District Administration September 2017 - 43

math test scores increased across all student subgroups.
Framing a task in a way that students
believe they can achieve it will often
get a better outcome, says Jim Wright,
a New York State-based RtI trainer and
author of RTI Toolkit: A Practical Guide
for Schools.
But teachers often need-and may
not be getting-coaching in the best
ways to galvanize students who are disengaged and losing hope, Wright says.
Using a framework like SEL can also
help make academic intervention programs more successful in middle and
high school grades. There's often a dramatic loss in motivation as struggling
students advance to higher levels of education, Wright says.

"Anxiety is the
new learning
disability in our
country right now."

"core instruction plus," Larson says.
The "plus" takes place during a daily
30-minute block of time when all students receive specialized instruction-
from intensive academic interventions
for struggling students to enrichment for
high achievers. The blocks are staggered
by grade so that reading specialists and
other teachers are available.
Since launching this new approach,
Winneconne's students have posted double-digit increases in overall proficiency
scores in ELA and math, Larson says.
Creating time for all students to receive personalized instruction also allows
districts to move away from using "tiered
language," Larson says. Labels can impact
how teachers interact with students, and
also changes how students think about
themselves, Larson says.

4.

Capitalize on better technology
The development of new technologies and programs for identifying youngsters with academic or behavioral chal-

lenges has made it much easier for school
districts to implement successful intervention programs.
Teachers in Saint Louis Public Schools
use iPads to report positive or negative
classroom behaviors to a platform that
tracks behavioral interventions. Hardy,
the deputy superintendent, says sharing
this detailed data better equips parents to
work with teachers.
Sharing information among educators
is equally important, says Wright, the RtI
trainer. Districts should look for systems
that track student interventions year after
year. If a fourth-grade teacher provides
the right intervention for a student struggling in math, that information should
be available the following year to that
child's fifth-grade teacher.
"One teacher can work a miracle,"
Wright says, "but if no one can build on
that miracle, then it's often wasted." DA
Jessica Terrell is a freelance writer based in
Hawaii.

- Lori Desautels, assistant professor, College
of Education at Butler University

3.

Keep students in class
Increasingly sophisticated screening
programs make it easier for teachers to
identify and track struggling students,
but that doesn't mean pulling more kids
from class for academic interventions.
There's a growing consensus that taking kids out of core classes to give them
extra support doesn't help them catch
up-it actually creates larger learning gaps, says Garth Larson, director of
learning at the Winneconne Community
School District in Wisconsin.
Larson, who has worked as a consultant with close to 1,000 school districts
across the country on RtI implementation, says a growing number of schools
are changing the structure of the day to
provide academic support without taking time away from core classes.
At Winneconne, all students receive

www.DistrictAdministration.com

September 2017 43


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration September 2017

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