Kansas Technical Assistance System Network (TASN)
provides technical assistance to support school districts’ systematic implementation of evidence-based practices.

Kansas LETRS Training Cadre

Kansas TASN LETRS 3rd Edition Facilitator Training

In an effort to build capacity of districts to support early literacy, struggling readers and to ensure teachers have the knowledge to effectively support all students with reading instruction, KSDE TASN is supporting LETRS 3rd Edition Facilitator training on an annual basis in Kansas beginning in June 2020. To participate in this training, staff will first have to complete the online course during the 2019-2020 school year (see suggested timeline below). 

LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) is an online course that teaches educators the science of reading and gives them the skills to teach language and literacy to every student, even those with reading challenges like dyslexia. This online professional development course addresses how to teach language and literacy only. It is curriculum agnostic and supports teachers in using locally adopted curriculum more effectively.

Register Interest in Attending LETRS Facilitator Training

If you or a member of your staff are interested in attending training to become a certified Local LETRS Facilitator please fill out the form at this link: Register Interest in LETRS Facilitator Training
This does not guarantee a slot in facilitator training but ensures that you will receive all future communications about applying for facilitator training.

Who should participate in LETRS Training?

LETRS 3rd Edition is ideal for staff who teach or support students in Grades K-4 or students who struggle with learning to read or write. LETRS for Early Childhood is best for staff who provides services or support to children who in preschool or kindergarten. 

What does LETRS ongoing Professional Development Look Like in a District?

The ideal implementation of LETRS would have all staff who support students preschool through Grade 4 participate in the LETRS 3rd Edition/LETRS for Early Childhood online course eventually. Best practice use of LETRS for Early Childhood and LETRS 3rd Edition consists of 4 parts: (1) the online course; (2) reading connected to the online course; (3) bridge-to-practice activities where staff practice the knowledge and skills from the online course and reading in their classroom; and (4) professional learning community lead by a certified Local LETRS Facilitator to support and deepen understanding of new knowledge and skills.

The logistics and structure of using LETRS as ongoing sustained professional development in a district is flexible based on local context. The online course and reading can be done in a computer lab/classroom with all staff working together at the same pace through the course or done independently. Having a group work at the same pace in the same room allows for discussions during the learning. Doing coursework independently provides more flexibility in when and where it is completed. LETRS 3rd Edition consists of two volumes. Course licenses are purchased for LETRS Volume 1 or 2, or LETRS for Early Childhood and provides access for 12 months to complete the course and access the information and videos. It is recommended that one volume is used over a single school year for professional development. This allows ample time for coursework, reading, bridge-to-practice work in the classroom and follow-up sessions with the certified Local LETRS Facilitator.

What is a Certified Local LETRS Facilitator?

This is an individual who has been through the online LETRS course, and who has also received additional training to support sustained use of LETRS as professional development in local districts. In addition, the individual has a deep understanding of the LETRS content and a commitment to become an expert in the research and evidence-based theories of LETRS.  This individual will facilitate local face-to-face workshops aligned to each unit, facilitate Professional Learning Community (PLC) sessions, answer questions from participants, and review participants’ online data to determine if gaps in understanding exist that need to be addressed. The roles of a LETRS Facilitator flyer may also be helpful.

Who should be a Certified Local LETRS Facilitator?

Any staff member can study to become a certified Local LETRS Facilitator. However, having a strong literacy background is helpful but not required. Beyond classroom teachers and reading specialists, other staff such as speech-pathologists and school psychologists may be considered. Anyone who has the skills to lead a professional learning community and support staff through learning could be an excellent LETRS Facilitator. The other consideration is ensuring the individual has administrative support to have release time to plan for and lead others through the professional learning.

Timeline for Becoming a Certified LETRS Facilitator

July-August: Identify 1-2 staff who have the interest and skills to lead future professional learning and an interest in literacy. Purchase the appropriate course for those individuals from Voyager Sopirs Learning Sales Allison Bauers (Allison.Bauers@voyagersopris.com) (All The online course must be purchased locally (approximately $357.00)

July-December: Register interest in participating in the LETRS Facilitator Training in June on this form

August-April: Staff will need to complete the online course, reading, bridge-to-practice activities & other possible optional activities offered by TASN.

March-May: Complete application for LETRS Facilitator Training once course & final exam are completed. More information to come. Selection will be made based on district commitment to support LETRS training for additional staff, completion of course activities, final exam score & order in which applications are received.

First Week of June: If accepted attend LETRS Facilitator Training.  Each course limited to 25 participants. TASN will provide the facilitator training free of charge (approximately $1800 value + Initial Facilitator Bundle $349 value). All travel costs must be covered locally.

Annually: Voyager Sopris Learning has an annual license fee (approximately $159) for continued access to the online materials to assist in providing facilitation and the required ongoing professional development to remain certified. This ongoing cost must be covered locally.

Cost -Effective District Professional Development

LETRS 3rd Edition compared to other professional development options, it is likely to be a lower cost per hour for professional development and provides deeper and ongoing professional development. Below are estimates of per-hour costs of professional development for a single staff member to attend a conference and to complete the LETRS using a ‘during the school day’ design for the community of practice requiring a substitute teacher.

Estimated 2 Day Conference Professional Development (14 hours of PD):

Registration $250 + Substitute Teacher 2 Days $200 + Hotel $100 + Meals $50 = Total $600

$42.87 per hour of professional development over 2 days

Estimated LETRS 3rd Edition Volume 1: Units 1-4 Professional Development (75 hours of PD)

Online Course $357 + Substitute Teacher 4 Days* $400 = Total $757

$10.09 per hour of professional development over a school year

*substitute teacher may not be needed depending on how district structures learning

Estimated LETRS 2nd Edition Modules 1-10 Professional Development (70 hours of PD)

Participant Books $350 + Substitute Teacher 7 Days* $700 = Total $1,050

$15.00 per hour of professional development over a school year

*substitute teacher may not be needed depending on how district structures learning

Additional questions about this effort please contact Kevin Davis of the TASN Coordination Project - kevin.davis@usu.edu