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CAST to Establish California Collaborative for Inclusive Literacy

California Department of Education and California Collaborative for Excellence in Education logos

Friday, July 10, 2020

CAST is pleased to announce the establishment of the California Collaborative for Inclusive Literacy (CCIL), a statewide professional development partnership to improve literacy outcomes using CAST’s signature framework, Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

CAST is partnering with the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), a statewide agency of accomplished educators charged with delivering a quality, equitable education for every student, as well as California’s Department of Education and Board of Education.

CCIL will address California’s five priority areas of literacy—reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language—with universal supports across the state and targeted supports for counties, districts, and schools. Working closely with five County Offices of Education (Fresno, Los Angeles, Placer, San Joaquin, and Santa Clara), CCIL will provide professional learning services and digital resources that equip educators to deliver inclusive literacy instruction at grade level for all learners in both general and special education settings.

“For several years now, these counties have shown a commitment to using UDL to make learning more inclusive and effective for all of their students,” says Jennifer Levine, CAST’s Director of Professional Learning. “We are thrilled to work together with them to foster inclusive literacy practices across general and special education settings.”

“Understanding how to teach all students literacy skills that help them attain their greatest potential can only occur using a multi-tiered approach and UDL principles. We look forward to the collaboration with CAST and our County Offices of Education to develop resources that address literacy among our students, especially as we aim to improve outcomes for our students with disabilities. Literacy development is essential for delivering on our California for All vision,” says Karla Estrada, Deputy Executive Director for CCEE.

The partnership will also help foster a self-sustaining community of practice across district and county lines with online courses, monthly meet-ups, and peer-to-peer coaching.

This 3-year, $5 million effort is supported through California’s Educator Workforce Investment Grant Program for Special Education-Related Professional Development.

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