ModEL Detroit Benefits

  • 1,700+ PowerPoint Decks

    Supports all K–8 EL Education Lessons including K–2 Foundational Skills

    Consistent, high-quality lessons

    • Learning targets present for students
    • Protocols at the forefront of lessons
    • Elevates high-yield questions & activities

    Strategic scaffolds for differentiated instruction

    Provides strategic scaffolds for students who require differentiated instruction, including:

    • English Language Learners
    • Exceptional Student Education
    • Readers who are significantly behind grade level

    Reduce prep and planning time

    Designed to synthesize and support teacher preparation

    By teachers, for teachers

    Developed by experienced teachers, reviewed by national experts

    Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

    Download, adopt, and adapt this Open Educational Resource for your students' needs



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    Phone: (313) 873-3485

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    Note: If any of the PowerPoint decks open to Master Slide view, they will appear to have no content. Click "Close Master View" on the ribbon. These materials were intentionally left in editable form (not PDF) so teachers can customize to meet their individual school, class, and student needs.

    Screenshot detailing Close Master View button on the Slide Master ribbon in PowerPoint

The modEL Detroit Story

  • modEL Detroit

    Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) is proud to share tools to support teachers throughout the nation in implementing EL Education K-5 Language Arts (provided by Open Up Resources) and Paths to College and Career (published by John Wiley & Sons) for 6-8 reading/language arts.  

    Called the modEL Detroit Project, facilitated by StandardsWork, and co-funded by DPSCD and The Skillman Foundation, modEL Detroit provides both planning and delivery resources to teachers implementing the EL Education curriculum, bringing to life what is recommended in the teachers' guides. 

    "All students deserve access to a high-quality literacy curriculum that will prepare them for success in school, career, and life. We are proud to be part of this transformative partnership." – Scott Hartl, President and CEO of EL Education

    In the 2018/2019 school year, DPSCD ELA teachers districtwide have piloted these materials.  The District is proud to share them with other school districts and teachers who are implementing the most highly downloaded ELA curriculum in the nation.  

    The concept, developed in collaboration by the wisdom of National Literacy experts David and Meredith Liben and the pursuit of an excellent first year implementation by April Imperio, Executive Director of K-12 Literacy & Early Learning and Beth Gonzalez, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction, is intended to support teachers in leveraging these rich materials, reduce the burden of planning as teachers adapt to new materials, and support the District's Vision for Excellent Instruction across classrooms. 

    The modEL Detroit Project was led by Meredith Liben, a noted literacy expert with deep knowledge of curriculum development generally and the EL Education curriculum in particular. She has served for eight years as Director of Literacy at Student Achievement Partners. In that capacity, she worked closely with the New York State Department of Education as it created the set of free curriculum resources housed on the EngageNY website. An earlier version of EL Education’s curriculum was developed as part of that project.  Teachers from across the country who had years of experience in implementing the materials developed guidance for teachers of their grade level. “The EL Education curriculum is universally considered outstanding and is one of EdReports’ highest-rated programs, but it represents an enormous change in the way teachers approach their literacy instruction,” said Liben. “We hoped to make it possible for students to enjoy the benefits of the curriculum’s design, even as teachers are learning to implement it well.”

    Intimately involved in developing the design principles and supporting teachers district-wide to implement the materials was April Imperio.  April has led Literacy for the District since October of 2018 where she has engaged District teachers and leaders in two core curriculum adoptions which have led to the selection of highly aligned instructional materials.  

    Additionally, the project had the support of EL Education's team of experts.  “All students deserve access to a high-quality literacy curriculum that will prepare them for success in school, career, and life,” said Scott Hartl, President, and CEO of EL Education. “We are proud to be part of this transformative partnership. The open-source modEL Detroit Project is an important project to support teachers in the successful implementation of our K-8 Language Arts Curriculum in all Detroit Public School Community District schools.”

    The District is incredibly thankful to StandardsWork, EL Education, and the Skillman Foundation for supporting the District with this very important project.  These materials are being shared as open educational resources, free of cost, with a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.  


    Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, who took over the leadership of DPSCD in spring 2017, made curriculum reform, and aligning the District's professional development dollars to curriculum study and implementation, a pillar of his successful turnaround efforts in Duval County, Florida, where he was superintendent from 2013 to 2017. Last year, Duval County, the 20th largest school district in the country, was one of the highest performing large urban school district in the country based on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). 

    Following an audit in 2017 that concluded the English language arts and mathematics curricula were outdated and misaligned to state standards, the District reviewed a number of options and selected EL Education K-5 Language Arts (provided by Open Up Resources) and Paths to College and Career (published by John Wiley & Sons) for reading/language arts and Eureka Math (published by Great Minds.) Both reading/language arts curricula were developed by the nonprofit organization EL Education (formerly known as Expeditionary Learning.)

modEL Detroit Flyer

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