Structured Literacy - IU13
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Structured Literacy

Teacher working with students who are reading

Is your school preparing to equip teachers with knowledge on the Science of Reading and how Structured Literacy approaches can help improve student outcomes … AND meet new Pennsylvania requirements?

IU13’s research-based, customized opportunities for professional development are ready for you!

Whether your school is seeking professional development on the essentials to meet the Structured Literacy professional development requirements or looking to “dive deeper” through specialized sessions, our literacy experts can provide sessions and guidance to meet your specific needs.

  • Essentials Series for Schools & Districts: Our full Structured Literacy Essentials Series for Schools & Districts is ideal for school teams who are new to the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy. (Each of the Essentials Series sessions are also available individually and can be tailored to full- or half-day sessions to meet a school’s specific needs.)
  • Essentials Sessions for Individuals: Our Essentials Sessions for Individuals are ideal for educators and school leaders who are new to Science of Reading and Structured Literacy, and seeking to meet Structured Literacy professional development requirements.

Contact us for additional information on any of these opportunities.


An ideal three-day foundation for Structured Literacy professional development available for school or district teams:

  • Science of Reading 101 &
    Structured Literacy Overview

  • Word Recognition &

  • Language & Reading Comprehension


Opportunities for individual educators/school leaders to meet Specialized Literacy professional development requirements:

  • Structured Literacy 101 for Administrators

Specialized Sessions for Schools/Districts

In addition, we offer Specialized Sessions which are designed to help educators work toward specific competencies.  These sessions offer opportunities to “dig deeper” into Structured Literacy professional development:

  • Phonological, Phonemic, Phonics? I’m so confused!
  • Word Study for Upper Elementary & Beyond
  • Informed Writing Instruction

Please contact us for additional information about Specialized Sessions.


Anchors for Understanding the Science of Reading

  • The Reading Brain
  • Simple View of Reading (SVR)
  • Scarborough’s Rope
  • 4-Pt Processing Model for Word Recognition

What is Structured Literacy? – Essential Principles & Practices



  • Understand the importance of phonology to reading and spelling.
  • Understand instructional strategies to provide explicit in phonological and phonemic awareness.
  • Understand the word recognition strand of Scarborough’s Reading Rope, and how and why it is critical to skilled reading development.
  • Understand the relationship between phonemes and graphemes.
  • Understand the 5 Principles of English Orthography.
  • Identify opportunities to explicitly address each of the subskills of the word recognition domain.



Language Comprehension

  • Understand the constituent skills of the language comprehension bundle of Scarborough’s Reading Rope and why they are critical to skilled reading over time, with an emphasis on background knowledge and vocabulary.
  • Understand strategies for building background knowledge and teaching vocabulary using a structured literacy approach.

Reading Comprehension

  • Understand comprehension as the product of multiple cognitive processes and skills.
  • Understand the Situational Model and strategies to move learners beyond the text base.
  • Distinguish between the products of comprehension and the strategies that support the construction of meaning.
  • Understand how to support comprehension development beginning at the sentence level.


Specifically designed to support administrators in understanding Structured Literacy, the Science of Reading, and Chapter 49 requirements:

  • Series of 4 one-hour virtual sessions: 10:00-11:00 AM
    – October 16, 2023
    – November 6, 2023
    – December 4, 2023
    – January 8, 2024
  • Based on Chapter 49 professional learning requirements
  • Registration is now open!

*Please check back as additional session topics will be added!


  • Learn the difference between each as well as why each is important pieces of developing proficient readers.
  • Understand the importance of phonology to reading and spelling.
  • Understand rationale for identifying, pronouncing, classifying, and comparing all the consonant phonemes and vowel phonemes of English.
  • Understand and apply in practice considerations for levels of phonological sensitivity (word boundaries, compound words, syllables, and onset rime).



After students have moved into the consolidated alphabetic phase and have mastered basic decoding skills taught in the primary grades, they need to learn how to apply those skills with knowledge of syllable patterns, syllable division principles, and morphology (roots, prefixes, suffixes) to read accurately unfamiliar multisyllabic words.

  • Syllable awareness: six types of syllables found in words
  • Schwa vowel sound
  • Syllable division principles
  • Morphological awareness
  • Layers of English: Anglo Saxon, Latin, and Greek derived words
  • Prefixes, suffixes, roots
  • Spelling rules for adding endings
  • Structural analysis to read and spell multisyllabic words



  • Understand the complex nature of writing and the critical components of writing instruction
  • Understand the developmental phases and stages of writing skill development
  • Examine strategies to better support ALL learners develop into skilled writers

About the Structured Literacy Standards

Discover more about Structured Literacy, Science of Reading, and Pennsylvania requirements for educators below.

“Structured literacy” is defined by 22 Pa. Code § 49.1 as systematic, explicit instruction that:

  • Provides a strong core of foundational skills in the language systems of English,
  • Integrates listening, speaking, reading, spelling, and writing, and
  • Emphasizes the structure of language across the:
    • Speech sound system (phonology),
    • Writing system (orthography),
    • Structure of sentences (syntax),
    • Meaningful parts of words (morphology),
    • Relationships among words (semantics), and
    • Organization of spoken and written discourse.

For more information, reference Section 1205.8 as amended by Act 55 of 2022.

As outlined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education Structured Literacy Program Framework Guidelines:

“Chapter 49 requires instruction in structured literacy to be integrated in educator preparation and continuing professional development programs for professional employees who hold instructional certificates in early childhood education, elementary-middle level, PK-12 Special Education, English as a Second Language, and Reading Specialist.

  • Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, PDE must establish a program of professional development and applied practice in structured literacy. The continuing professional development plans of each school entity must include training in structured literacy competencies/standards for the five specified certification programs.
  • Educator preparation programs must integrate the structured literacy competencies/standards for the five specified certification programs no later than August 1, 2024.”

IU13 is here to help school districts as they prepare to meet these requirements effectively!

These standards should be used to meet the following: 

  1. Effectively teaching the reading literacy skills of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
  2. Differentiating instruction for teaching students with advanced reading skills and students with dyslexia or other language-based learning disabilities.
  3. Identifying and teaching students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities using appropriate scientific research and brain-based multisensory intervention methods and strategies
  4. Implementing reading instruction using high-quality instructional materials.
  5. Using developmentally appropriate supports to ensure that students can effectively access reading instruction.
  6. Administering universal reading screeners to students.

As outlined in Chapter 49 (22 Pa. Code § 49.1), training shall address but not be limited to:

  • Evidence-based intervention practices on structured literacy
  • Explicit and systematic instruction in phonological and phonemic awareness
  • The alphabetic principle, encoding and decoding, fluency and vocabulary
  • Reading comprehension building content knowledge

The following professional development is offered by other providers:

Structured Literacy PD on SAS

Introduction to Structured Literacy course on SAS focuses on an introduction/overview of structured literacy.

  • Meets the 4 criteria requirements of Act 55 and Chapter 49
  • Includes 10 hours of video clips, journal writing, and an e-book
  • 90 days allotted to complete the course
  • Based on the work of Dr. Louise Spear-Swerling
  • To Locate the SAS e-Course – “Introduction to Structured Literacy”
    • Log in to SAS –
    • Click on PD Center
    • Search: Structured Literacy
    • The course is titled: “Introduction to Structured Literacy”

PaTTAN Science of Reading Knowledge Course

Focus on 5 pillars of reading, word recognition, and language comprehension and the history of reading outcomes/urgency:

  • Meets the 4 criteria requirements of Act 55 and Chapter 49
  • 6 Knowledge Building Modules
  • Schoology Course – takes about 7- 10 hours to complete
    • Rolling cohort enrollment
    • Starting in August, cohorts will have a semester to complete training – (8/1/23-12/31/23 and 1/1/24- 5/31/24)

**Knowledge Building Course (currently offering) is complete AND Practice Modules will be available in the future.

Registration and information here:

Explore Structured Literacy