CommonLit Archive Middle & High Schools: Join a CommonLit 360 Curriculum Pilot

Learn about an opportunity to pilot the new CommonLit 360 units for grades 6–10 and get exclusive access to coaching, resources, assessments, and support for SY 2021–22 and beyond.

CommonLit is a nonprofit with a mission to close persistent opportunity gaps in literacy education. We are best known for our award-winning, free digital library of over 2,000 supplemental lessons for grades 3–12 in English and Spanish which has reached over 20 million students. Our tools are highly effective: A 2019 third party evaluation showed that increased use of CommonLit was correlated with student gains on a state assessment with special positive effects for students in low-income schools and students with disabilities.

In June of 2021, CommonLit will release a new comprehensive and free English Language Arts curriculum for grades 6–10, CommonLit 360. Here is the CommonLit 360 Unit by Unit Guide. The curriculum was developed over the course of three years with extensive feedback from teachers and students in 50 schools nationally.

“My students love CommonLit 360. We have two separate curriculum programs in our school for English. My students are always saying, ‘When can we go back to CommonLit?’”
- Anne Goldfeder, ELA teacher at MS 226 in Queens

The results from our three years of pilots so far have been overwhelmingly positive. Nine out of ten teachers report that they would highly recommend a unit to a friend. At our flagship pilot school, Washington Leadership Academy, English Language Arts scores consistently improved on the PARCC, MAP, and CommonLit Benchmark Assessments during the course of the three year pilot, with special positive effects for students with disabilities. One ELA teacher, a veteran of 20 years recently shared, “The CommonLit curriculum is extremely easy to use for teachers. The way that CommonLit formats the unit and the individual lessons — it is very easy to put your own spin on a lesson. I can’t say enough about it!”

Our pilot results have shown that novice teachers find our curriculum intuitive, exemplary teachers find our curriculum to be easy to build upon, and administrators love the structure and support the materials provide. All lessons come with robust teacher guides and answer keys that support internalization, pacing, and effective implementation.

Our Ask: Join a CommonLit 360 Pilot for SY 2021–22

Moving into school year 2021–2022, CommonLit is looking for 3–4 districts to pilot the CommonLit 360 Curriculum for grades 6–10.

The primary goal of our pilot program for SY 2021–22 is to conduct research on CommonLit 360 and to better understand typical patterns of utilization and customization. It is our hypothesis that CommonLit 360 will: 1) increase student achievement in reading and writing, 2) increase student’ social emotional health in a positive classroom environment, and 3) increase teachers’ use of instructional best practices in ELA.

To measure this, CommonLit will be working with Mathematica researchers to help us analyze the data and synthesize a report on our key findings. The research will be used to understand the ways in which we can improve the unit content and professional development to ensure equitable outcomes for students of color. This research will help us and the schools in our pilot make important instructional choices to better meet the needs of students.

What are the expectations for participating, and what’s in it for schools?

The expectations for participation for our SY 2021–22 CommonLit 360 pilot program are very manageable for any school interested in trying out 360! Schools that can commit to aim to use at least 3 CommonLit 360 units could be a perfect fit for the program.

There is also some lightweight data collection at the beginning and end of the school year. We are asking teachers in participating schools to:

  • Administer reading assessments from the CommonLit Assessment Series (at least the pre-test and post-test), offered free to participating districts!
  • Administer a writing diagnostic pre and post test (beginning and end of year), which consists of an argumentative writing prompt (45 min)
  • Complete 2–4 teacher surveys during the course of the school year
  • Administer 1–2 student surveys (10 min) during the course of the school year about social emotional well-being and general interest in the lesson content
  • Select teachers only: Participate in a mid-year interview with CommonLit’s research team about their habits and utilization of 360 materials (participating teachers will receive Amazon gift cards as a thanks)

Benefits of Participating in the SY 2021–2022 Pilot Program

In addition to the full CommonLit 360 Curriculum for grades 6–10, participating schools will gain access to everything in the CommonLit School Essentials PRO package, free of charge.

This package includes a suite of wraparound services to facilitate smooth implementation of the full program including:

In addition to all this, participating schools will get:

  1. A dedicated CommonLit instructional coach and liaison who will support schools in their transition to CommonLit 360
  2. A virtual 360 Curriculum kickoff training for teachers and administrators
  3. Priority customer support and rostering services
  4. Access to our research synthesis which can aid in decision-making
  5. Early access to cutting edge new features and resources on CommonLit

Learn more about CommonLit 360

Ready to learn more about CommonLit 360? Here are a few places to start:

Join Us!

We’ve seen that the CommonLit 360 Curriculum is easy-to-use, loved by teachers, and has helped dozens of schools improve instruction. If you’d like to bring CommonLit 360 to your school or district, complete this short interest form to connect with our team.