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Enhancing Literacy Outcomes for Struggling Readers: Strategies, Challenges, and Future Directions

Wednesday, July 24, 2024 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

Enhancing Literacy Outcomes for Struggling Readers: Strategies, Challenges, and Future Directions

Presented by Jeff McCoy, Associate Superintendent for Academics, Greenville County Schools (SC); Dr. Zandra Jo Galván, Superintendent, Greenfield Union School District (CA); and Dr. Maria Joie Austria, Director, Curriculum, Strategy and School Supports, Language Acquisition Division, Office of Teaching and Learning, District of Columbia Public Schools (DC)
Moderated by Joan Macenat Charles, Regional Partner (DC, DE, MA, MD, VA), Really Great Reading

Sponsored by Really Great Reading

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This edWebinar focuses on specific strategies or programs that school districts have found effective in closing the literacy gap in adolescent and secondary education.

It highlights effective strategies and programs utilized by school districts to address the literacy gap among struggling readers, alongside ongoing challenges. The focus extends to professional development opportunities aimed at equipping secondary teachers with essential literacy skills to support struggling students. Additionally, it examines state-level initiatives targeting low literacy rates among students, detailing specific interventions implemented in districts with at-risk learners affected by factors like unemployment and low educational attainment.

The discussion also addresses the needs of multilingual learners and the crucial role of literacy in reducing dropout rates. Successful interventions that keep students engaged and progressing in school are identified, with an outlook on future changes and initiatives aimed at enhancing literacy outcomes for all students.

This recorded edWebinar is of interest to K-12 teachers, school leaders, district leaders, and education technology leaders.

Jeff McCoy

About the Presenters

Jeff McCoy is the Associate Superintendent of Academics for Greenville County Schools, South Carolina’s largest district, serving over 78,000 students. Celebrating his 24th year with the district, Jeff leads academic initiatives, focusing on closing achievement gaps and enhancing student outcomes through innovation in technology and curricula. He holds a bachelor’s in elementary education and a master’s in education technology with a leadership specialization.

Jeff is actively involved in educational reform, serving on several advisory boards, including the National School Transformation Conference and the RTM National Advisory Board. He launched the National Council for Innovative Instructional Leaders in 2023, uniting chief academic officers nationwide. His publications and co-authored Blueprints on topics like Personalized Learning and Artificial Intelligence reflect his dedication to educational excellence. Recognized as a Top 100 Influencer in Education by District Administration in June 2024, Jeff continues to drive progress in the educational sector.

Zandra Jo Galván

Dr. Zandra Jo Galván, Superintendent of Greenfield Union School District (GUSD) since 2017, is a seasoned educator who began in 1993 as a GUSD elementary teacher. She has implemented strategic initiatives in GUSD, focusing on student-centered learning, technology, and college and career readiness. Dr. Galván leads a Digital Promise district emphasizing equity and inclusivity, was selected for the 2023-24 Google National Fellowship, and was awarded the ALAS National Superintendent of the Year in 2023-24 and District Administration Top 100 National Influencers in Education. Holding degrees from Fresno State, CSU Monterey Bay, and San Jose State, she recently earned her doctorate at USC on May 8, 2024! As a recognized leader, Dr. Galván is committed to accelerating student success and breaking students free from the cycle of poverty through education. She is a champion for the “ALL Means ALL” philosophy in GUSD.

Dr. Maria Joie Austria

Dr. Maria Joie Austria is currently the Director of Curriculum, Strategy and School Supports at Washington DC Public Schools. She provides support to ESL K-12 schools. She had also worked as an ESOL Instructional Specialist at Prince George’s County Public Schools for eight years. Prior to coming to the States, she was the Founder and Director of Multiple Intelligence Kids’ Academy and Study Hall Learning Center in the Philippines, which she ran for 12 years. She also served as principal of an elementary school in Nashville, where she transformed a low-performing school to the most improved school in two years. She was then promoted as Director of EL Office in Nashville, Tennessee. With more than 25 years in education, Dr. Austria has focused her teaching and research interests around educating English language learners and advocating for their families and communities.

Dr. Austria has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of the Philippines, a Master of Arts degree in guidance and counseling from Ateneo de Manila University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in curriculum and instruction from the University of Maryland College Park. She completed her Administrative Leadership Certification at Catholic University in Washington DC. She also has certifications from Harvard University in school management and leadership, Universal Design for Learning, and the Multiple Intelligence Project Zero Program. She recently completed and graduated from the Superintendent Leadership Academy from the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents Cohort VIII. She served as adjunct professors at the University of Maryland College Park as well as at UMBC and Goucher College. She is fluent in Filipino, intermediate Spanish, and is currently learning Mandarin. She loves traveling, cooking, and singing.

Joan Macenat Charles

About the Moderator

Joan Macenat Charles serves as a Regional Partner at the Really Great Reading Company, where her focus on literacy advocacy and education has made a significant impact. She has been a respected speaker at numerous conferences, notably delivering presentations on the Science of Reading. As a National Board Certified Educator and with a career spanning over 15 years in education, including roles as a special education teacher, administrator, and national trainer, Joan has consistently championed the cause of improving reading skills. Her primary goal is to address decoding deficits among students, regardless of their age, by providing invaluable support and resources to district leaders. Joan firmly believes that enhancing teachers’ knowledge ultimately leads to tangible improvements in student performance, fostering meaningful change within literacy education.

Join the Structured Literacy Instruction community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.


Really Great ReadingReally Great Reading has been leading the charge in effective Science of Reading strategies for over 18 years with our proven PK-12 curriculum in foundational literacy and intervention teaching methodologies. We turn reading research into classroom practice, ensuring teachers have cutting-edge strategies and tools in classrooms across the country. It is our unwavering commitment to students and educators that sets us apart from other Science of Reading curricula, and this is evident in the student outcomes and results that districts and schools see when using our products.


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