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§ 12-1205.8. Teacher support in the Structured Literacy Program

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 24 P.S. EducationEffective: July 8, 2022

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 24 P.S. Education
Chapter 1. Public School Code of 1949 (Refs & Annos)
Article XII. Certification of Teachers (Refs & Annos)
Effective: July 8, 2022
24 P.S. § 12-1205.8
§ 12-1205.8. Teacher support in the Structured Literacy Program
(a)(1) It is the intent of the General Assembly that teachers be equipped to facilitate high-quality reading instruction grounded in structured literacy and intervention services to address student reading needs.
(2) The program provided in this section will assist participating school entities in providing professional development for teachers in foundational skills and instructional interventions based on structured literacy and providing opportunities for school personnel to serve as reading coaches to support teachers in delivering high-quality reading instruction.
(b)(1) Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, the department shall establish a program of professional development and applied practice in structured literacy for school personnel that includes in-class demonstration, modeling and coaching support to improve reading and literacy outcomes.
(2) School personnel selected by the participating school entity to serve as professional coaches for this program must have at least five years of experience in teaching of reading and be able to demonstrate their skills in the instruction of and intervention with students, including those with dyslexia and other language-related disabilities.
(3) The department may contract with multiple service providers, including school entities and institutions of higher education with demonstrated experience in structured literacy, to develop and implement the program so that experienced support is available locally.
(4) A service provider, including a school entity or approved educator preparation program that demonstrates successful implementation of literacy outcomes, is eligible to provide professional development and onsite demonstration and coaching support in the program.
(5) A participating school entity shall adopt high-quality instructional materials grounded in scientific-based reading research in accordance with the State academic standards approved by the State Board of Education.
(c)(1) The continuing professional education plan of each school entity shall satisfy the continuing education requirements of 22 Pa. Code § 49.17 (relating to continuing professional education), including training in structured literacy for professional employes who hold instructional certificates in early childhood, elementary-middle level, Special Education-PK-12, English as a second language and reading specialist. To ensure that school personnel have the knowledge and skill to teach all students to read, including students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities, training shall address, but shall not be limited to:
(i) Evidence-based intervention practices on structured literacy.
(ii) Explicit and systematic instruction in phonological and phonemic awareness.
(iii) The alphabetic principle, decoding and encoding, fluency and vocabulary.
(iv) Reading comprehension and building content knowledge.
(2) School employes required to undergo continuing professional education under section 1205.2 or 1205.51 shall receive credit toward the school employe's continuing professional education requirements if the training program has been approved by the department.
(d) The department shall create and provide guidelines to describe the standard components for professional development needed for structured literacy instruction, including required content knowledge, and establish criteria by which reading and literacy outcomes may be measured.
(e) The department shall develop reading literacy skills standards for use by educator preparation programs that prepare candidates to earn an instructional certificate in early childhood, elementary-middle level, Special Education-PK-12, English as a second language and reading specialist. The standards shall include, at a minimum, instruction on the following:
(1) Effectively teaching the reading literacy skills of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
(2) Differentiating instruction for teaching students with advanced reading skills and students with dyslexia or other language-based learning disabilities.
(3) Identifying and teaching students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities using appropriate scientific research and brain-based multisensory intervention methods and strategies.
(4) Implementing reading instruction using high-quality instructional materials.
(5) Using developmentally appropriate supports to ensure that students can effectively access reading instruction.
(6) Administering universal reading screeners to students.
(f) Beginning August 1, 2024, an approved educator preparation program shall provide candidates seeking certification in early childhood, elementary-middle level, Special Education-PK-12, English as a second language and reading specialist with training on reading instruction focused primarily on the reading literacy skills standards developed under subsection (e).
(g) As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
“Approved educator preparation program.” A sequence of courses and experiences offered by a preparing institution or alternative provider that is reviewed and approved by the department.
“Chief school administrator.” The superintendent of a school district, executive director of an intermediate unit, administrative director of an area career and technical school or chief executive officer of a charter school, cyber charter school or regional charter school.
“Department.” The Department of Education of the Commonwealth.
“Participating school entity.” A school entity that elects to take part in the Structured Literacy Program.
“School entity.” A school district, intermediate unit, area career and technical school, charter school, cyber charter school or regional charter school.
“Structured literacy.” Systemic, explicit instruction that:
(1) provides a strong core of foundational skills in the language systems of English;
(2) integrates listening, speaking, reading, spelling and writing; and
(3) emphasizes the structure of language across the speech sound system, the writing system, the structure of sentences, the meaningful parts of words, the relationship among words and the organization of spoken and written discourse.


1949, March 10, P.L. 30, No. 14, art. XII, § 1205.8, added 2022, July 8, P.L. 620, No. 55, § 9, imd. effective.


24 P.S. § 12-1205.2 or 12-1205.5.
24 P.S. § 12-1205.8, PA ST 24 P.S. § 12-1205.8
Current through Act 13 of the 2024 Regular Session. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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