Principal Spotlight: Literacy and Reading

February 2015, Volume 38, Issue 6

There’s more than one way to improve students’ literacy, from teachers working with students on close reading to parents reading to their kids every night. The latest issue of Principal explores where school leaders fit in the reading equation, and how they can effectively improve literacy in their schools.

Creating a literacy-rich environment for students is a central theme in this issue. According to Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey, close reading needs to be encouraged both in individual classrooms and schoolwide. Principals can set the expectation that each teacher promote consistent close reading by, for instance, paying particular attention to how texts are selected. Principals can also facilitate the development of a schoolwide annotation program that students can use from year to year.

Establishing a culture of reading also emerges in Aradhana Mudambi’s article on vocabulary instruction, as well as in Ann M. Martin and Kathleen R. Roberts’ article on the librarian’s role in working with principals to instill schoolwide digital literacy. Both articles focus on the importance of building a reading-rich—or “word-rich environment,” as Mudambi calls it—which is something that only a principal can do.


Approaching this issue from the perspective of arts-integration and developing 21st century skills is NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly’s interview with NAESP President Mark White and National Art Education Association President Dennis Inhulsen. Their discussion on the intersection of new arts standards and college- and career-readiness standards provides principals guidance on how to leverage expertise in their buildings at a time when educators might feel overburdened with new standards and initiatives.

This issue also features the third installment of the Strong Start series, where author Susan McLester focuses on aligning early learning communities, outlines policy and research perspectives on the principal’s role in aligning pre-K through third grade.

You can access the latest issue of Principal online and in print, but those looking for an interactive reading experience can check out the digital edition. The format allows for easy navigation and searching on any device, quick access to links and web resources, and printable PDFs to share with colleagues.

Copyright © 2015. National Association of Elementary School Principals. No part of the articles in NAESP magazines, newsletters, or website may be reproduced in any medium without the permission of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. For more information, view NAESP’s reprint policy