About Us

LOCI works with schools and districts to build their internal capacity for growth in literacy teaching and learning. Through data-driven strategic planning, we help instructional leadership teams design, implement, monitor and sustain powerful professional learning systems. Our work focuses on developing research-tested literacy strategies and the organizational capacity assets needed to sustain them.

Guiding Principles

CAPACITY- We develop the collective ability of individuals and teams in a system to understand, implement, and learn from change in literacy practice.

LEARNING IN AND FROM PRACTICE- We support development in context, helping educator teams pilot, collect evidence from, reflect on, and improve effective literacy practices.

GRADUAL RELEASE- Building on the effective teaching model of gradual release of responsibility, our professional learning supports educators in learning through a cycle of modeling, guided practice and independent practice.

Our Approach

We work at the intersection of Organizational Capacities and Literacy Practices to build sustainable change in literacy teaching and learning. Using our nationally benchmarked LOCI inventory, we measure literacy practices and capacity assets in districts then focus on developing them in tandem through the design and delivery of professional learning for teachers and instructional leaders.


This model builds instructional, community and school organizational capacity by integrating a strategically resourced literacy vision from the district level with increased professional expertise and ownership throughout the system.


LOCI's partners have a collective 50+ years of experience in literacy and organizational improvement, and have been collaborating on projects since 2010.

The core leadership team that comprises the Learning Organizational Capacity Initiative is supported by a network of national consultants and coaches who share our commitment to building local capacity into systems and using an asset based approach to lead for change.  We support strategic planning and on the ground professional learning (modeling or coaching in classrooms; leading professional development with instructional leadership teams; designing virtual and onsite learning systems in collaboration with local partners).  Our leadership team includes:

Sharon Roth M.A. in Instructional Technology, Hybrid PD Lead Designer

Sharon brings significant experience in designing and supporting professional learning, especially hybrid approaches that integrate onsite coaching and consulting with virtual learning systems and resources. She serves as the lead designer of our virtual investigations which support high quality onsite collaborative professional learning. Prior to her work with LOCI, she directed the professional development services and consulting network for a national educational non-profit.

KaiLonnie Dunsmore Ph.D. in Literacy & Teacher Learning, Literacy Improvement Expert

KaiLonnie, LOCI project director, has 25 years’ experience in education as a classroom teacher, university professor, foundation director, and research fellow. She is the director of a $4.6 million U.S. Department of Education funded grant to support early literacy development (preK-grade 3) in 21 school systems in 5 states. In addition, she is working with the Council of the Chief State School Officers to coach state department of education staff on effective Early Learning policy and practice with a target focus of improving student achievement in the critical Pre/K – grade 3 window.

Jennifer Adams Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, Virtual and Onsite Literacy Coach

Jennifer is a veteran classroom teacher with expertise in early childhood and literacy instruction. She has worked with adult learners in higher-education and provided professional learning to teachers for over a decade. She has extensive experience in coaching local leadership teams to build effective professional learning systems for educators in rural and urban contexts. This includes work with teachers both on site as well as remotely to model practices and support deeper understanding of effective instruction.

Catherine Nelson Ph.D. in Education, Program Evaluation Specialist

Catherine brings 20 years of expertise in evaluation research that helps educational systems incorporate data into their decision making and organization routines. She has longstanding relationships with charter schools, foundations, and educational non-profits where she designs both performance measures and systems for using performance data for improvement. She led the design team that built our LOCI needs assessment process which provides national benchmarking and formative design recommendations for the improvement of professional learning systems.