The goals for this topic are to review literacy screener norms, recommend training for the literacy screeners, and share how to do fidelity checks at the district and/or campus levels.
Texas Education Agency, “House Bill 3 (HB 3) Implementation: K-2 Diagnostics,” n.d., https://tea.texas.gov/about-tea/news-and-multimedia/correspondence/taa-letters/house-bill-3-hb-3-implementation-k-2-diagnostics.
Yvette Arañas, “Administering Assessments with Fidelity,” Illuminate Education, June 19, 2021, https://www.illuminateed.com/blog/2015/12/administering-assessments-with-fidelity/.
Dr. Sanchez de Tagle is an Early Childhood Specialist in Region 4, serving bilingual, general education, self-contained, and inclusion classrooms. She began supporting the Early Childhood Assessment Support (ECAS) grant work in April 2023 and provides early childhood expertise, grant task assistance, and professional development training support for the grant.
Before joining the Region 4 team, she served as an Instructional Coach at Humble ISD, an EL Instructional Coach for Instruction and Accountability at New Caney ISD, and a Dual Language Teacher, teaching grades from Preschool 3 to 5th grade. Alex has been in education for over 20 years, and most of her experience is in early childhood education.
Alex obtained a doctoral degree at St. Thomas University. Her research focused on play-based instruction and literacy development in prekindergarten. She is driven by providing support and services to early childhood practitioners and families to improve equity, access, and quality of education for young children.
Lila Dahbura Situ is the Program Manager for the Kindergarten Assessment Support (KAS) grant and the Early Childhood Assessment Support (ECAS) grant. She supports the high-level vision planning for the grant work, establishing systems and processes for the efficient and effective execution of the grant work, as well as providing guidance for all grant projects supported by the grant team. Lila started supporting the KAS grant in 2021, when the grant was first awarded to Region 4 ESC.
Prior to joining Region 4 ESC, Lila served as the Director of Early Childhood programming in BakerRipley's community school district, which served students across the city of Houston with wraparound services. In this role, Lila directed the work of a small team supporting early childhood (EC) programming in the district, and was responsible for the district's EC vision planning. She co-led the comprehensive redesign and implementation of a new literacy curriculum in the district, focusing primarily on change management with Kindergarten through Second Grade (K–2) teachers. Lila also led the redesign of several major early childhood programming components, including overhauling and managing the implementation of high-quality curriculum materials in Prekindergarten, as well as K–2 mathematics. Additionally, Lila designed and delivered quality district professional development trainings for PK–2 staff and partnered with campus instructional leaders to provide instructional coaching services to the district's early childhood teachers. Lila started her career as the lead teacher in PK-1st grade classrooms in a variety of school settings, such as dual-language and play-based learning. She also held various leadership roles throughout her time in campus-based roles.
Lila holds a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston, specializing in Early Childhood Education, and is a certified PK–8 teacher. She has early literacy leadership certification from Rice University and is a Teach for America—Houston alumna. Her interest and passion is focused on high-quality early childhood programming at the intersection of play-based instruction to promote 21st century skills in our youngest learners. In her free time, Lila enjoys discovering new foods, events, and activities with her husband, son, and two dogs.
Megan is a Program Specialist for the Early Childhood Assessment Support (ECAS) Initiative. Joining the team in May 2022, she began assisting local education agencies (LEAs) across the state with choosing and implementing one of the two Commissioner-Approved Kindergarten Literacy Screeners. Currently, she is responsible for all training projects and initiatives related to the early childhood assessments.
Prior to joining the ECAS team, Megan served as the Director of Literacy Programming at BakerRipley—a district of community schools with comprehensive wraparound services in Houston, Texas. In this role, Megan led a comprehensive redesign of the literacy programming for grades K-6 and organized community events centered on literacy, partnering with organizations such as the Houston Dynamo, the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Houston Public Library. In her tenure, over 10,000 books were given to students. Megan has also served as a Reading Academies Cohort Leader and K-5th grade lead teacher in a variety of school settings, such as dual-immersion and project-based learning.
Megan holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Learning and Development from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Johns Hopkins University. She has a certification for Project Management from Google and is a Teach for America - Memphis alumna. In her free time, she loves to garden and is passionate about sustainability. She also loves to play and spend time with her husband, two children, and German Shepherd/Husky, Grim.
Heather Ward, M.Ed. is an Early Childhood Reading Language Arts (RLA) Specialist at Education Service Center, Region 11. Heather has worked in early childhood education in roles including teacher, reading specialist, and administrator for 20 years. She currently spends most of her time mentoring in classrooms and facilitating professional development related to literacy in prekindergarten through second grade across the North Texas area.