RAC Professional Learning Overview

  • Reading Achievement Center logo


    Register Today!  2024-2025 Professional Learning Opportunities

    The AIU's Reading Achievement Center provides services designed to increase student learning and achievement in reading. Teachers and administrators gain access to research-based professional development, materials and resources to transform and sustain effective literacy instruction. Courses are available for Pre-K through grade 12 educators.

Primary School

  • Comprehension, Close Reading, and Complex Text: Laying the Foundation K-2

    $600 per participant, K-2 teachers

    Series Length: 4 modules

    Delivery Mode:

    Option 1: Face-to-face – Four in-person sessions at the AIU on scheduled dates listed below.

    Option 2: Fully online, asynchronous – Work at your own pace through four online course modules.

    Transitioning students to the demands of the PA Core Standards is not a job just for teachers in the tested grades! Participants will learn a variety of techniques and how to implement comprehension concepts into everyday practice through close reading of complex text.

    • All materials are included

    • Administrators may accompany their registered participants to any or all sessions at no cost

    2024-25 Meeting Dates:  January 28, February 25, March 25, April 29

    Register for in-person course

    Register for asynchronous online course


    The K-3 Reading Apprenticeship Model

    Option 1: $3,800 per participant (includes 1-on-1 support)

    Option 2: $2,800 per participant (no 1-on-1 support)  

    Series Length: 12 modules

    Delivery Mode: Face-to-Face - 12 in-person sessions at the AIU on scheduled dates listed below

    • Developed with the primary teacher in mind, the K-3 Reading Apprenticeship Model consists of 12 intensive, comprehensive training in reading pedagogy, theory, research, and proven instructional practices; meets requirements for PDE Chapter 49 Structured Literacy.

    • Option 1 only: Individualized data-driven planning and coaching to support teachers with meaningful implementation of content and strategies from sessions; virtual informal observations with feedback.

    • Administrators may accompany their registered participants to any or all sessions at no cost.

    2024-25 Meeting Dates: September 18-19; October 22-23; November 13-14; December 17; January 23; February 20; March 19; April 24; May 22

    Register for in-person course


    See Structured Literacy page for additional professional development opportunities for primary school educators.

Elementary & Middle School

  • Keys to Comprehension ELA Grades 3-8

    Targeted for teachers in grades 3 to 8, this series focuses on the literacy domain of reading comprehension. Participants learn instructional techniques to unlock reading comprehension, applicable to both literature and informational text.

    2024-25 Meeting Dates: October 2, November 13, January 9, February 11

    Price: $600 per person

    Register for in-person course

    Register for asynchronous online course


    Text Dependent Analysis: Effective Instructional Practices ELA Grades 4-8

    This series focuses on effective teaching practices that help teachers help students overcome some of the biggest struggles with the text-dependent analysis portion of the PSSA, including instructional practices to support students with composing TDA on the online PSSA.

    2024-25 Meeting Dates: September 19, October 24, December 9, January 29

    Price: $600 per person

    Register for in-person course

    Register for asynchronous online course


    Text Dependent Analysis Part 2: Effective Instructional Practices ELA Grades 4-8

    This three-module series is open to participants who attended “TDA: Effective Instructional Practices” during a previous school year. In this series, participants will deepen their understanding of the reading, thinking, and writing processes necessary for TDA success.

    2024-25 Meeting Dates: September 24, February 4, March 11

    Price: $450 per person

    Register for in-person course

    Register for asynchronous online course


    Thinking through the Pencil – ELA Grades 4-8

    Thinking Through the Pencil is designed to build students’ critical thinking skills through writing. Participants engage in instructional practices based on current research.

    2024-25 Meeting Dates: October 8, November 19, January 16, February 13

    Price: $600 per person

    Register for in-person course

    Register for asynchronous online course


    Adolescent Literacy Institute Middle and High School English & Reading Teachers

    Specifically aligned with brain research on how adolescents learn, this workshop series engages participants in the research behind and modeling of effective reading and writing instruction for the secondary grades.

    2024-25 Meeting Dates: October 30, December 12, January 23, February 25

    Price: $600 per person

    Register for in-person course

    Register for asynchronous online course


    Word Wizards – ELA Grades 3-12

    Build your students into word wizards! This series presents teachers in grades 3-12 with research and practical strategies to strengthen students' word knowledge, through both indirect vocabulary exposure and direct vocabulary instruction.

    2024-25 Meeting Dates: November 7, December 10, January 28

    Price: $450 per person

    Register for in-person course

    Register for asynchronous online course


    English Language Arts (ELA) Symposium

    2024-25 Topic: Key Qualities of Writing Instruction

    The ELA Symposium is the Reading Achievement Center's annual workshop addressing a critical need for strengthening teacher practice that improves student achievement. 

    Grades 3-5:

    Date: December 5, 2024

    Register

    Grades 6-8:

    Date: January 15, 2025

    Register


    See Structured Literacy page for additional professional development opportunities for elementary and middle school educators.

High School

  • Adolescent Literacy Institute Middle and High School English & Reading Teachers

    Specifically aligned with brain research on how adolescents learn, this workshop series engages participants in the research behind and modeling of effective reading and writing instruction for the secondary grades.

    2024-25 Meeting Dates: October 30, December 12, January 23, February 25

    Price: $600 per person

    Register for in-person course

    Register for asynchronous online course


    Word Wizards – ELA Grades 3-12

    Build your students into word wizards! This series presents teachers in grades 3-12 with research and practical strategies to strengthen students' word knowledge, through both indirect vocabulary exposure and direct vocabulary instruction.

    2024-25 Meeting Dates: November 7, December 10, January 28

    Price: $450 per person

    Register for in-person course

    Register for asynchronous online course


    See Structured Literacy page for additional professional development opportunities for high school educators.

Administrators & Specialists

  • Science of Reading for Administrators (New PDE PIL RAC Course)

    This course is designed to provide administrators with in-depth knowledge and skills to support teachers with effective, evidence- based instruction aligned to principles of Science of Reading using a structured literacy approach. Participants will learn the big ideas of reading instruction, how to use tools in classroom observations to discover strengths and gaps in instruction at the classroom and school/district levels, implement structures that support student growth and achievement, and problem solve steps to enhance teaching and learning.

    The 6-session course will provide administrators with a total of 41 Act 45 hours (21 in-class hours, 20 hours of outside assignments). Online synchronous only. 

    Cost: $300 per person

    2024-25 Meeting Dates: October 4, November 1, December 13, January 10, February 14, March 14

    Register

    Contact Lisa Yonek if you have any questions.


    RAC Reading Specialists’ Network

    Join the RAC Reading Specialists' Network for an opportunity to connect with other reading specialists in Allegheny County. Each online session will feature research-based best practices and strategies that specialists need in order to be effective in their role as they work with students, teachers, and parents in all three tiers of literacy. The network is open to Reading Specialists who have participated in past networks as well as new participants.

    Cost: Free

    2024-25 Meeting Dates: September 27, November 15, February 7, April 4

    Register


    Instructional Coaches’ Network

    Network Series Length: 9 sessions

    Join a network of fellow instructional coaches for monthly professional learning workshops provided by Heather Moschetta, instructional coach mentor for the PA Coach-Mentor Collaborative, and Rachel McVeagh, AIU instructional innovation coordinator. Sessions will feature professional learning specific to the needs of instructional coaches, on topics determined by the network group and supported by PDE initiatives. The network is open to all coaches in the AIU's member districts, including literacy coaches, math coaches, technology coaches and instructional coaches. Contact Heather for information on how to join.

    Cost: Free

    2024-25 Meeting Dates:

            • September 12
            • October 10
            • November 14
            • December 11
            • January 14
            • February 19
            • March 20
            • April 10
            • May 8


     

    See Structured Literacy page for additional professional development opportunities for administrators and specialists.

Structured Literacy

  • The AIU's Reading Achievement Center presents relevant professional development that meets Chapter 49 structured literacy requirements and is tailored to meet the literacy needs of different certificate holders' classrooms.

     

    Chapter 49 required areas of training:

    1. Evidence-based intervention practices on structured literacy

    2. Explicit and systematic instruction in phonological and phonemic awareness

    3. A) Alphabetic principle, decoding and encoding; B) Fluency and vocabulary

    4. Reading comprehension and building content knowledge

     



  • English as a Second Language
    (ESL)


    Areas emphasized:
    All, with specific focus on ELs' needs at varying grade and language levels

    Dates offered: 



  • Non-ELA Certificate Holders


    Areas emphasized:
    3B, 4

    Dates offered:



  • Administrators


    Areas emphasized:
    All, with specific focus on what administrators should look for in classrooms

    Date offered: 

Reading Achievement Center Resources

  • The RAC room has limited samples of effective commercial programs and other educator resources to supplement and enhance classroom instruction and out-of-school learning. Reading Achievement Center staff are available to assist districts in reviewing curricular and instructional materials.

RAC Training Contacts