Wednesday, January 16, 2013

All kids will learn or else.



In my short time in my new position as superintendent we have had a lot of discussions regarding our response to students that are not learning.  The challenge I see now is taking action and making a commitment to "all kids will learn or else."  For lack of better words, we need to walk the walk.  It takes a whole school approach, for us to address ALL needs of students and cannot be done in pockets.  A whole school approach takes work and a commitment from everyone on staff.  I read a great article that was sent to me by one of our teachers regarding a case study on implementing RTI.

Source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Z9PzdrW7DQs/UHThNM6XUSI/AAAAAAAANZk/35B_RdEgDsc/s1600/Break_through_wall.jpg

It is no secret that quality core instruction (Tier 1) eliminates a lot of issues.  The case study focused on instruction.  They developed consistent approaches for all teachers to use.  They moved away from whole class instruction and used more, "student to student interaction with the content."  They used best practices that were practical and meshed well across content areas.  They developed a system of progress monitoring through the PLC process.  They found what students should know and be able to do in each area and created competencies (assessments) to assess each Powerstandard.  They intervened as a whole staff based off of these competencies.  The mastery of these assessments resulted in a grade (standards based grading).

I believe that interventions should be supplemental and not take place of core instruction.  Supplemental interventions require schedules that are flexible.  There was evidence of this in the article.  Throughout the two year study the school adjusted and changed as it needed to meet all students needs.  I believe we are breaking through, and there is a shift occurring but we need to begin to put our words into action.  Take a few minutes to read this article: Implementing RTI in a High School

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