Improving literacy instruction

is a powerful lever

for whole school improvement.

 

Just as literacy is the backbone of success across subjects,

improving literacy instruction leads to improvement

in every facet of a school’s teaching, learning and culture.

Academic success

depends on strong

reading, writing,

and critical thinking skills.

Strong literacy instruction develops the ability to be a critical and creative thinker as well as proficiency in fluency, comprehension and expression. Strong readers and writers think deeply and express themselves persuasively in every subject.

“We weren’t going to pick a canned program
that had the standard approach to improvement.
I wanted something that was respectful
of students, that listened to teacher and
principal voices, and attended to all facets of learning.

BSRI was it.”

Julie Hackett

Superintendent, Taunton Public Schools

Schools with a strong commitment to our model have shown impressive gains in student achievement in several crucial areas: faster improvement on the MCAS than state averages, and significant narrowing of achievement gaps.

 

Download Our Results

Our Model

While we begin with a focus on literacy instruction, our practices positively impact instruction across the curriculum.

 

BSRI’s model includes:

  • Teaching techniques that emphasize synthesis, analysis, and problem-solving and result in higher-order thinking and deep conceptual understanding
  • A focus on reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from texts, both literary and informational
  • A content-rich CCSS-aligned core curriculum
  • Use of real-time data to guide classroom decision making
  • Differentiated, small-group instruction with tiered intervention
  • A re-organized school day that maximizes teaching time, intervention support, and common planning time
  • Excellent principal leadership that provides teachers with vision, challenge, and support

Our Experience

BSRI understands that true partnerships are built on respect, trust, and investment in the success of individual leaders, teachers and schools as well as experience and expertise.

BSRI Coaches

BSRI coaches are former principals and master teachers with years of experience supporting the development of fellow educators and leaders.

BSRI Professional Development

BSRI professional development courses are taught by nationally known experts who tailor their presentations to the needs identified by our schools.

BSRI School Partners

BSRI currently partners with 42 elementary schools in MA.  62% of BSRI students are high need. BSRI specializes in working with small and medium-sized urban districts and Gateway Cities.

BSRI Funding Partners

BSRI was one of only 49 organizations nationwide awarded the highly competitive first round of Invest in Innovation (i3) grants by the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, we are an approved DESE Priority Partner for Turnaround, and receive recognition and support directly from the MA legislature.

Our Services

BSRI relies on more than just “one and done” professional development; partnership comprises support and training tailored to each school’s needs.

As a BSRI Partner, each school receives:

  • Individualized coaching, modeling, and embedded training several days each month from a Principal Coach and a Literacy Consultant
  • An array of professional development courses for teachers, reading coaches and principals
  • Data meetings that integrate multiple measures of student performance
  • Assistance integrating district, state and federal initiatives
  • Support that is closely coordinated with district priorities

BSRI Video Library

Bay State Reading Institute has been collecting and documenting the best practices of our partner schools. Click on the thumbnail image to view each video. Clicking on the category names beneath each thumbnail will show all the videos included in that category.

Our Team

Kelly Ally

Kelly Ally

Literacy Consultant Coach

Read about Kelly

Kelly Ally received her M.Ed from Notre Dame College. She was a classroom teacher in the Lowell, MA Public Schools and an adjunct professor at Middlesex Community College, co-authoring their “Step-Up” program, assisting paraprofessionals in obtaining teacher certification. She has provided consulting to schools in MA, NH, and NY, and developed and conducted training workshops for the Department of Education in both the Reading First and Bay State Readers initiatives, as well as for the Reading Trainer’s Network.
Sue Charochak

Sue Charochak

Principal Coach

“The ability to adjust your instruction based upon data is not something that you learn in undergraduate school. That’s where BSRI’s coaches come in with experience and know-how.”

Read about Sue

Sue Charochak, Principal Coach, has been the principal of the Ayers School in Beverly for the past ten years. Prior to that, Mrs. Charochak was a teacher and a Special Education Team Chairperson in the Beverly Public Schools. She holds a BA in Psychology from Regis College and competed graduate studies at Salem State in Special Education. Mrs. Charochak received her M.Ed in Educational Leadership as a member of the first T.I.L.E. cohort from Salem State University. Mrs. Charochak brings her experience in school leadership and her implementation of data-driven instructional change to her role with the Bay State Reading Institute. Her focus on school culture, the creation of a school-wide collaborative learning environment and embedded professional development are instrumental in school change.
Nancy MacKenzie Connelly

Nancy MacKenzie Connelly

Principal Coach

Read about Nancy

Nancy Connelly, holds an M.Ed. from Boston College. A veteran educator, Ms. Connelly retired from the Randolph Public Schools after thirty-seven years, twenty years of which she was principal of two schools, and four years as an Assistant Principal/Head Teacher. In addition to administrative positions, she was a teacher at the elementary and middle schools levels. Ms. Connelly brings particular experience with family engagements efforts, the organization of professional development and mentoring for teachers, and initiation and coordination of district-wide literacy programs and summer academic support for young readers.
Maureen Connors

Maureen Connors

Literacy Consultant

Read about Maureen

Maureen Connors holds an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in ESL from University of Massachusetts- Lowell. During 36 years with Lawrence Public Schools she was a classroom teacher, ESL teacher, Bilingual Lead Teacher, Curriculum Facilitator, ESL Staff Developer, Success For All Facilitator. She was also a Reading First Reading Specialist, leading her school to an early exit from the Reading First grant due to level of implementation and achieving all goals.
Judith Fletcher

Judith Fletcher

Principal Coach

“BSRI provides the winning combination. We work as a team with school staff to make instructional decisions based on data while providing on-going professional development and coaching for every teacher and principal.”

Read about Judith

Judith Fletcher holds an M. Ed. with a concentration in Reading from American International College. Judith has been a successful teacher and principal, with over thirty- eight years experience in both urban and suburban settings, beginning in the Holyoke Public Schools as a Reading Specialist. During that time, she also served as the Director and Supervisor of the American International College Summer Reading Clinic, a graduate course for students seeking Reading Specialist licensure. Judith recently retired as a Principal in the East Longmeadow school district.
Dr. Marie Galinski

Dr. Marie Galinski

Principal Coach

“Changing a school culture is challenging. BSRI helps principals create a school culture where all teachers accept responsibility for student learning.”

Read about Marie

Dr. Marie Galinski is the recently retired Superintendent Beverly Public Schools, and was Assistant Superintendent before assuming that role. She has worked as a building principal K-12 in both public and private schools. Dr. Galinski was an adjunct professor at Salem Sate University for 23 years, is currently teaching at Merrimack College.
Grace Marie Greeno

Grace Marie Greeno

Literacy Consultant

Read about Grace Marie

Grace Marie Greeno holds an M.Ed. degrees from University of Massachusetts and a CAES and Ed. D. from Boston College. Dr. Greeno retired from Revere Public Schools after 35 years where she served as Director of Literacy, Title I and Early Childhood for 18 years. Under her leadership, Revere’s Reading First Grant was identified as one of the six most successful programs in Massachusetts. Previously, she served as Early Childhood Specialist, Core Evaluation Team (CET) liaison, a teacher in both regular and special education classes, and as adjunct professor at Lesley College. She presently is an adjunct faculty member at Fitchburg State University.
Naseem Jaffers

Naseem Jaffers

Math Coach

“BSRI coaching is ongoing, not a one-shot workshop. It is aligned to state standards, curriculum, and assessment. And its goal is twofold: improved instructional practice and improved student learning.”

Read about Naseem

Naseem Jaffers received her M.Ed from California State University Hayward. She was a math classroom instructor and coach for 15 years in California before becoming the Director of Mathmatics Coaching for Mass Insight for 6 years. Naseem was also a member of the Ma State Standards Review Committee which wrote the MA Common Core Standards.

Judy Loughlin

Literacy Consultant

Read about Judy

Judy Loughlin received her Ph.D. in Psychology from UMASS Amherst. She was a classroom teacher and school literacy specialist for 15 years, and is a certified national mentor trainer for DIBELS Next, has received ‘training for trainers’ in Keys to Literacy with Joan Sedita and training in Differentiated Instruction with Vicki Gibson and Jan Hasbrouck, and a licensed school psychologist. She was a consultant for IDEAL for over 10 years, with a focus on Response to Intervention practices.

Lesley Maxwell

Literacy Expert Consultant

Read about Lesley

Lesley Maxwell received her MS in Communication Disorders from Boston College. She is Director of Clinical Education and Coordinator of the Speech, Language and Literacy Clinic and Clinical Associate Professor for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute. She is a specialist in pediatric speech-language pathology, early childhood disorders of communication, autism, school-age language learning disabilities, phonological disorders, and oral language instruction in regular education classrooms.
Kit Norris

Kit Norris

Math Coach

“BSRI focuses on best practices. Best practices in literacy are also best practices in mathematics. When elementary school teachers understand the connection between literacy and mathematics, they begin to implement the very same strategies used in their work in literacy in their mathematics classes.”

Read About Kit

Kit Norris received her MA from Colombia University Teachers College. She began as a classroom mathematics teacher, mathematics department chair, and administrator, and now provides mathematics consulting for schools, districts and numerous national councils and national organizations. She received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and is a contributing author for several math curricula and the creator of three math interventions.

Rose Marie O'Connor

Principal Coach

Jacqueline Rapisardi

Jacqueline Rapisardi

Principal Coach

Read about Jackie

Jacqueline A. Rapisardi, Principal Coach, holds an M.Ed. in School Leadership from Salem State University. Ms. Rapisardi has held teaching and leadership positions, from principal to coordination of multiple district-wide programs, in Lawrence and Beverly for 40 years. In 2008 Jackie was awarded the Outstanding Educator of the Year Recognition by Salem State University. She has provided professional development and consulting since 2004 for teachers and administrators in various districts. She is also an adjunct professor in the Education Department at Endicott College.
Ben Scherz

Ben Scherz

Literacy Coach

“At BSRI, we are able to differentiate our services for each school we partner with to meet the needs of the student population and teachers.  As we work together over the years, we build strong connections and share  their pride in student growth and school change.  This enables to us to grow with the school and always provide the next level of support they need”

Read about Ben

Benjamin Scherz recieved an M.Ed from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. For 18 years Mr. Scherz taught grade 1, grade 5, and special education, and worked as Literacy Coach for grades K – 8 in both rural and urban schools. Mr. Scherz has served as an educational consultant to elementary and middle schools nationally for eight years. He was an adjunct faculty member at Arizone State University and has presented nationally on literacy instruction and Response to Intervention implementation.
Miffy Somers

Miffy Somers

Princpal Coach

Read about Miffy

Miffy Somers received her M.Ed. from Salem State College. She was a Principal, Assistant Principal, and classroom teacher at both the elementary and middle school levels for 35 years. Miffy has over 20 years of experiences as a presenter of professional development for principals and teachers.

Our Executive Management

photo of Barbara Gardner & Ed Moscovitch

“One of the best parts of my job is seeing kids actively engaged in classroom after classroom.  The difference I see in the students’ experience is mirrored by changes on the part of teachers. I’m not shy in telling my old legislative colleagues that it beats anything I ever accomplished in the hallowed halls of the State House, and it’s a lot more fun!”

Email Barbara

Read about Barbara

 Barbara Gardner is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Bay State Reading Institute. Previously Barbara was Associate Commissioner of School Readiness for the Massachusetts Department of Education and served in the MA House of Representatives for 14 years, serving as the Majority Whip and the Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Education, Arts and Humanities among many other committee assignments. Barbara is a member and former Chair of the Board of trustees of Framingham State University. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her public service, including the 1997 Woman of the Year, Metrowest Daily News, the 1996 Citizen of the Year for Holliston, MA, the MA Girl Scouts Association Leading Woman 2000, and the MA Women’s Bar Association Woman of the Year. As a legislator, she received “Legislator of the Year” awards from the MA Assoc. of School Committees, MA Assoc. of Vocational Education, MA Nursery and Landscape Assoc, the Early Intervention Consortium, and the Mass. Children’s Trust Fund.

 

“Bay State Reading Institute is a Massachusetts nonprofit that works with schools, with teachers and with principals to give them all the help they need to become high performance schools.”

Email Ed

Read about Ed

Ed Moscovitch is the co-founder and chairman of the Board of the Bay State Reading Institute. He is also the president of Cape Ann Economics. He is a consultant to the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, and was the lead evaluator of the Alabama Reading Initiative. Ed is a contributor to the op-ed pages of the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe. Ed was the Executive Director of the MA Municipal Association, the Vice President of the Charles River Associates, the Vice President of Data Resources, Inc., and was the MA Chief Budget Officer from 1972 – 1975.

 

From Our Founders Blog

Beyond Charter School Squabble

By Barbara Gardner   When Charlie Baker and Martha Coakley voiced their support for more charter schools earlier this month, they missed a bigger point. Charter or no charter isn’t what matters; it’s the quality of education a school gives our... read more

Our Press and Social Media

BSRI In the News

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Our School Partners

BSRI commits to long-term partnerships with each school because we understand that comprehensive change to improve student performance does not happen overnight. The intensity of intervention decreases gradually after the first year, empowering teachers and principals to lead change from within.

Cheshire
Plunkett
Ayers
Centerville
Cove
Hannah
North Beverly

George Keverian

Crocker
McKay
Reingold
South St
Beeman
East Gloucester
Plum Cove
Veterans
West Parish
Beebe
Linden
Salemwood
Forestdale
Warren
West Brookfield
Beachmont
Garfield
Lincoln
McKinley
Paul Revere
Whelan
Galligan
Elizabeth Pole
Mulcahey
East Taunton
Chamberlain
Hopewell
Abner Gibbs
Franklin Avenue
Juniper Park
Munger Hill
Paper Mill
Southampton Road
Highland

If you would like to hear about opportunities to support BSRI’s work, please contact Margaret Albright, 617-969-0497 or click button below to donate.

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What Our Partners Are Saying

The strongest testimony to our work is the response of our partner districts. We started with just one school each in Revere, Taunton, Fitchburg, Westfield, Beverly and Gloucester. Today we partner with all the elementary schools in eachof these districts. We’re also in multiple schools in Malden, Everett, Quaboag Regional and Adams-Cheshire. We encourage you to contact these districts to hear from them why they’ve found our partnership so valuable.

“Everybody is trying to do three things—have good strong principals who are curriculum leaders, embedded professional development, and using data to inform instruction. BSRI is the only program that I see that has interwoven them in such a way that they all complement each other and lead to whole school change.”

Paul Dakin

Superintendent, Revere School District

“BSRI helps shift the principal from being a manager to an educational leader. They get the principal into the classroom on a regular basis to see how the implementation is happening. That is a huge benefit to the school and the relationship between the principal and the teachers.”

Andre Ravenelle

Superintendent, Fitchburg Public Schools

“It’s powerful to see teachers get excited and emotional about how they are moving students forward. Our literacy rates are going up across the buildings working with BSRI. You are always looking at where to spend your money wisely, and we are getting results with BSRI. I see it as an investment in the students in Malden.”

David Deruosi

Superintendent, Malden School District

“We have children reading and responding at higher levels than we ever thought possible. The level of expectation we have for students and for ourselves is greater than ever and we are close to 90% (proficiency) across K-5.”

Susan Terban

Reading Coach, Linden School, Malden School District

“BSRI has helped to create a cohesive environment in my classroom and also has helped to increase the rigor in the room. I am able to differentiate instruction with small group centers, utilizing all of the wonderful reading materials in my classroom.”

Kristin Lopes

First Grade Teacher, Elizabeth Pole School, Taunton School District

“BSRI brought in a way of instructing students that reaches all students on every level.”

Jodi Gennodie

Principal, Lincoln Elementary School, Revere School District

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