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July 11, 2022 @ 9:00 am July 14, 2022 @ 3:30 pm

Leading for Literacy

Educator sitting at table writing in a notebook.

What every school leader needs to know about effective literacy teaching, coaching, and teacher leadership.

In this 4-day training for school principals and administrators, learn how to support literacy teaching in grades K–6.

Register to participate in-person at Lesley University or virtually!

July 11-14, 2022
9:00-11:30am & 1:00-3:30pm (EST)
Number of Days:
4 days
In-Person at Lesley University or Virtual
Grade Levels:
Leadership & Coaching
  • District & School Leaders
  • Literacy Coaches & Teacher Leaders
Non-credit; graduate credit available
  • Includes professional texts & materials
  • Literacy Collaborative Affiliation Discount available
Course Description & Outcomes
In-Person at Lesley University or Virtual
Policies & Graduate Credit Option


We will begin by helping you establish core values and beliefs about literacy teaching and learning that will be the foundation of your leadership.

Learn how to develop a healthy school culture that supports teamwork and continuous professional learning. With a strong foundation in literacy processing, assessment, and evidence-based instructional practices, you will be able to support instructional coherence for every child at every grade level.

In addition, you will learn how to promote shared ownership of data on student outcomes and address systemic structures that limit the learning of some students in the educational system.

Specifically, you will learn the essential elements of a variety of research based instructional contexts:

  • Interactive read-aloud
  • Shared reading
  • Guided reading
  • Book clubs
  • Independent reading and writing
  • Interactive/shared writing
  • Guided writing
  • Readers’ workshop
  • Writers’ workshop
  • Systematic phonics, spelling and word study

You will learn how to support teachers in using the Literacy Continuum to plan for and assess teaching and how to guide them in developing their knowledge of the specific scaffolds needed for English learners.

You will use “look-for” tools for each instructional context, as well as intervention lessons so you can observe and discuss specific elements of high-quality teaching. You will expand your use of precise language to support reflective teacher practice by analyzing videos of teaching to understand effective instructional practices.

You will receive a variety of professional texts and materials, including new professional book, Leading for Literacy: What Every School Leader Needs to Know, by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell.

You will earn 24 professional development hours in this training.
Graduate credit is available. Email to inquire.

If you’ve completed this training, register for Leading for Literacy: Part Two.

Irene Fountas, Director of the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative

Headshot of Irene Fountas

Irene is the Marie M. Clay Endowed Chair in Early Literacy and Reading Recovery, and is the author of many books. She is director of the Center for Reading Recovery in the Graduate School of Education at Lesley University. She has been a classroom teacher, language arts specialist, and consultant in school districts across the nation and abroad. Irene and co-author Gay Su Pinnell have published numerous books and resources with Heinemann. She has received numerous awards for her contributions to literacy.


Cynthia Downend, Assistant Director, Literacy Programs

Headshot of Cindy Downend

Cynthia Downend has worked at the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative for 15 years, serving in the roles of primary level literacy trainer and currently as the Assistant Director for Primary Literacy Programs.

Cynthia has worked with many school districts across the United States to train and develop district level literacy staff developers, literacy coaches, classroom teachers, literacy interventionists and school administrators on a variety of topics related to improving literacy instruction.

Prior to her work at Lesley University, Cynthia held positions as a literacy coach, Reading Recovery teacher, and classroom teacher for over 20 years working in a variety of school settings including urban, suburban, and international schools.


Linda Murphy, Assistant Director, Literacy Programs

Linda Murphy Headsht

Linda has worked in school districts in New York in a variety of roles and settings. Prior to her joining the center at Lesley University, Linda held positions as a principal of an intermediate school, a Director of English Language Arts, Social Studies and Reading, a district trainer for Literacy Collaborative Intermediate, a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader and a classroom teacher. Linda holds licenses in Elementary Education and School District Administration.

Transition from In-Person to Virtual:

In-person training is currently available to a limited number of participants and you may choose that option. Should any of the conditions change and it is determined the training can be offered online only, you will be notified as soon as possible.

At this point in time, participants who have opted to come to Lesley University for the in-person format of professional learning must be prepared to follow Lesley University’s protocols (click for more information). Check this page for the most up-to-date information about safety protocols before you arrive and during your time on-campus.

Cancellation Deadline & Refund Policies


You must cancel in writing two weeks before the start of the course to get a refund, minus a $50 processing fee. Email to cancel. Regardless of weather conditions, if the event is held but you cannot attend, you will be billed for the full amount.

Graduate Credit

Review the university’s cancellation and refund policies for credit bearing courses.

Registration Deadline & Shipping Policies

The registration portal closes two business days before the first day of training to allow the minimum amount of time to ship training materials.

If you register within two weeks before the registration portal closes, you may incur additional fees for expedited shipping. You may still experience delays in receiving your materials.

Requirements for Participation

After the training, you will receive a certificate of attendance for your participation. To receive a complete certificate, participation during the specified times is required. Additional work may be assigned to meet the professional development hours.

Graduate Credit Option

With additional assignments and fees, this course can be taken for graduate credit. Contact to register for credit.

With Your Colleagues Option

We can deliver this training to your school/district. This option can be delivered virtually or in-person for a group within your school/district (as COVID-19 social distancing guidelines allow).

Fees & Policies

  • Fees are determined by the number of participants and the duration of training.
  • If applicable, travel expenses for each trainer (airfare, hotel, meals, and rental car) are an additional cost to be paid by the district.
  • Professional development sessions that require extensive travel or overnight stays (if applicable) may incur an additional surcharge.
  • If the number of participants exceeds the maximum, another trainer may be needed. This will increase training costs and travel expenses.
  • Unless otherwise noted, fees do not include the cost of any required books or materials. The faculty trainer will consult with the district to select books based on the topics and the district’s needs.
  • School districts in the same geographic area participating in the same training may combine their resources to meet participant minimums. Payment must be on one district’s purchase order.

For detailed costs, complete our online form to request this training for your school/district and we will contact you.

Interested in professional learning at your school 
or district? Schedule a meeting with one of our faculty trainers.

“Learning from the trainers is an amazing gift. I have built my professional knowledge with their words, expertise and experiences. Now learning and talking with them brings a whole new level to my professional practice. They are inspiring and heartwarming!”

Stephanie Dunk, District Leadership, East Windsor Regional District, New Jersey

“Thank you for the opportunity. An incredible amount of information was shared. I’m taking away with me the importance in the development of common language, actions and instructional modalities to build a positive climate to impact school/district culture.”

Dana Castine, Central Office, Florida Union Free School District, New York

“My principal, assistant principal and other literacy coach all participated in this PD in previous years. It really solidified everything we have been talking about and working on pre-COVID. I am taking away so many reinforced ideas about guided reading, reading in general and the importance of collaboration and professionalism.”

Kristin Gemaly, Literacy Coach, Regional Multicultural Magnet School, Connecticut