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California Early and Extended Literacy Learning (CELL/ExLL)††



Evidence of Effectiveness:


CELL/ExLL are research-based programs.† All elements of the framework were selected because of their substantial support in the research literature.† CELL/ExLL participants assist in the collection of data that is used to document program success and individual student gains.† It is a primary focus of CELL/ExLL research to analyze and report data generated by individual participating schools and districts.† Some examples are as follows:


NOTE:† A Southern California CELL/ExLL pilot program compared achievement in grades 1-4 on the California Achievement Test (CAT-5) over a four-year period (1994-1997).† Schools who had full CELL/ExLL implementation showed increases of 10, 10, and 11 normal curve equivalents in reading comprehension.† Schools with partial implementation of CELL showed increases of 2, 6, and 5.† And schools that participated in a district developed CELL/ExLL clone had normal curve equivalent scores of 2, 1, 3, and 5.† These data are a strong indication that program replication is affected by altering standards, procedures, or training.


Charles Mack Elementary - Elk Grove Unified School District, 1997


Kindergarten students began the year as non-readers and reached a level equivalent to mid-first grade by spring testing.† Achievement of first-graders increased from upper Kindergarten to beginning second, and second-graders who began the year just below grade level scored high fourth grade by spring testing.† These randomly selected children received no intervention or support services other than effective classroom teaching using the CELL/ExLL framework.


Wyoming Indian School, Wyoming (N=200)


In this study, half of the school staff participated in the CELL/ExLL program and half did not.† Significant increases in text reading scores were reported in each grade level for teachers who participated in the program compared to those who did not.


CELL/ExLL and Reading Recovery


Many schools that have selected CELL/ExLL also participate in the Reading Recovery program.† Though Reading Recovery, by design, is an intervention and not expected to impact the cohort, many districts track these data. Test data for first grade students were tracked over a four-year period in mathematics, reading, and total battery.† Three years of data during Reading Recovery participation show scores in the 22-31 national percentile range.† Year-end scores following the first year of CELL/ExLL implementation show a dramatic increase in all three areas to the 44-50-percentile range.† It is interesting to note that the achievement increase was also seen in mathematics.† These data help support the primary importance of reading and writing instruction in the elementary grades.† It also suggests that even a powerful intervention like Reading Recovery improves with the support of effective classroom teaching.


CELL/ExLL and Special Education Referrals


Regarding special education referrals, a study conducted over a three-year period indicated that Non-Title I schools with neither Reading Recovery nor CELL/ExLL showed an increase in percentage of referrals from 2.6 to 3.7 percent.† Title I schools supported by Reading Recovery showed a referral reduction from 3.0 to 2.8 percent.† The demonstration school supported by Reading Recovery and CELL/ExLL showed a significant reduction in referrals to special education from 3.2 to 1.5 percent.† These data confirm both the effective combination of a balanced program of reading and writing instruction with a powerful early intervention.


Program Description:


CELL/ExLL is designed to meet the needs and strengths of each individual child.† The CELL/ExLL model stresses and encourages active participation from each child regardless of his or her current level of literacy acquisition.† High progress children are encouraged to continue their rapid growth while low progress children are guided through the process with continuous support and an opportunity to accelerate their learning.† The opportunity to try new learning in a risk-free environment and practice new strategies throughout the day are encouraged.† CELL/ExLL trains teachers to use a gradual decline of teacher support and a gradual increase in student independence based on demonstrated student capability.† The CELL/ExLL framework of instructional activities includes oral language, phonics, higher-order thinking skills, and reading and writing activities.


The K-3 Framework (CELL) for the program is designed to help the beginning reader develop the necessary skills to master alphabetic principles, phonemic awareness, and concepts about print in a literature-rich environment.†


The Extended Literacy Learning Framework (ExLL) for grades 3-6 is based on an alignment with the K-3 Framework extending it into the intermediate grades where content area study and application of skills have increased importance.†


CELL/ExLL collects diagnostic information to inform instruction and assessment data to ensure accountability.† Teachers are trained to administer the Observation Survey and to improve their observation of children to better inform instruction.† Standardized test measures are provided to track both individual student and class achievement.†


Aspects of Reading


This program addresses the following aspects of reading:


         Phonemic Awareness† Ł

         Phonics Ł

         Fluency Ł

         Vocabulary Ł

         Comprehension Ł










Correlation to Nevada State Standards


Currently being completed.


Teacher Support:


To ensure school-wide support for CELL, a School-Based Planning Team participates in a year long series of planning activities and framework training sessions.† The School-Based Planning Team is composed of the school principal, a reading specialist, a special education teacher, and one teacher each from Kindergarten, first, second and third grades.† Generally, a member of the team will emerge as a leader for the team during the year and agree to be trained as a Literacy Coordinator.


The ExLL training model for grades 3-6 is similar to the CELL model.† Teachers representing each grade, the principal, and other specialists participate in a separate yearlong series of trainings.† It is expected that ExLL schools will have participated in CELL in a prior year or are participating in both trainings in the same year.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Implementation Schedule


School-Based Planning Team

               Observation Survey Training (1 day)

               5 One-day Training Sessions

               Monthly Guided Meetings (90 minutes)

               West Coast Literacy Conference and CELL Institute


Literacy Coordinator Training

               Observation Survey Training (1 day)

               5 One-day School-Based Planning Team Training Sessions

               Monthly Guided Meetings

               5 Week Ling Training Seminars

               3 Interim Training Days

               Monthly Colleague Meetings

               West Coast Literacy Conference and CELL Institute


School-Wide Training

               Observation Survey Training (1 day)

               30 Hours Training for Staff

               Biweekly Guided Meetings (90 minutes)

               West Coast Literacy Conference and CELL Institute


Equipment Requirements:










††††††††††††††††††††††††† CELL††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ExLL

School Based Planning Team†††††††††††††††††† $5,000††††††††††††† School Based Planning Team†††††††††††††††††† $5,000

Literacy Coordinator†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 12,000††††††††††††† Literacy Coordinator†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 12,000

Books and Materials (per classroom)††††††† † 2,500††††††††††††† Books and Materials (per classroom)††††††† † 2,500

Tuition (Literacy Coordinator)†††††††††††††††† † 1,050††††††††††††† Tuition (Literacy Coordinator)†††††††††††††††† † 1,050

Tuition (Teachers - 4 units optional)†††††††† †††† 350††††††††††††† Tuition (Teachers - 4 units optional)†††††††† †††† 360

Additional Costs:† Substitute Days for Participants; Travel to Training Sessions; Hotel Expenses; Meals; West Coast Literacy Conference


For Information Contact:


California Early Literacy Learning

Stan Schwartz or Amie McPherson or Cathleen Geraghty

104 State Street, Suite M

Redlands, California 92372

Phone: (909) 335-3089


Current Location in Nevada


Clark County School District

Tate Elementary

2450 N. Lincoln

Las Vegas, NV 89115

Contact:† Marie Wakefield

Phone:† (702) 799-7360


Nye County School District

Round Mountain Elementary†††††††††††††††††††† Tonopah Elementary

P.O. Box 1151††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† P.O. Box 553

Round Mountain, NV 89045†††††††††††††††††††† Tonopah, NV 89049

Contact:† Bob Chvilicek††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Contact:† Brent McBride

Phone:† (775) 377-2236††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Phone:† (775) 482-6644


Washoe County School District††††††††††††††††

Duncan Elementary††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mathews Elementary†††††††††††††††† Loder Elementary

1200 Montello Street††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2750 Elementary Drive††††††††††††† 600 Apple Street

Reno, NV 89512††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Reno, NV 89512†††††††††††††††††††††† Reno, NV 89502

Contact: June Hall, Principal††††††††††††††††††††† Contact: Barbara McLaury†††††††† Contact:† Carol Worthen

Phone: (775) 333-5190†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Phone: (775) 353-5950††††††††††††† Phone:† (775) 689-2540


Palmer Elementary†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Risley Elementary

5890 Klondike ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1900 Sullivan Lane

Sparks, NV 89433†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Sparks, NV 89431

Contact: Jeannie Grimes, Principal†††††††††††† Contact: Sally Scott, Principal

Phone: (775) 674-4400†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Phone: (775) 353-5760