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Burckhalter Elementary and Lighthouse Community Charter School

FULCRUM and the Oakland Literacy Coalition contributed to this reflection piece. Thank you to FULCRUM and Town Sprouts for the photos.

On Friday, March 1, symposium attendees were invited to join learning walks and site visits at 5 school sites. 


At Burckhalter Elementary and Lighthouse Community Charter School, FULCRUM organized a Structured Literacy learning walk experience to provide participants with inspiration of what is possible through seeing models of success. Participants calibrated on evidence-based practices in action in building both word recognition and language comprehension. Attendees came away with tools and processes for conducting learning walks of their own and had the opportunity to engage with school leaders and hear insights about their successes and roadblocks on their journey to implement the science of reading. 

Reflections from Participants

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Throughout my literacy learning walk at Burckhalter Elementary I observed a love of reading. Children were excited to read and showcase their knowledge to their teachers. There were whole class read-alouds, and small group support and I even witnessed 1:1 support during my short time there. If a child made a mistake they were lovingly corrected, encouraged to try again, and proud when they read the word correctly.

It is one thing to hear and learn about the science of reading and another to see these practices in real life -- and today I saw so many of them.

Reflections from Site Host Leaders

Hosting a walkthrough of our structured literacy program at Lighthouse allowed us to take a step back and reflect on how far we have come over the last few years. Being in the day-to-day, we often get stuck in all the ways we still need to improve, but having sets of new eyes on our instruction, helped us to see all the amazing work that is being done in our classrooms, specifically our alignment to the Science of Reading -- which we know is the best way to ensure we are providing our students with what they need to become proficient readers.

Shaina Hurley, K-5 Principal, Lighthouse Community Charter School

We have been working hard for the past several years to create a safe, joyful, and equitable culture of learning for staff and students, and we were thrilled at the chance to collaboratively and collectively learn more about the science of reading at the conference. Kareem's closing remarks particularly resonated. No matter what position a team member holds - teacher, tutor, principal - we can all be instructional leaders as we continue to grow in our practice.

Katrina Jones, TSA & Literacy Coach, Burckhalter Elementary School

Having community organizers, board leaders, district leaders, coaches, and classroom teachers each holding a piece of the literacy ecosystem be able to observe instruction together and calibrate on best practices when it comes to structured literacy was truly inspiring. Hearing each stakeholder talk about their key takeaways and what they are bringing back to their organization, school, or classroom and how they plan to push the needle next when it comes to implementing the science of reading filled my heart.

Devika Sood, Director of Program, FULCRUM

Montera Middle School Library Visit

Montera Middle School also hosted a library site visit as part of the Literacy and Justice for All Symposium. District Teacher Librarian Debbie Gibbons, Lead by Learning’s Nina Portugal and OUSD library staff Maggie Rogers, Lisa Hobbs and John Pabst led a panel presentation how a curated school library collection thast reflect student interests and demographics promotes  literacy efforts. The visit was attended by educators, administrators, librarians, literacy coaches and education journalists. 

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