Hemet Unified School District Adopts LETRS for New Two-Year Professional Learning Program

Over a third of district teachers and all administrators signed up for optional LETRS-based programs

Hemet Unified School District in Riverside County, California, has adopted LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional learning programs for its teachers and administrators. Offered by Lexia® Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, LETRS provides educators with the deep knowledge required to be literacy and language experts in the science of reading.

Developed by Dr. Louisa Moats and leaders in the field of literacy, the LETRS Suite provides practical support with tools that are available 24/7—online and in print. It also offers professional learning sessions led by national LETRS experts. These sessions provide classroom application examples of the learning and refine and extend participants’ understanding of the content. Hemet USD began rolling out LETRS in March 2022 as a two-year, cohort-based program. The district has implemented two professional learning programs:

    •   LETRS for Educators
    •   LETRS for Administrators

LETRS for Educators provides the research, depth of knowledge, and capabilities for teaching literacy skills to a wide range of students. While Hemet USD made the program optional, more than 500 teachers – over a third of the district’s 1,300 teachers – signed up for the first learning cohort. The district is now signing up staffers for the second cohort, which begins in August.

LETRS for Administrators equips instructional leaders to create systems and structures in their schools and districts for achieving high levels of academic performance and growth in literacy. All district administrators are currently participating in the optional program.

Located in Southern California’s San Jacinto Valley in Riverside County, Hemet Unified School District encompasses 28 schools and more than 22,000 students. The district’s minority enrollment is 80% with 88.5% of its students considered to be economically disadvantaged.

Hemet USD’s Director of Literacy and Intervention, Kristen Anderson, stated that participants are loving both the flexibility of the programs’ independent online learning and the support of the facilitator-led virtual sessions. “It approaches adult learning in a really respectful way and meets them where they’re at,” she said.

Anderson praised the programs’ analytics and rigor. “I like the ability to see the time spent and the mastery levels,” she said. “And I like that the participants must have 88% mastery or higher to become a LETRS local certified facilitator. The portfolio work that our teachers are required to do drives home that this is not just another PD program.”

“We are delighted that Hemet USD has chosen LETRS as the foundation for their ongoing professional learning initiative,” said Lexia Chief Learning Officer Dr. Liz Brooke. “At Lexia, we’ve seen the need for a common language and understanding of effective evidence-based literacy instruction practices across a school, district, and even a state. We’re pleased to be providing a knowledge base that Hemet educators will be able to reference for years to come.”

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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