English Language Arts
OSPI provides support to school districts and partners with the implementation of the English language arts (ELA) standards, educational initiatives, and laws required by Washington state.
K-4 Expectations for 2019-2020 School Year
To slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Washington state, Governor Jay Inslee announced on March 13 that all public and private K–12 school facilities will be closed and prohibited from providing traditional in-person instructional activities through April 24. On April 6, he extended his directive and closed schools through the remainder of the 2019–20 school year.
The forthcoming bulletin includes updates and guidance for school districts related to the required expectations in Senate Bill 5946 (2013)—Strengthening Student Educational Outcomes (SSEO) and amended by Senate Bill 5803 (2015).
The K−4 Data collection will not occur during the 2019−20 school year, due to the long-term school closures. For more information, please visit the OSPI Reporting web page and refer to the grey box that is titled: Data Collection Plan 2019-20.
Parent/guardian meetings (via various communication platforms) and suggested intensive improvement strategies are required for any students who are reading below grade level and/or were likely to receive a score of Below Basic (Level 1) on the 3rd grade Smarter Balanced English Language Arts Assessment. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) recommends using district assessment, including interim and formative assessment outcomes, to determine student reading levels and develop appropriate strategies and instructional practices to meet the needs of all students.
The parent/guardian meetings may occur throughout the spring/early summer and should focus on a plan for supporting a student’s reading and literacy development during long-term school closures and when the student returns to in-person instruction. The school district must receive parent/guardian consent for the intensive improvement strategies to be implemented when the student returns to in-person instruction and if applicable, the appropriate grade-level placement. If the school principal or principal’s designee and parent cannot agree on the appropriate improvement strategies from the list of available options and grade placement, the parent’s request will be honored (RCW 28A.655.230).
The K–4 report cards should include:
- How a student is progressing on acquiring reading skills; AND
- Whether the student is at grade level in reading
If a student is not reading at or above grade level, the classroom teacher must explain to the parent/guardian about planned supports during long-term school closures. OSPI recommends using current formative assessment observations through continuous learning and the student’s reading level when schools closed on March 16, 2020, to determine a student’s current reading level.
The annually updated Menu of Best Practices and Strategies for English Language Arts highlights evidence-based strategies and will help inform district and school decision-making. Additional resources, tools, and information to help school districts implement the requirements in the law are available on the K–4 Literacy SSEO web page.
For questions regarding the forthcoming bulletin, please email Aira Jackson, Director of English Language Arts and Literacy, at ELA@k12.wa.us or call at 360-725-6228. The OSPI TTY number is 360-664-3631.
The Common Core State Standards are now the Washington State K–12 ELA Learning Standards. The standards describe what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.
Assessments are designed to help districts, schools, teachers, parents and students determine the level of proficiency of a student's understanding of the ELA learning standards.
Resources to support alignment of instruction materials to the Common Core State Standards, curriculum alignment, classroom instructional supports, Open Educational Resources (OER) curricular reviews, and materials adoption.
Engaging Teacher Leaders in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Early Learning.
A 12th grade course grounded in essential career and college readiness expectations as reflected in the Washington State K–12 Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics (the Common Core State Standards) to ensure that students passing the course are fully prepared for college-level coursework.
The mission of the Washington Reading Corps (WRC) is to improve reading abilities of K–6 students across Washington state.