirements. CS schools should document these expectations in the UIP; TS and Additional TS schools may use the UIP.
  • Submit the Annual Financial Report (AFR) to CDE.


There are no additional assurances for this route beyond the general assurances covered in the EASI application.

Who Can I Contact for More Information?

Alex Frazier
Principal Literacy Consultant, Preschool through 3rd Grade Office
303-866-6016 | Send an email