Writing/Communications Program Policies
Aligned with Writing Program Review Guidelines
The overall goal of Catlettsburg Elementary’s writing/communications program is to help ALL students in grades K - 5 and
content areas develop complex communication skills that will serve them in a variety of situations in their lives. In the
program, “writing” is defined broadly, to include oral and written text, multi-media communication, and communication
Students at ALL grades shall produce a variety of communications, including:
argumentative (opinion/persuasive) texts
writing to learn,
writing to demonstrate learning,
communication for authentic purposes and audiences
in a variety of modes.
The school’s policies were developed collaboratively by school teachers and administrators, and they are intended to
address components of communication programs indicated in regulation (Senate Bill 1) and Kentucky Core Academic
Standards (KCAS). These policies were designed in correlation with the Writing Program Review and the Writing Policy
Policies were reviewed and approved by Catlettsburg Elementary Site-Based Decision Making
Approval Date: ______________________________
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A. Curriculum and Instruction
1. The school leaders and teachers shall implement a rigorous communication curriculum which provides innovative
opportunities for ALL students to develop and refine 21st century communication skills.
1.1 Teachers and school leaders shall align curriculum vertically and horizontally to the Kentucky Core Academic
Standards for Literacy.
1.2 Teachers and school leaders shall provide classroom instruction across the curriculum that reflects a variety of
experiences for students to communicate authentically while applying 21st century skills.
1.3 Teachers and school leaders shall demonstrate self competency and assist students with use of current
technology, communication tools, applications and resources.
1.4 Students shall demonstrate competency with 21st century communication skills.
2. The school leaders and teachers shall implement a rigorous communication curriculum where students demonstrate
disciplinary understanding and interdisciplinary connections.
2.1 Teachers shall integrate the strands of literacy (reading, writing, speaking, listening, observing) across the
2.2 Teachers, K – 5, shall use explicit instruction to develop communication skills.
2.3 Students shall apply disciplinary understanding in real world learning experiences which integrate
2.4 Students shall communicate for multiple purposes appropriate to the discipline using a variety of forms and
2.5 Students shall research questions developed from their own interests and communicate their learning.
2.6 Students shall use a developmentally appropriate research process, including the evaluation, interpretation,
citation, synthesis of multiple sources, and consideration of visuals and other data.
3. Students shall engage across the curriculum in a process of critical thinking and communicating.
3.1 Teachers shall plan intentionally to foster students’ use of critical thinking, writing and communication skills.
3.2 Teachers shall scaffold instruction that is strategic and developmentally appropriate.
3.3 Students shall use thinking and writing skills to learn and to demonstrate learning.
3.4 Students shall use a variety of models and other resources to improve their communication skills.
3.5 Students shall explore, plan, draft, revise, and edit to refine their ideas and products.
3.6 Students shall have multiple opportunities to publish for authentic and appropriate audiences.
3.7 Students, K - 5, shall build a folder of communication products that demonstrate student interest and the
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development of writing and communication skills over time and across all content areas.
4. Students shall develop communication skills through collaboration and feedback.
4.1 Students shall discuss and share their ideas and work through conferences with teachers, peers, and others.
4.2 Students shall use feedback to make decisions about revisions to their work.
4.3 Students shall collaborate with teachers, peers and others to learn, to problem-solve and generate products.
4.4 Teachers, school leaders, and students shall communicate/collaborate with family members and the community
to develop student communication skills.
4.5 Students shall use feedback to reflect on their learning and make plans to strengthen their communication skills.
5. Schools shall provide differentiated learning experiences in communication skills.
5.1 Schools shall offer advanced (or accelerated) learning or enrichment opportunities that enhance writing and
5.2 Schools shall implement a system of interventions to meet individual student needs in developing
5.3 Schools shall encourage students to publish/share their work.
5.4 Teachers shall use differentiated learning experiences in classroom instruction to meet students’ needs in
developing communication skills.
B. School-wide Communication Folders
1. Teacher and administrators shall develop a system to collect digital and/or written samples of students’ work in a
1.1 Communication folders shall be maintained at all grade levels and shall be passed to each student’s next
grade or school.
1.2 Students shall participate with teachers in decisions about what to include in a communication folder and what
1.3 The school shall develop a plan for grade-level contents of the communication folder, which shall reflect
students’ interests and work relevant to state regulations and standards.
1.4 Communication folder contents shall indicate that some writing has been done over time (with revisions and
feedback) and other writing has been done in a limited time frame, even a single sitting.
1.5 Communication folder contents shall indicate communications for a variety of authentic purposes; oral, written,
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and multi-media texts, communication through technology; narrative, informative/explanatory, and
argumentative (opinion/persuasive) texts, some based on research and some based on content learning. Other
types of communication will be included, e.g., writing to demonstrate learning and writing to learn.
1.6 Students and teachers shall have opportunities to review collections of their work and determine plans for
1.7 School leaders and teachers shall review student communication folders to form plans to strengthen instruction
and school program.
C. Formative and Summative Assessment
1. Teachers and school leaders shall systematically align writing and communication assessments to standards across all
grade levels and content areas.
1.1 Teachers shall collaborate within Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to review writing and
communication assessments for alignment with standards.
1.2 Teachers shall collaborate within PLCs to align writing and communication assessments across grade levels and
1.3 Teachers shall use writing and communication skills to formatively assess content area learning.
1.4 Teachers shall deconstruct standards to determine specific learning objectives and align both instruction and
assessments with those objectives.
2. Teachers shall embed on-going formative and summative assessments in instruction for writing and other forms of
2.1 Teachers shall work collaboratively within PLCs to develop a variety of formative and summative assessments
for writing and communication.
2.2 Teachers shall provide students with models that demonstrate specific learning objectives.
2.3 Teachers shall provide students opportunities to revise and apply learning through the writing process before end
products are summatively assessed.
2.4 Teachers shall provide opportunities for students to use writing to reflect on their content learning.
3. Teachers shall assess students’ writing and communication skills formatively and summatively to provide feedback and
inform instruction across the curriculum.
3.1 Schools will develop a plan to monitor student progress in developing writing and communication skills consistent
with grade-level writing standards.
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3.2 Teachers shall formatively assess student’s writing processes as well as products.
3.3 Teachers shall provide feedback on students’ communication products to inform students of writing and
communication strengths and areas for growth.
3.4 Teachers shall provide feedback to students using formative and summative assessments in order to strengthen
their writing and communication skills.
3.5 Students will reflect on their writing to set goals that are appropriate for them and meet writing standards.
3.6 Students will use peer and teacher feedback to reflect upon progress toward their goals and apply learning.
4. Students will take ownership of their learning by analyzing and using feedback from formative and summative
assessments of writing and communication skills.
4.1 Students will analyze feedback and reflect on their writing and communication to set goals that are appropriate in
meeting writing standards.
4.2 Teachers and students will use models to co-develop scoring guides and rubrics to assess writing and
4.3 Students will engage in self-assessing achievement of learning objectives.
D. Professional Development and Support Services
1. A leadership team appointed by the School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) council shall review the writing and
communication program to generate teacher professional development plans.
1.1 The professional development plan will support the school’s writing vision for literacy (reading, writing,
speaking, listening and observing).
1.2 The professional development plan will be designed to meet the needs of the school and the criteria of the
as well as the long-term vision for the school’s writing and communications program.
1.3 The professional development plan will be communicated to all invested stakeholders.
2. The principal will promote the professional development plan to ensure high quality writing and communication
2.1 The principal and staff will collaboratively evaluate and reflect on the impact of the writing and communication
instructional practices of the school to inform the professional development plan.
2.2 The principal will allocate equitable time and resources to implement the professional development plan.
2.3 The principal will initiate professional learning among staff through collaboration and self-reflection.
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2.4 The principal will facilitate a variety of professional learning opportunities to meet diverse learning needs among
2.5 The principal will participate fully in professional learning regarding the school’s writing and communication
3. Schools shall utilize teacher leaders and outside sources to promote high quality professional development in writing
and communication instruction.
3.1 Teacher leaders will support the professional development plan through facilitating learning and modeling best
practices for instruction in writing and communication skills.
3.2 Teacher leaders shall disseminate information regarding resources and opportunities to promote professional
growth needs addressed in the professional development plan.
3.3 Teacher leaders shall differentiate support to meet the diverse learning needs among staff.
3.4 Schools will utilize outside experts and resources as appropriate to support the professional development plan.
4. Teachers shall participate in professional learning opportunities that enhance the delivery of high quality writing and
4.1 Teachers will engage in job-embedded, on-going professional learning to enhance student learning in writing and
4.2 Teachers will engage in professional learning opportunities that enhance their ability to deliver effective,
appropriate instruction that improves student communication skills for a 21st century global society.
4.3 Teachers will engage in professional learning to enhance their ability to use formative and summative
assessment to improve student’s communication skills.
4.4 School leaders and teachers will analyze the impact of professional development on the communications
E. Administrative Leadership Support and Monitoring
1. The SBDM council shall monitor the implementation of policies concerning a school’s writing and communications
1.1 The SBDM council will analyze data regarding the implementation of the school’s writing and communications
program and facilitate improvements to the program and/or policies based on data analysis.
1.2 The SBDM council will monitor effectiveness of staffing allocation decisions for supporting the school’s program.
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1.3 The SBDM council will monitor availability of resources for supporting the school’s program.
1.4 The SBDM council will monitor the use of instructional time for supporting the school’s program.
2. School leadership will guide implementation of the school-wide writing and communication program through a long-
term common vision for the program.
2.1 School leaders shall communicate expectations with staff for implementing the school writing and communication
2.2 School leaders will support teachers and staff in developing, implementing, and monitoring a long-term vision for
literacy (reading, writing, speaking, listening and observing).
2.3 School leaders shall promote a building wide culture that fosters student success as critical thinkers, problem
solvers, and effective communicators.
2.4 School leaders will promote a culture where staff, teachers, and students alike participate in writing and
communicating in the school community.
2.5 School leaders will empower teachers to collaborate in PLCs on instructional decisions to develop students’
2.6 School leaders will inform and support teachers and support staff in implementing research-based writing and
2.7 School leaders will provide additional learning opportunities for teachers and support staff new to the school in
implementing the school’s writing and communication program.
3. Teacher leaders will assist administration in implementing the school’s writing and communications program.
3.1 Teacher leaders will collaborate with teachers to implement the school’s writing and communication program.
3.2 Teacher leaders will collaborate in PLCs to empower teachers to share their expertise related to writing and
3.3 Teacher leaders will support leadership in monitoring the implementation of the school’s writing and
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