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EPS Finalist for National Award

Posted Date: 04/27/2021

EPS Finalist for National Award

Enid Public Schools is one of six finalists for a national accolade.

Voyager Sopris Learning selected the district as a finalist for the Dr. Louisa Moats Award for Excellence Implementing the Science of Reading. EPS is the only Oklahoma school to be a finalist. Three awardees will be selected from the finalists and announced at a virtual event on Monday, May 3, at 2 p.m.

Sherri Hendrie, principal at Coolidge Elementary, nominated EPS after seeing significant academic growth in reading.

“With 170 teachers in the EPS district participating in LETRS training, educators now have a better understanding of how to teach reading,” said Hendrie. “Not only can teachers explain the why behind what they are teaching, the students can explain the why behind what they are learning. As I watch students engage in lessons, I can visibly see the connection from phonemic awareness to phonics to spelling to connected text. All of these observations make it clear to me that the science of reading is happening in our classrooms.”

According to Voyager Sopris Learning, the award placement reflects the district’s incredible commitment to the Science of Reading and the LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional learning solution.

EPS has been using LETRS since 2015, training approximately 100 educators each year. The learning solution aims to expand reading instruction and provide optimal opportunity for students to be successful. The training is largely credited for the district’s academic growth in the last two years.

The honor is offered to schools or districts currently using evidence-based LETRS literacy professional learning solutions for elementary grade students.  The district must meet the following criteria to be nominated: 

  1. Implements the Science of Reading
  2. Converts Research to Practice
  3. Enhances Teacher Effectiveness
  4. Transforms Literacy Instruction

Randy Rader, EPS superintendent of elementary education, commended EPS staff for taking the initiative on implementing the science of reading.

“Learning to read is not something that comes natural to anyone but through scientific research, we now understand how students do learn to read,” said Rader. “Being able to bring that scientific research-based understanding to our teachers in the form of LETRS has been exciting and powerful. Enid is very fortunate to have a growing group of certified LETRS trainers.”

Rader went on to say that having LETRS trainers available in the district has made all the difference in providing professional development for staff on-site. EPS has offered LETRS training for five years and have been seeing positive results having training with well-known district employees, Kristen Jones, Maisie Hinrichs, and Kevin Artman.

“Understanding the science behind your profession is something that I believe every teacher should strive for and luckily in Enid, we have teachers that are always striving to become better at their profession and their willingness to grow as professionals is greatly benefitting our students,” said Rader.

Voyager Sopris Learning is a part of Cambium Learning® Group and delivers technology solutions and services that emphasize the elements that are most essential to education’s success: simplicity, certainty, and now. Voyager Sopris Learning provides innovative, evidence-based instructional solutions and professional development services to preK–12 students and their teachers.