Hemet Unified School District
LETRS Question & Answer Session
LETRS provides a synthesis of research and easy-to-apply practices that are proven effective for readers who are typically developing, struggling, dyslexic and disabled. LETRS systematically prepares and grows your capacity to improve the proficiency of any student. This training will update your capacity to identify, sequence and integrate evidence-based instruction in oral language, phonemic awareness, decoding, spelling, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension and writing. Since LETRS is not a curriculum, you will have the ability to use the knowledge, research and logic to improve or select better instructional programs and activities to support students to get the reading results you need.
Who can participate in LETRS training?
LETRS training is offered to all regular Certificated employees in Hemet Unified School District with credentials that involve instructional interaction with students regardless of title or grade-span taught.
Can Substitute teachers participate in LETRS training?
LETRS is not offered to substitutes at this time.
Who is LETRS training best suited for?
Developed by renowned literacy experts Dr. Lousia Moats and Dr. Carol Tolman, LETRS was initially designed for pre K-5 educators. However, teachers of students up to grade 12 have engaged in this training and benefited from these skills and strategies designed to support all readers, but especially those who struggle, have disabilities and/or are second language learners.
What is the time commitment for LETRS?
The estimated time it will take to complete the online content and reading/activities in the book is approximately 9-14 hours per unit. This is equivalent to approximately 2 hours of study per week. At the end of each unit, there is a live (virtual) workshop that is 6 hours long. You can select to do this over two afternoon/evening meetings or one Saturday meeting.
Will I be paid for LETRS training? Do I have to cover the cost of LETRS training?
LETRS will be provided at no cost to you (approximately $2,000 value). Participants will be paid at a standardized R&D rate for the online coursework and independent reading. For example, all participants will be paid 10 hours for Unit 1, plus an additional 6 hours for attending the live (virtual) workshop for a total of 16 hours of R&D for Unit 1.
Can I do LETRS during my workday?
The online coursework and independent reading cannot be completed during your work day. You can complete and integrate the Bridge to Practice (designed to apply your learning) into your work day.
How often will I be paid?
You will be paid upon completion of each unit according to our Implementation Timeline. Completion has two components: 1) Coursework Proof AND 2) Certificate of Attendance for the Workshop
What does this training look like?
LETRS training is a combination of online coursework, independent reading, classroom application (entitled Bridge to Practice) and a 6 hour virtual workshop.
Is the Bridge to Practice required?
The Bridge to Practice activities are designed to enhance and extend the learning of the LETRS content into a practical experience whereby teachers facilitate their learning through lessons in their own classrooms with their own students. The District will not be requiring submission of the Bridge to Practice and Portfolio work in order to obtain payment for the units, however, if participants wish to receive College credit, they may be asked to submit this work to the college.
What is the Workshop?
A live (virtual or in person) Workshop is held after the conclusion of each LETRS unit of study. Each professional learning session is led by a highly-qualified LETRS facilitator. Sessions are two three hour sessions or one six hour session. During these sessions, participants will:
How long do I have to complete the course?
Signing up for the first cohort of LETRS trained teachers means that you are committing to completing Units 1-8 in a two year timeline.
The time to complete the reading, online, and Bridge to Practice activities will vary, but as a rough guide, each volume takes approximately 48-60 hours of individual study to complete.
For more detailed information, see LETRS Estimated Time to Complete by Unit.
Can I work ahead?
The course is self-paced. If you choose to work ahead of our District pacing, you can do so. Our workshops will remain as scheduled, so when you attend the workshop, you will have to be mindful that you are ahead of your other colleagues.
Can I skip to more desired units of study?
The content is “gated”, which means you must finish each unit sequentially and cannot move onto the next one until the current one is finished.
What if I get behind the timeline?
We will work with you to offer access to a variety of workshops that match your pacing. That being said, if you get behind the timeline, we cannot guarantee you will be able to access the workshops, thus missing the learning and the additional pay that goes with attending these sessions.
Participants will receive a two year license to the material. Whichever units you have not completed, you will not be paid for. In addition, if the option exists to request an extension of the license from LETRS to “make up” the missing units and complete the program, you may be asked to personally cover the cost of extending the license.
Can I get College/University credit for attending and completing LETRS training?
Participants who complete LETRS can receive graduate credit and transcript credit from American College of Education. Additionally, participants who complete LETRS can receive graduate credit from Wilson College.
Can I use LETRS to move over on the payscale?
In order to do this, you will need to do the following:
How much are the Units?
Although we cannot answer this directly for everyone, as you all have different purposes, needs, and educational goals, your HUSD colleagues have completed some research, as found below. We urge you to communicate directly with the College and your HR tech to verify that this information meets your needs.
After our meeting yesterday, I did some digging and found that the American College of Education will award 3 units of a college course for every 2 units of LETRS completed with 80% accuracy or above for $100. So, with full completion of LETRS, you could earn 12 units for pay scale purposes for $400 (or 9 for $300, 6 for $200, 3 for $100–according to the number of units a person would personally need to pay scale jump. Those units are also available from the college to be applied to several different Masters programs or Doctoral programs as 4 courses towards completion of the program. Bottom line—LETRS = 12 units for $400
Is there a test?
Pretests are given at the start of Volume 1 (Units 1-4) and Volume 2 (Units 5-8). Pretests are not timed and you can reference notes. Participants cannot retake pretests.
Checks for Understanding (typically 4-5 questions) are presented at the end of each session in LETRS. These are not timed, notes can be referenced. You will see your score as soon as you are done. Participants may attempt each Check for Understanding two times. The best score will be recorded in your online portal.
Unit Assessments (10 questions) are given at the end of each unit. Unit assessments are not timed and notes can be referenced. Participants may attempt each Unit Assessment two times. The best score will be recorded in your online portal.
Posttest is given at the end of Volume 1 (Units 1-4) and Volume 2 Units 5-8). Posttest is not timed and notes can be referenced. Participants may not rettake posttest; one exception is if the participant is seeking to be a LETRS facilitator and you get 80-87%, we can request one retake from LETRS.
What is the difference between a Certificate of Completion and a Certificate of Mastery?
A Certificate of Completion means the participant earned a Unit Score of less than 80%.
A Certificate of Mastery means that you earned a Unit Score of 80% or higher.
Does LETRS support EL or Dual Language Immersion Instruction?
Although LETRS focuses on the teaching of English literacy skills, it more importantly teaches us how literacy occurs. It doesn’t matter whether it’s English, Spanish, Japanese, etc. When we study the processes of our brain, as we do in Unit 1, we specifically address the job that different areas of the brain perform when a child is learning language and acquiring literacy. However, if we analyze this information carefully, we can see the many challenges presented to our native speakers of English, and in particular our English Learners as well as our students participating in DLI. LETRS does not address any particular language configurations (such as DLI) directly. However, it does make the case for direct and explicit instruction because of the increased number of phonemes that the English Language has over others, the difference in our language’s phonetic structure, the increased sophistication needed in English
phonological awareness, and the nature of English orthography.
How will my Administrator support me through LETRS?
All Certificated Administrators (Directors, Principals, Assistant Principals) will engage in LETRS for Administrators. This training will be completed by the end of the 2022-23 school year. The goal is to ensure site administrators have the same foundational knowledge as the teachers and are able to support instruction, remove barriers and provide feedback with research-based strategies.
What if I want to join this training at a later time?
Hemet USD is committed to providing our teachers and administrators with the skills, knowledge and tools needed to support students. We will be offering new cohorts each year for employees who wish to commit to this deep learning.
Does LETRS help Dyslexic students?
LETRS has earned accreditation from the International Dyslexia Association. For more on this, see the LETRS press-release
Can I join LETRS training with my team? My school?
HUSD teachers can sign up independently and will be grouped into an appropriate cohort. In addition, if participants want to sign up as a grade level team, a department team or even as a school, a cohort will be created just for you! And we have prizes and swag for schools and teams who join together!
Can I become a LETRS facilitator?
Who can be a LETRS facilitator?
The Facilitator is an individual with a deep understanding of the content and a commitment to become an expert in the research and evidence-based theories of LETRS. This individual will facilitate face-to-face workshops aligned to each unit, facilitate Professional Learning Communities, answer questions from participants, and review participants’ online data to determine if gaps in
conceptual understanding exist that need to be addressed in a customized workshop.
Attendees at this session must meet eligibility requirements listed
below. Space is limited to 25 participants.
1. Complete the online content for Units 1–4.
2. Complete four days of Unit training, with one day dedicated to each Unit in the Volume.
3. Pass the end-of-course exam following Unit 4 with a score of 88% or better.
4. HUSD will purchase a Facilitator’s Kit upon meeting #1 and 2 above.
What will participants learn?
Facilitator candidates will learn how to:
1. Use the Facilitator’s Guide and other resources to facilitate face-to-face sessions, PLCs, and group meetings when supporting teachers as they progress through each of the four units in Volume 1
2. Determine and communicate an implementation model and schedule for LETRS participants
3. Monitor and report course progress at the individual, school, and district level
4. Provide ongoing support to participants using suggested resources and tools
Where can I sign up?
In order to sign-up you may enter your name on the form found on https://staff.hemetlearnstogether.org/lexialetrs/