Colton Corner Oct. 4, 2017: New program implemented in Colton Schools to ensure educational growth
Colton School District is implementing Response to Intervention (RTI) to address educational needs within the schools. RTI is described as a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs. The support team includes classroom teachers, special education teachers, educational assistants, administrators, staff, students and families.
Colton educator, Matt Jumago, is spending the school year as Teacher On Special Assignment. He works as a teacher providing intervention and support to students at the elementary school as well as supports to teachers K-12 under the Chalkboard/Collaboration grant. He leads the Focus in Teaching Team (FIT) and Collaboration Grant Team focusing on teacher professional learning and is managing the implementation of RTI and the collaboration grant that is funding the work.
Response to intervention (RTI) may sound complicated, but it's based on a fairly simple model. Early in the school year and then every week or two, students are tested, the data is collected and the school begins to look at each student's skills in reading, writing and math. From the data garnered, the school provides targeted teaching--called intervention--to help struggling students catch up. According to Jumago, a big part of the RTI process involves closely monitoring student progress. This enables the school to identify which kids need more academic support and to provide it in a way that works best for each student. The basic educational structure for most students will be within the classroom. Extra time has been set aside during 90-minute reading blocks and 80-minute math blocks for supportive learning. The learning process within this framework is designed for continuous improvement for students who are struggling in a subject and to add to the educational opportunities of those who are meeting standards. Students who are exceeding will be provided with project-based challenges.
"We are building a system for continuous improvement," Jumago said. "We use Measures of Academic Progress (MAPs) to collect student baseline data. This is not a one-size-fits-all program. It is a program designed for individual student needs."
In an email, Superintendent Koreen Barreras-Brown said teachers will be working in teams to develop student learning growth goals utilizing MAPs data. Educators will be attending workshops to learn how to utilize the reports to monitor individual student growth in reading and math. She also said that teachers will have in-building professional learning on the RTI systems of support and data in their specific schools. She noted that all professional learning is "Teacher-Directed and Student-Centered" stating the principal of each school is the leader of the RTI system at their individual buildings.
In addition to RTI for academic success, the district has also added behavioral intervention. Barreras-Brown describes it:
"To address the whole child/student, we are developing a K-12 RTI framework for behavioral/social/emotional needs with Tori Hazelton as the lead administrator. We also hired a Campus Monitor/Interventionist, Kyver Raasch, to support the implementation of this framework district-wide. We are providing professional development for all staff in the areas of Trauma Informed Practices, Restorative Practices, and Positive Intervention Supports. Our bus drivers, educational assistants, custodians, media specialists, secretaries, and food services employees joined us in trauma informed practices at the beginning of the year. We are planning and developing evening trauma informed practices workshops for families as well. Further, we are partnering with Clackamas County Health for a school based health center to meet the health needs of our students. We are negotiating a contract/agreement at the moment and should start very soon with every Thursday at Colton High school from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The health services will include: pediatrician, certified medical health provider and certified medical assistant."
Within the RTI model is the component of parent involvement. Parents will be informed about their child's progress and the instruction and interventions used as well as the staff involved in presenting goals for their child.
Barreras-Brown said the district is working to engage families in meaningful decision making in student learning and overall district improvement.