Press Releases


Connecticut State Department of Education Launches Science of Reading Masterclass​ ​


(HARTFORD, CT) – Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker is pleased to announce the rollout of a new Science of Reading (SOR) Masterclass that will provide professional learning for educators at participating districts. The first masterclass cohort will begin on June 29, 2022, and will include 11 participating districts. 

This masterclass is possible due to an investment by the Connecticut State Department of Education of over $4.5 Million in American Rescue Plan (ARP), Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. 

The masterclass is a statewide professional learning opportunity, co-created with the Connecticut Association of School Superintendents (CAPSS) to develop local capacity for SOR and components of comprehensive K-3 literacy instruction. Such components include phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. 

“These professional learning opportunities will support our educators in the science of reading practices and research,” said Commissioner Russell-Tucker. “By equipping our educators with these tools and resources, we’re strengthening the resilience of our education systems and supporting our students.” 

“Our state’s educators endured over a year’s worth of online learning, going above and beyond to keep our state’s students engaged and continuing their education during an unprecedented time,” said Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz. “Now, we can give back to our teachers by providing them with these valuable resources and tools to continue their dedicated work educating our state’s young students.” 

“We know that our students will succeed in school and be well prepared to be outstanding global citizens if they can read by the end of grade one,” said Fran Rabinowitz CAPSS Executive Director. It is our responsibility as educators to implement the science of reading in every classroom to ensure that every child is a successful reader. We can’t afford to not do this.”

“"Rolling out this new masterclass is the first step in producing a reading curriculum across the state that focuses on the science of reading," said State Senator Patricia Billie Miller. "Reading and writing are fundamental to the success of each and every student and starting the process of educating our teachers, we will ensure a successful future for our students."

“Through this work we will further build the capacity of our staff, as we participate in statewide professional learning and coaching opportunities aligned to research and systemic instructional practices centered on early literacy,” said New London Superintendent Cynthia Ritchie. “We value the opportunity to learn from experts in the field and from colleagues in the other ten districts who have also been chosen to participate.”

District teams, including superintendents, district/school literacy leaders, central office and building administrators, special education administrators, and multilingual learner leaders will participate in five in-person events led by national reading experts as well as participate in online content after each masterclass. Districts will receive individualized leadership and literacy coaching supports to help build systemic practices aligned to the implementation of SOR.   

At the conclusion of the SOR masterclass, districts will have developed and implemented a districtwide SOR improvement plan, including specific and measurable goals, and participated in multifaceted professional learning to deepen knowledge and skills aligned with SOR practices.

Districts can contact Chief Academic Officer Irene Parisi at with any questions regarding this program and express their interest to participate in Cohort II. 




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