Tenets of High-Quality, Evidence-Based Literacy Instruction for Pre-K to Grade 3 Students Released by Maine Department of Education

The success of Maine’s future requires an approach to education that fully prepares students for college, careers, and citizenship by focusing on their physical, emotional, and academic growth. The Maine DOE’s Whole Student Approach is a framework that invests in structures, people, and practices to develop educational systems that support healthy, safe, engaged, supported, challenged and prepared students. To accomplish this, the Maine DOE studies the science of learning and promotes evidence-based practices that support whole student development.  A critical component of a whole student approach is to ensure intentionally planned foundational literacy instruction is available for all students in Pre-K to Grade 3. Strong literacy skills are essential for ensuring equitable academic, social, and emotional learning opportunities.

Recognizing the vital importance of foundational literacy development and in response to school system inquiries related to early literacy program development, a team of Maine DOE specialists, with feedback from Maine educators and educational partners, has developed guidance to support School Administrative Units in designing and implementing systematic and explicit early literacy instruction. The guidance outlines essential literacy content as well as core instructional and assessment practices research indicates should be present in Pre-K to Grade 3 classrooms. A table depicting the changing emphasis on essential components across the Pre-K to Grade 3 span is included in the document.

This guidance is designed as a supportive tool for early elementary educators, administrators, and literacy leadership teams to reflect on current practices and to potentially adjust educational design to support high-quality and evidence-based early literacy learning for all Pre-K to Grade 3 students. The recently revised state literacy plan, Literacy for ME 2.0, offers SAUs additional structures to develop reliable systems of literacy supports from birth to adult in communities and schools.

Access the guidance document: High-Quality, Evidence-Based Literacy Instruction for All Maine Pre-K to Grade 3 Students

If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Dee Saucier (danielle.m.saucier@maine.gov), Inclusive Education Literacy Specialist, or Lee Anne Larsen (leeann.larsen@maine.gov), Director of Early Learning.