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Mass Literacy: Open Access Professional Learning (OAPL)

Mass Literacy is a statewide effort to empower educators with the evidence-based practices for literacy that all students need. Evidence-based instruction, provided within schools and classrooms that are culturally responsive and sustaining, will put our youngest students on a path toward literacy for life.

To advance Mass Literacy, DESE is pleased to offer professional development in early literacy topics to Massachusetts educators, delivered by highly qualified local and national providers. Choose from a range of vetted options— all at no cost to you!

What is Mass Literacy OAPL?

DESE is offering educators a curated selection professional learning opportunities focused on early literacy. Massachusetts educators who qualify can enroll in these courses for free. Some courses also offer a stipend.

*Currently, all OAPL opportunities and waitlists are full. Continue to check this page for updates.

Course NameCourse ProviderCourse DetailsStatusCourse CostStipendMore Details and Enrollment
Early Literacy InstructionFitchburg State

Format: Asynchronous and Synchronous

Estimated Time: 37.5 hours

Closed for enrollment Free for Eligible Educators in MA $295 Closed: Course Full
Supporting Students' Reading: Phonemic Awareness to Comprehension Landmark Outreach

Format: Asynchronous Online Course

Estimated Time: 15 hours

Closed for enrollment Free for Eligible Educators in MA $225 Closed: Course Full
Understanding Students with Dyslexia Landmark Outreach

Format: Asynchronous Online Course

Estimated Time: 15 hours

Closed for enrollment Free for Eligible Educators in MA $225 Closed: Course Full
Keys to Beginning Reading, Part 1: Foundational Skills Keys to Literacy

Format: Asynchronous Online Course

Estimated Time: 15 hours

Closed for enrollment Free for Eligible Educators in MA $225 Closed: Course Full
Keys to Beginning Reading, Part 2: Language Comprehension Keys to Literacy

Format: Asynchronous Online Course

Estimated Time: 15 hours

Closed for enrollment Free for Eligible Educators in MA $225 Closed: Course Full
Understanding Dyslexia and Reading Difficulties Keys to Literacy

Format: Asynchronous Online Course

Estimated Time: 6 hours

Closed for enrollment Free for Eligible Educators in MA $90 Closed: Course Full
Keys to Emergent Literacy (PreK) Keys to Literacy

Format: Synchronous Online Course

Estimated Time: 12 hours

Closed for enrollment Free for Eligible Educators in MA $180 Closed: Course Full
10-module Science of Reading (SOR) series Hill for Literacy

Format: 10 Synchronous 2.5-hour sessions with asynchronous application and reflection piece

Estimated Time: 30 hours

Closed for enrollment Free for Eligible Educators in MA $450 Closed: Course Full
Comprehensive Orton-Gillingham IMSE

Format: Synchronous Sessions

Estimated Time: 31 hours

Closed for enrollment Free for Eligible Educators in MA  -  Closed: Course Full
Science of Reading TNTP

Format: Asynchronous Online Course

Estimated Time: 25 hours

Closed for enrollment Free for Eligible Educators in MA $375 Closed: Course Full

* Early Access is a three-day period during which only certain educators may enroll in an OAPL courses. See the FAQ below for more details on who is eligible.

** It may take up to 120 days to receive stipends from course completion.

Disclosure Statement — Reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Our office is not responsible for and does not in any way guarantee the accuracy of information in other sites accessible through links herein. DESE may supplement this list with other services and products that meet the specified criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions about OAPL
Who can access the OAPL courses?

OAPL courses are open to all currently-employed Massachusetts public school educators whose work relates to literacy in grades preschool through three. This includes general education teachers, special education teachers, ESL or language support teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, literacy coaches, and other school or district administrators whose work relates to literacy in grades preschool through three. OAPL courses are also open to higher education faculty or administrators whose work relates to early literacy (for instance, faculty who teach literacy education courses; deans in educator preparation programs). Course providers determine the specific eligibility requirements for each course.

Can charter school educators participate in OAPL courses?

Yes, charter school educators can participate in the courses. Educators in Commonwealth charter schools are deemed state employees for the purposes of the Massachusetts ethics law (G.L. c. 268A). These employees will need to complete and file a section 7(b) ethics disclosure form if the course they are taking offers a stipend, because they will be considered to have a financial interest in a state contract. As the contract is not for personal services, the last page of the form does not need to be completed. Here are the 7(b) disclosure form and instructions for completing the form . Educators with questions can contact the Massachusetts Ethics Commission at requestadvice@massmail.state.ma.us or call the State Ethics Attorney of the Day hotline at (617) 371-9500. Educators at Horace Mann charter schools who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement with the school district should consult with their employers or the Massachusetts Ethics Commission to determine whether a 7(b) disclosure is required.

Can faculty at Massachusetts higher education institutions participate in OAPL courses?

Yes, Massachusetts higher education faculty can participate in the courses. Please note that faculty at Massachusetts public higher education institutions are considered special state employees for the purposes of the Massachusetts ethics law (G.L. c. 268A). These employees will need to complete and file a section 7(d) ethics disclosure form if the course they are taking offers a stipend, as they will be considered to have a financial interest in a state contract. Here are the section 7(d) disclosure form and instructions for completing the form . Educators with questions can contact the Massachusetts Ethics Commission at requestadvice@massmail.state.ma.us or call the State Ethics Attorney of the Day hotline at (617) 371-9500.

Can educators employed by local school districts and educational collaboratives participate in OAPL courses?

Yes, educators employed by local school districts and educational collaboratives can participate in the courses. There are no disclosures required under the Massachusetts ethics law (G.L. c. 268A) for these individuals.

How much do the OAPL courses cost?

There is no cost to educators. Course costs are being paid by DESE.

Is participation in OAPL required?

Participation in OAPL courses is optional. This professional learning opportunity is being provided by DESE, as an optional resource for educators. There is no requirement to participate.

How do I enroll in an OAPL course?

Course names and enrollment information will be posted to this page as it becomes available. Educators will enroll in approved OAPL courses directly through the course provider by clicking the link listed for that course. Educators do not need to contact or work with DESE to enroll. Please note that space is limited and enrollment will occur on a first-come, first-served basis.

What is Early Access and who gets Early Access?

Early Access is a three-day period during which certain educators get priority access to enroll in an OAPL course. After the three-day period, Early Access is over and any eligible educator may enroll. All eligible higher education faculty have Early Access. Educators who are currently employed in an eligible role in one of the following districts also have Early Access:

  • Amherst
  • Amherst-Pelham
  • Athol-Royalston
  • Attleboro
  • Beverly
  • Boston
  • Brockton
  • Chelsea
  • Chicopee
  • Clinton
  • Easthampton
  • Fall River
  • Fitchburg
  • Framingham
  • Gardner
  • Gateway
  • Gloucester
  • Greenfield
  • Hawlemont
  • Holyoke
  • Lawrence
  • Lowell
  • Lynn
  • Malden
  • New Bedford
  • North Adams
  • Northampton
  • Orange
  • Peabody
  • Pittsfield
  • Randolph
  • Saugus
  • Southbridge
  • Springfield
  • Taunton
  • Uxbridge
  • Webster
  • Westfield
  • Weymouth
  • Winchendon
  • Worcester

Will I receive Professional Development Points (PDPs) or college credits?

The available PDPs will vary by course and will be offered by course providers. If you are interested in receiving PDPs, please explore available courses to learn more about the PDPs each course provider is offering. DESE will not be directly issuing any PDPs for OAPL courses.

When are OAPL courses being offered?

Courses offered throughout this school year will be listed to this page. Each course will have different start and end dates. Course start dates range from December to May.

How many courses can I join?

Due to enormous interest, educators may only enroll in one course at this time. Please review the various courses and the select the one that best fits your interests and availability.

Do I need permission from my school or district in order to enroll in an OAPL course?

It is recommended that educators communicate with their school and/or district administration about their interest in OAPL courses. Grade-level teams, school-based teams, or district-based teams may decide to enroll and take a course together. However, school and/or district permission is not required. Educators may enroll in OAPL courses independently and individually if they so choose. DESE will not be communicating with or reporting back to schools or districts about OAPL course enrollment.

How do I receive my stipend and how much money is it?

Educators will receive a stipend upon completing some OAPL courses. It may take up to 120 days to receive stipends from course completion. The stipend ranges from $50-$500 depending on the course length. Certain OAPL courses provide educators with either graduate credits or highly valued training in a specific approach or intervention, such as Orton-Gillingham or Wilson; these courses do not offer a stipend. Educators should learn about course requirements, including class attendance requirements and required assignments, before enrolling in any course.

Course TypeContact HoursStipend (flat rate)
Asynchronous & SynchronousAny$15/hr
University course offering college creditAny$0
Course that provides training in a particular approach or intervention, such as Orton-Gillingham or Wilson ReadingAny$0

In order to receive your stipend, you must complete the course in which you enrolled. Course completion is determined by the course provider. Your stipend will be issued by your course provider after you have completed the course. The course provider will be solely responsible for determining whether course completion requirements have been met. For details on exactly how and when a stipend will be paid out, educators should contact their course provider. DESE does not monitor or control course completion or issuance of stipends. If you have stipend concerns, please contact your course provider.

When are educators expected to complete the course work?

Educators may determine when to engage in and complete course work outside of regular working hours.

Will any information about me be shared?

Course providers will report information to DESE about educators who enrolled in OAPL courses, including but not limited to your name, district or charter school where employed, whether the course was completed, and time to completion. Educators in OAPL courses will also be required to participate in an online survey of knowledge before and after taking their course(s), and results from that assessment will be shared with DESE. All information collected will be used for evaluating the effectiveness of the OAPL program and will not affect individuals' employment or licensure. No personal identifying information about educators in OAPL courses will be shared with schools or districts.

How can I provide feedback about my experience in OAPL courses?

Educators will be asked to complete a feedback survey at the end of each OAPL course. DESE invites educators to share feedback which will inform the operation of this program. For individual issues, please contact your course provider.

Have additional questions?

Please contact your course provider with any questions about course enrollment, requirements, or stipend. If you have any additional questions about OAPL, please contact Literacyandhumanities@mass.gov .

Last Updated: January 10, 2023

 
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Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.