The Perfect Storm: FCPS Video Features FERPA Violations, Teacher Training Issues, Fidelity of Implementation Problems, and Possible IEP Noncompliance

November 5, 2020, Fairfax County Public Schools again violated student privacy and again exhibited issues related to teacher training, a reading-related program, fidelity of implementation of a reading-related program, and possible noncompliance of student IEPs.

These issues occurred during an office hour session with FCPS’s Alice Lima-Whitney, during which she and the staff in attendance discussed the program iLit and how the teachers were progressing with their students.


iLit is a Savvas Learning Company (formerly Pearson K12 Learning) literacy intervention product. Throughout the 11.5.20 video, FCPS staff joke about issues with the program. Their comments indicate frustrations with the program not being user friendly and/or intuitive.

Neither “Savvas” nor “iLit” come up in searches on the Fairfax County Public Schools Transparency Site. However, Pearson, which is associated with iLit online, has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by FCPS. Pearson Education Inc. was paid $621,248.05 in fiscal year 2019; $564,586.93 in fiscal year 2020; and $545,400.61 through May of fiscal year 2021.

Whether iLit was paid for via Pearson or if it was provided free to FCPS, students struggling with literacy don’t have time for teachers who are struggling with the program itself. The end goal needs to be improvement, not just intervention.

Privacy Violations

As FCPS staff explored iLit, the full names of students, their grades, their reading progress and/or struggles, and other information was displayed publicly. Toward the beginning of the training, Alice indicated she logged into a Falls Church account. This places the students whose privacy was breached at Falls Church.

At the time of the video’s posting on this site, the video was posted to YouTube, under account listed as Alice Lima-Whitney’s. I blurred out the students’ information and the YouTube URL before posting here, to help protect the privacy of the students. Perhaps FCPS will pull it off YouTube to prevent the breach from growing.

Teacher Training, Fidelity of Implementation, and Possible IEP Noncompliance

At about the 25 minute mark, a teacher mentioned struggles related to the program Rewards. Alice asked Erin Woodward, a high incidence specialist in the Office of Special Education Instruction, if she had any tips of pointers. Her response portrays a county that went unprepared into the 2020-21 school year.

Alice Lima-Whitney  25:25

Yeah, actually, we have Erin Woodward with us who is from the, um, from special education. Does she have any tips or pointers where we should go for things for Rewards?

Erin Woodward  25:37

Huh. That’s a great question. We’re actually, I’m still gathering information about Rewards. Um, it’s been a, one of our sticky programs. If you-

Alice Lima-Whitney  25:51


Erin Woodward  25:53

So really, I have nothing for you right now.

Alice Lima-Whitney  25:55


Erin Woodward  25:56

[Laughter] I know.

Alice Lima-Whitney  25:57

[Laughter] Um, I know. I know, over the summer, there were materials that were shared and I don’t know if they’re lingering, lingering around, so I’m going to make a note to to see if those are available, and maybe I can post those somewhere, or send them out.

At about the 30 minute mark (see the video above and/or transcript below) Alice asked teachers what they’re doing with students. She and the teacher who had already mentioned struggles had this exchange:

Johanna Mulhall  31:39

We’re just trying to hit all the IEP goals. I’m not even doing a unit. [Laughter]

Alice Lima-Whitney  31:44

Ah. Okay.

Johanna Mulhall  31:45

It’s like this kid has spelling, that kid has vocabulary, this – I mean, I’m just trying to hit these goals. And yeah, we have 20 kids and one of our lit lab classes and two deaf and hard of hearing in those. It’s just, it’s, it’s kind of crazy about doing Rewards with what part of them anyway.

COVID was hard on everyone. I know teaching virtually was a challenge for teachers and its clear from the video that this teacher needed help. However, stopping instruction of a reading intervention to “hit all the IEP goals” is a problem. Reading intervention programs are supposed to be implemented a specific way. If she wasn’t presenting the units, what was she presenting? Was it something that would just “hit all the IEP goals” for that quarter, but then result in the student regressing? What happened? Did she do this out of fear of parents? Administration? Lack of training? Lack of help? Stress?

No matter what the reason, if the student didn’t receive a reading intervention that was implemented with fidelity, that’s a problem. If you’ve been in an IEP meeting with FCPS, you know it is fond of presenting the argument that teachers have the ability to choose methodology, and that it has a policy of not putting the name of a specific program into the IEP. Does this sound like choosing a different methodology to you?

Read the transcript or watch the video below and make your own decision.

11.5.20 Video, First Half

11.5.20 Video, Second Half

Transcript: 11.5.20 HS Lit Intervention Office Hours

(The size of the video was too large, so it had to be broken into two parts to post to this site. The transcript times below match the first part above. For the second part, you’ll need to adjust to match up the time stamps.)

Alice Lima-Whitney  00:05

So, um, I thought I would go ahead and start by showing you all how to demonstrate using the iLit software, the student software. So it’s very varied and not easy to use. So I wanted to show you how to do that. Let me see. This one. Okay. So hopefully you’re seeing my screen.

Johanna Mulhall  00:46


Alice Lima-Whitney  00:47

And I’m on the library page, which is where it opens for everybody. And the next thing I would do is I would go to, well, there’s a couple ways to do it, I would go to, um, progress. I just picked a random teacher at Falls Church. I don’t think anyone is here from Fall’s Church, so that you could see what it started to look like. And if you have kids that are actually already using it, if you click on what they’re doing, notice that it says view underneath. There’s nothing that lets you know that you can actually do this other than just testing it out. And then you click on view and hopefully, no, it’s not going to?

Alice Lima-Whitney  01:37

There we go.

Alice Lima-Whitney  01:44

It shows you what the students see. So Isn’t it pretty? It’s so much prettier than what we the teachers get to look at. Are you guys all seeing this? Some head nods?



Alice Lima-Whitney  01:57

Good. Okay.



Stephanie Karnes  01:59


Alice Lima-Whitney  01:59

And if, you can move through it just like a student would move through it.

Stephanie Karnes  02:04

Can we do that and have the student complete it at the same time? Or will it mess up a student if you’re looking at theirs?

Alice Lima-Whitney  02:13

I don’t think it will mess it up. I don’t think it will mess it up. I mean, at this point, there’s really no harm in trying, as far as I’m concerned, right, like, give it a shot, and we’ll see what happens. Um, I think one of the interesting things is that you can look at the grade and do the same thing. So I don’t know how many people were able to do that. Um, you should be able to do that you should be able to go through with students. And they should be able to follow along if they’re on the same one. But notice, like in this, in this class, there’s students doing multiple different, a few kids are doing the same one and some kids are doing other ones.

Stephanie Karnes  02:58

But we could take a breakout or we could make a breakout room and take like those two kids who are doing [inaudible] and show it and go through it with those two in the breakout room?

Alice Lima-Whitney  03:09

I would think so. I would think so. Now notice here on the right-hand side, it tells you how many they’ve completed in that segment. See how it says 13 out of 20?

Stephanie Karnes  03:21

So there are a total of 20 questions for connecting through and that student has done 13 of them?

Alice Lima-Whitney  03:29

I think so.

Stephanie Karnes  03:31


Alice Lima-Whitney  03:31

I would have to ask that.

Stephanie Karnes  03:32

So we need to find someone who hasn’t done anything yet. 

Alice Lima-Whitney  03:36


Stephanie Karnes  03:36

Unless can they go back and change answers?

Alice Lima-Whitney  03:39

Um, I don’t think they can do that.

Stephanie Karnes  03:42

Oh. Okay.

Alice Lima-Whitney  03:42

I don’t think they can do that. I do want to show you another way, so maybe we don’t do one that they’re all doing. So you could come here and see if they’re in something. You can go to the organizer. And the questions you’re asking are really good. So I don’t know, just chat in Google, capture the questions so that I can refer to them later. It’d be great for you to put them there.

Emma Matos  04:10

I’m not sure. CU does catch it on the recordings. I’m not sure if Google meet does.

Alice Lima-Whitney  04:15

Yeah, I don’t know either. But you’ve asked it and I’ll be able to go back to the recording. So notice now I’m in the organizer tab. And if I click on interactive reader, I can click on any of those and also view it from there. So I don’t think any of the students were on this particular one. So you could go through and do that one. I think that this teacher has it set up to manual. She’s pretty comfortable in the program. So, I thought it was worth showing you that under word study practice, you can also see some of the word-level work that students might get. So here’s related words, there’s a video. And then they do an exercise where they’re pulling things over. This looks like a word sort. And that’s the only thing that they’re doing in that particular activity. So see how over here, there’s no arrow that shows me I’m going to keep going, I can only go back to the video. So is there something else in progress? Oh, I wanted to tell you all about the grade in case some of you had questions. So if you click on grade, mine looks really funky. So that’s not so helpful. But this is a grade-level equivalent. You can also click on this little dot, so intuitive and user friendly that you can click on that dot and get additional information. I’m sure you all figured that out. [laughter] And you can see how they did in each of the different categories. So I wanted to point that out. So you can kind of see where they are in each of the categories.

Alice Lima-Whitney  06:16

If you go to the Performance tab- It’s really slow today. You can deselect and look at one student. So this is how their reading level is going over the last three weeks, it looks like it’s on the up swing. You can take a look at how they did on the reading checkpoints, it looks like the student is not doing particularly well. But notice that overall, in the reading, ah, interactive reader you’re getting it looks like this 63%. Still not great. I haven’t clicked on that before. So don’t be afraid to like click around. But I wanted you to see that there are individual reports that you can look at, you can also look at it as an entire class. Is there a way to see what they’re reading in the library? I don’t know. Let’s take Let’s take a look.

Emma Matos  07:26

We tried it and weren’t able to so we thought maybe there’s a way we could override it or something.

Alice Lima-Whitney  07:31

Hmmm. Let’s go back to progress. I thought I saw a library column in there. Yep. Library response. Let’s see what that says. That’s a good question. Oh, these are the very general prompts that they have for the library. So unless the student indicates the name of the book here, that’s not going to show. Hmm. Okay, I’ll make sure to ask the vendor about that question, because that’s a good question.

Emma Matos  08:15

How about? Um, so we have a student who says that she only has 10 books to choose from, but we can’t see what those books are.

Alice Lima-Whitney  08:27

Hmm. I don’t see anything in here that indicates now. I wonder if if you click on a student first if you’re able to do it. That’s that’s the way I would go about it. But let me ask the, the vendor to see. It’s just not particularly intuitive this thing?

Emma Matos  08:55


Alice Lima-Whitney  08:56

[Laughter] So I guess my advice is, don’t be afraid to click around. Like once you have it set up. Like you’ve made those initial settings, I’m not sure that you can mess too much up. I say that might get me in trouble, but I don’t think so. I don’t think so. Um, I will ask about the library and if you can find out where they what they’re looking at or what books they’ve chosen to read. So that’s how you can show them. I wanted to show you the, um, the reports a little bit and how to access those. And then it seems like everybody here- Does anybody have questions about the grade while I’m in here or I’m going to move on?

Emma Matos  09:40

I have one question. Um, I have a student who just did anything for the grade. And so obviously the work that the student is getting might not really be an accurate reflection of which that student can do. Um-

Alice Lima-Whitney  09:54


Emma Matos  09:54

It there any way to reset that?

Alice Lima-Whitney  09:58

There is a way to resend it. I don’t know if after they’ve started using the interactive reader, if you can resend it if you’re using it on automatic, but there is a way to resend it. But if they’re already using the program, the program will adjust based on how they perform.

Emma Matos  10:21

Yeah, right. Right, right.

Alice Lima-Whitney  10:23

So it might be so if that student just clicked around and didn’t try and is capable of more difficult work, then it will just ramp up as the student gets them right. But if they continue to just click, it’ll stay at that lower level.

Emma Matos  10:38

Right. Okay, thanks.

Alice Lima-Whitney  10:40

You’re welcome. Oh, look, here’s reading. Maybe it tells you look. Oh, no. That’s the recommended books. I thought this might be it.

Emma Matos  10:54

No, that’s actually useful, because that’s, so you clicked on reading, and that tells that tells us which books out of 20 is recommending for that student.

Alice Lima-Whitney  11:06

Oh, yes.

Stephanie Karnes  11:06

No. The student can recommend books.

Emma Matos  11:10


Stephanie Karnes  11:11

It’s like a book. A student can-

Alice Lima-Whitney  11:13

Oh this isn’t the program recommendations? Oh, look, I think this is what the program recommends.

Stephanie Karnes  11:19

Oh. Okay.

Emma Matos  11:22

Okay, so you went into reading for that?

Alice Lima-Whitney  11:25

I did. See if I can close it now. Okay, I went to the reading tab on the progress. So the progress on the bar, and then the reading tab, and then here is their Lexile for their work within the program. Because remember, the grade doesn’t give a Lexile. And then these are the books that have been recommended based on that Lexile. Okay, that’s super helpful. Okay. And actually, this is interesting. Look, it tells you that this student is, this is their average words per minute, and that they’re going at a slow pace. That’s helpful, I think.

Stephanie Karnes  12:04

Do you know how that average words per minute is calculated?

Alice Lima-Whitney  12:09

I don’t.

Stephanie Karnes  12:10


Alice Lima-Whitney  12:10

That is a good question as well. Now I’m looking at summary just because I wanted to see words read, I believe is going to be a combination of, um, their library books, the books that they choose from the library that’s here, as well as the interactive reader. I’ll confirm that too. My best plans of looking at this a lot before I met with you guys did not happen. So you know, just roll with it. [Laughter] But here’s a student that has quite a bit few words read, but it’s pretty low Lexile. So that’s interesting. Okay, so that is that. The other thing I wanted to share with you was the actually get some feedback from all of you, is I’ve got you on my side here, but, um, I have been working on the WorkKeys materials and I wanted to show you how to get there. So I’m gonna go back to sharing my screen. Chrome, tab. Oh, no, not tab. Window. It’s kind of a weird, you’re gonna see yourselves. [Laughter]Do you see yourself? Okay. Do you now see the Fairfax or the FCPS secondary literacy intervention site?

Emma Matos  14:11


Alice Lima-Whitney  14:11

Okay, great. So from this site, when you click on WorkKeys prep now. It takes you to a new site, but it’s basically the same information, oh, I’ve got to change all that. But if you go to business writing WorkKeys prep site, or you can access this session, video or materials by session. What I’ve done is I’ve taken the lesson plans that I made for traditional classroom setting, and I’ve tried to create materials that could be used in a digital environment. So are you seeing this one? That says WorkKeys Business Plan or WorkKeys? Where does [inaudible]?

Stephanie Karnes  15:09


Alice Lima-Whitney  15:10

Okay. Great. And you’ll see that up here in the top right, this audio included is actually because I did it with Pear Deck. So someone, I’ve, what I’m trying to do is make all of them, so Pear Deck enabled, if you want to use Pear Deck, and then if you don’t want to use Pear Deck, you don’t have to do it. You can just skip that part.

Julia Bradt  15:33

Can I ask a question? This is-

Alice Lima-Whitney  15:36


Julia Bradt  15:36

Um, I’m on that side, and it says click to access, and then it says that I don’t have access.

Alice Lima-Whitney  15:42


Julia Bradt  15:43

So for all of those tabs, I don’t-

Alice Lima-Whitney  15:47

 So you should, are you logged into your FCPS Google?

Julia Bradt  15:54

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Alice Lima-Whitney  15:55


Julia Bradt  15:58

So I’m, I’m on the WorkKeys and it says click to access and then it-

Alice Lima-Whitney  16:02


Julia Bradt  16:03

adds. And it, each, um, the WorkKeys preparation resources, one-

Alice Lima-Whitney  16:09

Oh, that one, there’s nothing there.

Julia Bradt  16:11

Yeah. And then the orange and the blue ones. Both of them say that I need to request access in order to, I, I guess so I don’t know if anybody else is seeing that. But that’s what’s happening for me.

Alice Lima-Whitney  16:25

Has someone else try just to see?

Johanna Mulhall  16:28

How did you get? I don’t even know where you are? Sorry.

Alice Lima-Whitney  16:31

And that’s okay. That’s okay. Here. I’m gonna give you guys a link in the chat. Same for you, Erin?

Erin Woodward  16:42

Yeah, same for me. And I don’t know if that has to do with the fact that I’m not teaching the class. But – [laughter].

Alice Lima-Whitney  16:47

No, it shouldn’t have anything to do with it. In fact, I chose to do it on a site, um, because I didn’t want, I was going to do- Oh, everybody’s having that problem. Okay, well, that’s what happened.

Stephanie Karnes  17:02


Alice Lima-Whitney  17:04

It did?

Stephanie Karnes  17:05


Alice Lima-Whitney  17:05

Okay. So that makes me think that maybe people are logged in somehow, not to Google FCP, or somehow not behind? I don’t think you have to VPN, right? I don’t think so. Oh,

Erin Woodward  17:26

I’m definitely on FCPS schools.

Julia Bradt  17:29

Me too and I’m on VP for that matter.

Alice Lima-Whitney  17:34


Johanna Mulhall  17:35

Yeah, same here. And I can’t get in neither.

Alice Lima-Whitney  17:38

Do you log in to your, um, browser window? So Google Chrome. So I don’t know if it? Can you guys see my current screen? Where I’m looking at all of you?

Erin Woodward  17:55


Alice Lima-Whitney  17:56

Okay. So see how up in this top right hand corner, I’ve got my picture up there. When I click on that I’m logged in as And this other one is my personal FCP or Google. I’ve had problems when I’ve been logged into this, instead of this on the browser. But that doesn’t make sense, because you were able to access the other site. Okay, I guess I’ll have to figure it out. So I’m just going to quickly show you what’s here and then ask um for some input and then I’ll figure it out and get back to you guys the correct stuff, the correct links. So as I mentioned, I did put in Pear Deck stuff, you don’t have to use it, I am also trying to develop this so if the student had to do it independently, they could. Um, that’s why I’ve tried to put in audio. And the very first one, you’ll notice, um, I have tried to include directions for how they would work if a student was either going through them by themselves or for you as the teacher to know what’s in here, before you actually access it. And I’ve also tried to give you options so that if you did not want to use Pear Deck, you could use a Google form or a Google Doc instead for some of the activities. Um, I have to admit that this is a big learning curve for me because while everybody else was learning how to use, um, all of the online tools, I was very busy making Middle School packets and didn’t get a chance to learn alongside you. Um, so the input I want is: Do, do, is it worthwhile for me to put in the Pear Deck stuff? And you can just put it in chat. Do you want the Pear Deck stuff? Or do not want the Pear Deck stuff? Would you rather just have slide decks without it? Or is it helpful? I know you can actually see it. But

Emma Matos  20:16

I mean, I think it’s helpful. I use your deck, I’m not teaching an SOL WorkKeys focus class, but still, you know, Um, I think it’s helpful.

Alice Lima-Whitney  20:27

Okay. I figured it could be turned off, right? Like you don’t have to use it. So that seemed worthwhile, because there is a lot of thinking that has to go on behind the scenes, and it could take that step out for some people, um, and allow them to just implement without having to think too much. Um, I will, as I put this stuff up, it’s I’m trying to be methodical and go through every single session, as if I were actually doing it, um, to try to catch things, but I strongly recommend before you do anything that anybody has provided for you from anywhere, that you go through it first to make sure you know what’s in there and how to use it and, and what’s in there, um, because I am in the stuff I’m creating, implementing some choices. So you’ll have a choice to use either Pear Deck or draggable stuff in a Google slide. So you might want to take things out. And it’s not that big of a deal, but sometimes we get flustered when there’s things we don’t expect. Okay, I’m looking at my list of what I wanted to make sure to show you. Um, I got my feedback. I talked about doing it independently, and that is all that was on my list. So I want to hear from you guys. What kinds of questions do you have? What can I do to support you?

Emma Matos  22:07

So, uh, Stephanie asked a question in the chat it, and I’m in the same situation, so if you use a Pear Deck that somebody else has created, you just go on Pear Deck, like you normally would with your own?

Alice Lima-Whitney  22:20


Emma Matos  22:21


Alice Lima-Whitney  22:22

I discovered something called, let’s see what this is called Pear Deck Power Up.

Emma Matos  22:29


Alice Lima-Whitney  22:29

That made like, a button in my browser. That when I clicked on it, Pear Deck appeared in my toolbar. Um, and I did discover that it has to be enabled with that power up for video to work. But I also found out that the teacher cannot control the video. The student controls the video on their end. That was a little bit of a bummer. So like, you have to exit Pear Deck to share a video for the whole group, if you have a Pear Deck enabled.

Emma Matos  23:15

Right. Right. Okay.

Alice Lima-Whitney  23:22

So if you’ve never used it, it’s really cool and it’s pretty easy to use. I’ve done a lot of testing on my, on different screens to see what it looks like for students and I, you know, I’m, I’m trying to hang a lot of things all at once to try to make it, um, engaging because these prep classes are typically really not engaging. Um, but I strongly encourage you to try it the free version seems pretty good. Other questions? How are you guys doing with the reading inventory? Was everybody able to get that done? We’re still not, or still working on it.

Meaghan Dobson  24:21

My students are mostly finished.

Johanna Mulhall  24:23


Alice Lima-Whitney  24:25

How did it look? Did it, did you guys- How did you end up doing? Did you implement where kids did it while they were with you? Or did you have them do it on their own? Tell me a little bit about that.

Johanna Mulhall  24:38

We did it while they were with us and we had to have some of them share their screens so we could get them in. But, um, yeah, once they were in it wasn’t. I mean, yeah, it was just like, normal. It didn’t seem-

Alice Lima-Whitney  24:52


Johanna Mulhall  24:53

That was kind of the least of the problems.

Alice Lima-Whitney  24:55

That’s good.

Johanna Mulhall  24:57

Getting into iLit was 20 times harder than getting into the reading inventory.

Alice Lima-Whitney  25:02


Johanna Mulhall  25:03

And then figuring out, I’m doing Rewards, although we’re not getting very far very fast and just figuring out how to make that interactive, and that’s taken a lot of time, and takes a lot of time to get it prepared for each lesson, and, I don’t know. That’s just slow.

Alice Lima-Whitney  25:25

Yeah, actually, we have Erin Woodward with us who is from the, um, from special education. Does she have any tips or pointers where we should go for things for Rewards?

Erin Woodward  25:37

Huh. That’s a great question. We’re actually, I’m still gathering information about Rewards. Um, it’s been a, one of our sticky programs. If you-

Alice Lima-Whitney  25:51


Erin Woodward  25:53

So really, I have nothing for you right now.

Alice Lima-Whitney  25:55


Erin Woodward  25:56

[Laughter] I know.

Alice Lima-Whitney  25:57

[Laughter] Um, I know. I know, over the summer, there were materials that were shared and I don’t know if they’re lingering, lingering around, so I’m going to make a note to to see if those are available, and maybe I can post those somewhere, or send them out.

Erin Woodward  26:15

So there are materials for Rewards in the Blackboard, uh-

Alice Lima-Whitney  26:20


Erin Woodward  26:22

-in the distance learning Blackboard under middle or secondary specific, Special Ed, general curriculum, reading, rewards. So you scroll through all of those folders, you’ll eventually get there.

Stephanie Karnes  26:39

Is it possible to join that classroom or that like Blackboard page, because I used to be part of this Special Ed-

Alice Lima-Whitney  26:40


Erin Woodward  26:42


Stephanie Karnes  26:44

-Blackboard page where the stuff was, um, and I can never find it now that I’m trying to look for it. Casey Ryan actually sent me a link, so I just kind of saved her email to use the link.

Erin Woodward  27:00


Stephanie Karnes  27:01


Alice Lima-Whitney  27:02

I think it’s in the distance learning-

Stephanie Karnes  27:04


Alice Lima-Whitney  27:05

-what I think course or class, and I think everybody has access to that. I don’t think you have to have special access.

Johanna Mulhall  27:11

So it’s Blackboard under distance learning?

Erin Woodward  27:16


Alice Lima-Whitney  27:16

I’m going to look and see if I can identify it real quick.

Johanna Mulhall  27:20

Okay, I know I’ve, I’ve gotten to the Rewards other years, and I don’t ever remember how I get there-

Alice Lima-Whitney  27:30


Johanna Mulhall  27:30

-but I don’t think I’ve seen anything new for this year.

Alice Lima-Whitney  27:35

I’m looking, okay, I am actually able to get in. So I’m going to show you real quick.

Erin Woodward  27:42

The link I put in there is the link that gets you into the distance learning, so you shouldn’t have to have, you shouldn’t have to, um, sign up for that community. It’s just, it’s everyone.

Alice Lima-Whitney  27:55

Yeah, I think everybody has access, and then I can show, I’m going to show now . . . Nope, not that one.

Erin Woodward  28:03

Yeah, that’s the one.

Alice Lima-Whitney  28:05

Okay. I switched, it says it’s showing something else. Okay. So then you would click on, uh . . .

Erin Woodward  28:13

Middle and high school.

Alice Lima-Whitney  28:14

Middle and high school. And then isn’t there one that’s special education? And then you go down again.

Erin Woodward  28:29

General curriculum.

Alice Lima-Whitney  28:30

General curriculum. English language Arts. Rewards. Yeah.

Erin Woodward  28:38


Alice Lima-Whitney  28:43

Let’s see. So there you go. Unit One Resources, Unit Two, unit – So this looks like what you were looking for.

Johanna Mulhall  28:55

Is it different though? Like what I need are interactive slides? I mean, I’m having to create my own or interactive sheets or some way that they- Um, I’m retyping all the words so they can highlight.

Alice Lima-Whitney  29:07

Oh, goodness, I’m gonna show you-

Johanna Mulhall  29:09

-on so they can do the prefixes. Just it’s taking a lot of hours.

Alice Lima-Whitney  29:15

Yes, I can imagine it is. Um, so in Adobe, and I think I don’t know if everybody has this, but most people, if you do a download in Adobe, and I guess I could show you. Let’s see. I’m gonna open one of these and show you how to do it. You can create, make things into, um, PNG files. I don’t remember what that stands for. And you can make them the background in your slide and then students would just use text boxes over them.

Johanna Mulhall  29:52

That’s exactly what I’m doing. But-

Alice Lima-Whitney  29:54

Oh you’re already doing that. Okay.

Johanna Mulhall  29:56

I’m doing that by putting the text boxes on, but I, it’s so- I, I have to make one for every kid and I, I haven’t. Yeah, yeah, that’s what I’m doing basically, I’m typing a lot of the words because to highlight to like, pick out the vowels, like I don’t know how else to do it. They can’t highlight when it’s a background, and I’m- So I’m retyping the words so they can highlight the vowels, because it’s usually a pick up the vowel sounds.

Alice Lima-Whitney  30:25

What if you created semi transparent boxes that they could drag to highlight?

Johanna Mulhall  30:35

Oh, that’s a good idea.

Alice Lima-Whitney  30:36

Right? So they can’t they can’t use the highlighter tool when it’s a background-

Johanna Mulhall  30:41


Alice Lima-Whitney  30:41

-but they could, if you just made a bunch of boxes that were transparent, but a little bit of color, they could use them to highlight.

Johanna Mulhall  30:49

Yeah, that’s a really good idea. Okay, I’m gonna try that.

Alice Lima-Whitney  30:54

Good. [Laughter]

Johanna Mulhall  30:57

Every little bit counts.

Alice Lima-Whitney  30:59

I am deeply entrenched in trying to make, you know, engaging, um, slides working on this WorkKeys stuff. So, I just made a bunch of sticky notes actually.

Johanna Mulhall  31:13

Oh, wow. Okay.

Alice Lima-Whitney  31:19

What other things are coming up for you all? What kinds of units are you doing? What are you doing with students during class time? I know not iLit, not only iLit is happening. I know. There’s other things happening.

Johanna Mulhall  31:39

We’re just trying to hit all the IEP goals. I’m not even doing a unit. [Laughter]

Alice Lima-Whitney  31:44

Ah. Okay.

Johanna Mulhall  31:45

It’s like this kid has spelling, that kid has vocabulary, this – I mean, I’m just trying to hit these goals. And yeah, we have 20 kids and one of our lit lab classes and two deaf and hard of hearing in those. It’s just, it’s, it’s kind of crazy about doing Rewards with what part of them anyway.

Alice Lima-Whitney  32:08

Well, and Rewards can take up a big chunk if it’s difficult to get everybody on task. Yeah, that’s a lot. Um, it looks like Meaghan just finished a unit on writing about advice. Do you want to tell us more about that? Meaghan?

Meaghan Dobson  32:24

Sure. So, um, we read a bunch of articles, you know, the kind of like, five ways to relax or you know, I’ve got a great article on 10 ways to practice English on the job. So we’ll read a series of articles like that and then I asked students to choose a topic that they are experts on and create their own list of four-to-six tips. And it really helps us think about paragraphing and elaboration, you know, just that a group of sentences should focus on one idea at a time, and that you have a main idea, which is your point of advice, and then you elaborate on it with some examples and details afterwards. So that’s kind of smoothing our way into, uh, WorkKeys writing preparation.

Alice Lima-Whitney  33:11

Fun. I’d love to see the article about using, um, I don’t know workplace English. Is that what you what you said it was called?

Meaghan Dobson  33:19

Yeah. Oh, sure. I just made a Google Doc from something I found on the web. I’ll get that for you right now.

Alice Lima-Whitney  33:23

I’d love to see it. And then it looks like Stephanie and Emma are working on short stories. Oh, about fitting in like fitting into a crowd or a group. Tell me about that.

Emma Matos  33:37

We just started. So we-

Stephanie Karnes  33:38

We have- Sorry. Go ahead. We’re just starting it. So first quarter, we focused on nonfiction. And we use Newsela a lot with that because we can differentiate the levels for them. And we did the SQRR and QAR our reading strategies.

Alice Lima-Whitney  33:53


Stephanie Karnes  33:53

Um, so this quarter, we’re using some materials from common lit. They have some dystopian short stories that are written at a lower Lexile level, um, and just kind of trying to get them engaged in reading something fun and exciting.

Alice Lima-Whitney  34:13

That’s fun. I don’t know about dystopian at this point in time. [Laughter] But kids love that stuff. [Laughter]

Stephanie Karnes  34:21

I know I read one with my 11th graders before the break and they loved it.

Alice Lima-Whitney  34:26


Stephanie Karnes  34:26

So, it’s like, all right. We’ll go with it.

Alice Lima-Whitney  34:29

The more angsty the better, right? [Laughter] Let’s see, it looks like there’s a question about using the Newsela to differentiate their own levels, or do you look Do you lock it? I’ll say you’ve done both, right? So sometimes I, um, give kids so they can see them. And then they pick I guess online you might be able to post the actual documents so they could see it. Um, but you would have to do it on Google site. What else is going on? I guess probably you guys haven’t seen the library of books that was delivered to all the schools for lit labs have you? So because we had some funds available, um, from the basil resource adoption for English. um, I was allowed to order 275 book libraries for lit labs that I I picked out books that specific for lit labs for every single high school, so when you get back to your schools, two classrooms could have two 75 book libraries. I know it’s very exciting for the classroom or you could have one classroom with a lot.

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