With Literacy Matters, Aldine ISD is Blazing Trails

It’s no exaggeration to say that we’ve been gobsmacked by the Aldine ISD team this year!

We were delighted to add one of its leaders to our ranks: Matt Warford, the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning – who hit the ground running with his first webinar.

We had to share some of the exemplary Aldine work that has caught our eye this year.  Here’s what makes this district one to watch:

Hosting its own literacy conference

Aldine is hosting a free, open-invitation Literacy Matters conference in January, with speakers from our PLN, including Robin McClellan and Janise Lane, as well as literacy luminaries like Natalie Wexler.

The best part?  Aldine’s motivation for the conference is to help neighboring districts! As Matt shared, “In Texas, we really are the first big public district to make this shift, so we wanted to see if any of the neighboring districts would like more information while also giving our internal staff members some meaningful training. Then we figured, since it’s virtual, the more the merrier.” 

This event is a first of its kind in the Curriculum Matters community and we hope it’s not the last!

Please join the Literacy Matters event on January 30th.  

Making literacy a key pillar of its anti-racism plan

In June, Aldine’s superintendent Dr. Goffney sent a powerful letter to families in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, detailing the district’s plans to address systemic racism. It was authentic and rich with actions that spanned many parts of the district’s work. One distinguishing factor: literacy was front and center.  When it comes to reading outcomes, “the statistics related to Black males are shameful,” wrote Dr. Goffney when she introduced the district’s “new approach” to families.

Every district equity plan should make instructional equity a key pillar! Aldine is a model for keeping academics at the heart of equity work.

Successful implementation in a pandemic year

No one would choose a global pandemic as the time to roll out new curriculum, but knowing the stakes, Aldine didn’t hesitate to proceed with its planned ELA adoption of two new curricula.

For a smooth launch amidst all of the other complications, they have earned our respect!

Aldine’s implementation got a boost from the Texas Reading Academies, a new state program to train K–3 teachers and building leaders on the science of reading, which Matt describes as a “nice complement” to their own curriculum-aligned PD. 

We look forward to hearing more about each of these initiatives and so much more in the months and years to come!