Georgia Literacy Academy Provides IDA-Accredited Coursework, Reaches Enrollment of More Than 11,000 Educators

Science of reading courses certified by International Dyslexia Association, available free of charge statewide

March 27, 2024 – In just four months of operation, the Georgia Literacy Academy has reached an enrollment of 11,723 Georgia educators, State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced today.

The Academy’s courses are brought to educators through a partnership with the Atlanta Speech School’s Rollins Center for Language & Literacy and its free online Cox Campus. Cox Campus courses are now accredited by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), which ensures that the courses are designed to promote the principles and practices of structured literacy, helping ensure all students have the opportunity to become skilled readers.

The Georgia Literacy Academy is a series of online courses in structured literacy and the science of reading available at no cost to all Georgia educators. It’s one of a menu of options available to Georgia school districts as all K-3 teachers in the state receive high-quality, evidence-based training in structured literacy as a result of the Georgia Early Literacy Act (HB 538).

“As we seek to improve literacy outcomes for all Georgia students, it’s important that both teachers and leaders have access to high-quality, evidence-based professional learning,” Superintendent Woods said. “This partnership with the Rollins Center for Language & Literacy allows us to offer proven training in structured literacy and the science of reading, available to any teacher or educational leader in the state at no cost to districts, schools, or individual educators.”

The Georgia Literacy Academy is one of multiple pathways GaDOE is providing to school districts as they meet the requirement that all K-3 teachers receive training on the science of reading, structured literacy, and foundational literacy skills by July 2025.

GaDOE’s partnership with the Rollins Center builds on the successful collaboration with Marietta City Schools, which over the last two years has led to historic gains in literacy achievement across grade levels and student subgroups.

Dr. Ryan Lee-James, Chief Academic Officer of the Atlanta Speech School and Rollins Center Director, said, “We are grateful to partner with the Georgia Department of Education for literacy transformation. This accredited coursework, built with our nation’s top scholars and funded by Georgia philanthropy, will change outcomes for our state’s students and bring an estimated $40M of professional learning to our educators at no cost to teachers or districts.”

Teachers may also meet the training requirement by completing another training program accredited by the International Dyslexia Association (such as Orton-Gillingham, AIM Institute, LETRS, or Wilson Language Training) or successfully earning a reading endorsement or dyslexia endorsement by a GaPSC-approved program. Teachers will be able to meet the requirement by completing the Georgia Assessments for Certification of Educators (GACE) once that assessment has been updated by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to align with developmentally appropriate, evidence-based literacy instruction.

Educator Access to Georgia Literacy Academy
Teachers can access the Georgia Literacy Academy through GaDOE’s Georgia Learns platform. A course manual with access details is available here.

About the Georgia Department of Education’s Literacy Efforts
GaDOE is committed to supporting and improving early literacy, knowing the vital impact of students’ ability to read on all future educational attainment. In addition to the launch of the Georgia Literacy Academy, other recent efforts include the announcement of a statewide literacy coaching model, the placement of school-level coaches in elementary schools with the highest need, and the establishment of dedicated Director of Literacy and Structured Literacy Coaching Coordinator positions at the state level. Last fall, GaDOE recognized 155 schools with exceptional achievement or growth in third-grade reading as Literacy Leaders.

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Meghan Frick
Director of Communications
GaDOE Communications Office