The Toolkit uses a metaphor of building a road or path, first plotting the course, then paving the way that ultimately leads to the final destination, that is, all students graduating from high school ready for college and careers. Section titles mirror this metaphor and the developmental sequence that a school or district passes through as it endeavors to educate students in the English Language Arts (ELA) Standards.
To ensure that all students have a pathway or road to proficiency, the Toolkit describes and promotes implementing the ELA Standards within Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) using the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Districts and schools often treat MTSS and UDL as independent pathways to improvement disconnected from each other and the implementation of academic standards.
The result is multiple implementation efforts, each at varying stages of development. Continuing the metaphor, users of the Toolkit may choose to implement all three of these important pathways simultaneously using the resources in the toolkit, thus creating an ELA Standards “superhighway” as a means to more efficiently and effectively address the needs of ALL students.
The Toolkit provides resources, organized by developmentally sequenced sections, to help administrators, teachers, and others as they simultaneously implement and integrate UDL and MTSS to create access to the ELA Standards for all students. Initial Toolkit sections assume that districts and schools are at various stages of implementation of each essential pathway. Later sections intentionally bring the pathways together so that resulting implementation efforts are essentially seamless.
Readers are encouraged to complete a self-assessment found at the beginning of each section of the Toolkit to identify their stage in implementation efforts to establish which sections will benefit them the most. Toolkit users should begin the self-assessment process in the first section of the Toolkit, and move to subsequent sections only after the majority of the activities have been accomplished in that section. In addition, the Toolkit identifies which user type—that is, Administrators, Teachers, or General Public—will most likely benefit from a particular resource.
Home Page. The left-side of the Home Page displays the sections of the Toolkit. Sections correspond to a development stage of understanding and implementing the ELA Standards, Universal Design for Learning, and Multi-tiered Systems of Support. The middle section of the Home Page displays introductory information about the Toolkit, which helps all readers understand its function and how to navigate sections and key concepts. The right-side of the Home Page displays related links to other sources that help establish the purpose of the Toolkit. Select a Section title from the left side of the Home Page to view that Section Summary Page.
Section Summary Pages. The left side of each Section Summary Page displays a list of key concepts central to understanding the section. The middle section of each section summary page provides an introduction. The right side of each displays related links to external resources that cover tangential, yet useful concepts. Select a key concept from the left-side list to go to a Key Concept page.
Key Concept Pages. The left side of a Key Concept Page displays all of the key concepts in the section. The middle section of a Key Concept page displays a description of the key concept and its relevance to the developmental stage of implementation that the section covers. Toolkit users will note that many of the Key Concepts, such as language development and leadership teams, are addressed across multiple Sections since they are important considerations at each stage of implementation. Links to Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)-sponsored resources and external resources relevant to the concept are listed below the key concept description. The right side of the Key Concept Page lists other links to valuable resources related to the concept; however, these links are not essential to gain an understanding of the key concept.
ELA Toolkit Phase Two. Toolkit users should note that MDE plans a Phase-Two of the Toolkit with resources made available as schools enter later stages of ELA Standards implementation. Additional resources will be added to earlier sections in Phase Two as they are developed or identified. If you would like to be notified as new sections and resources are added, please subscribe to the Toolkit page by selecting the “Subscribe to this page” link at the right side of this page.