October 2, 1012

District puts in place RtI interventions

In an effort to provide early systematic assistance to students who have difficulty learning, the Hamilton School District implemented various intervention plans as part of Response to Intervention (RtI). Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik described the systematic process school staff members deploy to improve performance of students who do not reach proficiency on standardized assessment.

Interventions are classified as Tier 1, 2 and 3. Tier 1 interventions are largely delivered by classroom teachers as part of regular instruction. Tier 2, for approximately 5-20 percent of students, is designed for students who fail to attain benchmarks despite getting differentiated instruction in a Tier 1 setting. For about 3-5 percent of students who show inadequate progress with Tier 2 interventions, Tier 3 provides intensification or different, more specialized approaches.

In contrast to Tier 1 interventions, Tier 2 and 3 interventions typically are not implemented in the regular classroom. Tier 2 interventions commonly occur in small groups. Tier 3 involves even smaller teacher-student ratios and may involve collaboration with other agencies or professional staff.

Hamilton elementary schools modified school schedules this year to create blocks of instructional time to deliver daily interventions to students. Templeton uses content mastery classes, and the high school implemented a new daily advisement structure to more readily assist students.

E4E participation approved

The School Board approved continued participation in the Education for Employment (E4E), a consortium in which the district is a member along with 12 other southeastern Wisconsin districts. The consortium developed a five-year plan that:

  • prepares students for future employment;
  • ensures technological literacy;
  • promotes lifelong learning;
  • encourages good citizenship;
  • advances collaboration among business, industry, labor, postsecondary school and school districts; and
  • establishes a role for public schools in Wisconsin’s workforce and economic development.

E4E coordination comes with the CESA #1 Carl Perkins Consortium, which the board approved for the 2012-13 school year.

AODA prevention activities summarized

The district’s Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) prevention activities focus on four areas: initial screening and referrals for students and parents; assistance in finding community services; grant-writing; and school activities.

AODA Coordinator Kristin Hasbrook described efforts to help students and families that included student peer trainers, classroom lessons, individual and group counseling, community collaboration and Get Connected parent programs.

Lannon site plan approved

Lannon Elementary School Principal Dick Ladd presented his school’s site plan update. The school worked on two tactics that indicate students will:

  • engage in meaningful and active learning to support maximum reading achievement for each student; and
  • develop positive social skills through meaningful collaboration with peers and staff.

Ladd reported that as part of the first tactic, all students who struggle in reading get a second dose of targeted, small-group reading instruction four times each week. He also noted that teachers are enhancing collections of nonfiction reading materials at various reading levels, creating data walls to document student progress, assessing students using MAP and PALS programs and keeping Moodle classroom web pages up to date with resources for parents to help their children in school.

He said grade level instructional teams will meet to share information about students and come up with interventions. The school will also research the best approach to handwriting and its importance to clear communication.

The second tactics resulted in creation of the “Cardinal Pride” theme to help students learn appropriate behavior. Posters were displayed throughout the school that show actual Lannon students depicting the three Bs: be respectful, be responsible, be your best. In addition, students learned about proper behavior on the playground and in school. Next steps for the tactic include greater communication from one grade level to the next facilitated through instructional teams to promote discussion of student needs and achievement.

ERE continues to help struggling readers

Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D., described Early Reading Empowerment (ERE) as an intervention program to help struggling readers. First grade teachers assess students early in the school year, and students needing help meet with an ERE-trained teacher for individual or small-group instruction four days a week. Some 41 students participated this year in the ERE invitational summer school program. Little reported that 26 percent of district first-grades were served through the program in 2011-12.

Personnel news

In personnel business, the School Board appointed:

  • Amy Helgeson as a Templeton special services paraprofessional;
  • Salena Salomone as Maple Avenue  Title I paraprofessional;
  • Holly Carini as Woodside paraprofessional;
  • Shannon Stouthamer as Marcy special services paraprofessional;
  • Steve Pelzman as a Woodside cleaner; and
  • Jennifer Sullivan as Templeton special services paraprofessional.