FY11 RFP for Student Achievement in Reading (STAR)- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

FY11 RFP for Student Achievement in Reading (STAR)

June 15, 2010

Dear ABE Program Directors,

I am pleased to announce the opportunity for additional ACLS funded programs with Intermediate ABE classes (GLE 4-8.9) to participate in the Student Achievement in Reading (STAR) project in FY11 and I encourage other programs to join the eight programs that completed the STAR Training Institutes and are now in the implementation process. ACLS is confident that the use of diagnostic assessments and evidence-based instructional techniques to support students' reading will improve learning gains and more effectively support the achievement of students' goals.

The initial eight FY10 STAR funded programs are very pleased with the outcome of the training and what they have implemented within their programs during the months. These programs are eager to continue their work in FY11. ACLS has no doubt that the eight programs will report positive outcomes with the continuing implementation of STAR in FY11.

The overall goal for ACLS in instituting the STAR project is to implement evidence-based reading instruction for intermediate-level readers that incorporates word recognition, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency. The implementation of the instructional strategies will enable programs to more easily help intermediate level readers become advanced level readers and therefore achieve their goals. All students, including second language learners, benefit from the diagnostic assessment and instructional strategies of STAR. This project will also help to inform ACLS of wider implementation possibilities for the future. Current data, both at state and national levels, indicates that students at the GLE 4-8.9 level are making gains within the intermediate level but that too few students are moving into the GLE 9-12 advanced level where they will be able to earn a GED, be successful in post-secondary education or training, and embark on a career providing a family-sustaining wage.

In order to participate in STAR, programs must apply through an RFP which will be posted on the ACLS website within the first two weeks of July. An email will be sent notifying programs of the posting. Questions about STAR will be answered through an FAQ mailbox set-up on the ACLS website. For more detailed information on STAR content, please visit their website at www.startoolkit.org.

ACLS will select a maximum of ten programs to participate in the three two-day trainings (a total of 6 full days), which are scheduled to start in January 2011 (see chart below). ACLS will be providing $1,800 per training participant to cover any additional costs related to participation in the project and $500 per program for the purchase of the DAR assessment tool. Programs may need to use program development and staff development funding in their ABE grant to cover additional costs associated with meeting and training staff, substitutes, assessment materials, and travel related costs. Programs participating in this project will have the option to include/exclude the STAR class in the ABE performance standards for the second semester in FY11 and for FY12. Additionally, programs will benefit from technical assistance from the Massachusetts statewide STAR trainers, both onsite and offsite, throughout the duration of the project.

There are no prerequisites for participating in the training other than having a Pre-ASE level class, the openness to change, and a willingness to try new strategies. Selected programs will participate in three 2-day trainings provided by nationally trained STAR trainers and at no cost to the program. Support and technical assistance, including access to the STAR online tool kit, will be available as programs implement what they have learned from the STAR Institutes. To be eligible for the project, programs must have a Program Director or Coordinator and at least one Pre-ASE teacher (or more, depending on the number of Pre-ASE classes to be included in STAR) participating in ALL trainings and site visits related to the STAR project. Participants will be required to complete assignments between trainings. ABE programs, who have participated in the FY10 STAR pilot that would like to increase the number of trained staff for Pre-ASE classes and/or has newly-hired Pre-ASE teacher and/or administrator, may also respond to this RFP.

The trainings will be in two groups depending on the number of programs selected to participate and will be held at the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education in Malden, Conference Rooms 137 A, B, and C on the following dates:

Group AGroup B
Institute I - January 18 & 19, 2011*February 8 & 9, 2011*
Institute II - March 15 & 16, 2011**March 17 & 18, 2011**
Institute III - May 3 & 4, 2011May 17 & 18, 2011
*Institute I Snow dates: February 1 & 2, 2011February 15 & 16, 2011
**Institute II Snow dates: April 5 & 6, 2011April 5 & 6, 2011

ACLS looks forward to your response to this RFP. Thank you for your continued dedication and commitment to the adult learners in the Commonwealth.

With Literacy in Mind,

Anne Serino, Massachusetts ABE State Director
Department of Elementary & Secondary Education/ACLS
75 Pleasant Street, 3rd Floor
Malden, MA 02148

Last Updated: July 9, 2010

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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