Special Services refers to any service provided to the student outside the realm of the regular classroom. The services are designed to either enhance or remediate a student’s academic progress and to work in tandem with the benchmarking process as a response to intervention. While intervention programs are proven to be highly successful, they cannot be guaranteed.
Intervention is provided for all students as part of the regular educational curriculum by the classroom teacher. Students with reading and math skills determined to be below the benchmark are identified and progress-monitored. Instructional strategies are research-based.
Tier II (approx. 90 minutes per week)
Intervention is provided in a small group setting using research-based reading and math strategies for those students whose skills are identified to be below the benchmark and not making adequate progress with Tier I intervention in the regular classroom. Services include:
- Reading Readiness (Kindergarten)
- Language Enrichment (Grades 1-3)
- DMS (Developing Metacognitive Skills) (Grades 3+)
Tier III (time depends on type of service)
Intervention is provided in a small group setting by an educational therapist using research-based instructional strategies for those students whose skills are not at grade level and require intensive intervention. Students receiving Tier III intervention are formally diagnosed with learning differences, developmental delays/disorders, or physical limitations. Services include:
- Executive Functioning
- Alternative Math
- Dyslexia Therapy
Critical Thinking Skills Class (2x per week)
The Critical Thinking Skills class is designed to teach students how to analyze and critique ideas, make connections across disciplines, see knowledge as useful and applicable to daily life and a deep level of understanding.
MASTERS Program (2x per week)
The MASTERS Program is designed to enhance skills for the High Ability Learner in grades 1st-4th. A “High Ability” learner is a student who performs at, or show the potential of performing at an outstanding level of accomplishment in at least one domain when compared with other students at the same age, experience or environment.
A student may be identified as “High Ability” in either Language Arts, Mathematics, or both. Instruction will be tailored to enhance and extend the curriculum of the regular classroom.
To be admitted to the MASTERS Program, students are identified by a team of administrators and teachers using data from achievement, intellectual and benchmark testing as well as a classroom checklist.
Most coaching occurs after school and on days that are not in competition with athletic practices and games. Parents are to be involved in so far as transporting students to academic competitions and volunteering to judge at various events as necessary.
Academic and Speech teacher-led and independent study opportunities that may lead to competition in local, citywide, and statewide events.
Sessions include: Creative Writing, Public Speaking. On-Site Drawing, Math, Spelling
Creative, Rewarding Experiences on Wednesdays where students can choose various opportunities that are not typically experienced during the school day.
RTI Great I.D.E.A by Becky Ward, Director of Special Services
Mrs. Becky Ward, Director of Special Services, was raised in a home where both of her parents were teachers for over 30 years. She realized early on that God wanted her to teach children and to share with educators and parents what works based on her experiences and expertise. Today, she has served students as an educator for 14 years as a Director of Grades K-2, Director of Special Services Department and as a Licensed Dyslexia Therapist.
It was while working on her master’s degree in education she learned about Response to Intervention (RTI). RTI exists to early identify struggling students, provide research- based instruction and measure their response to the instruction through an assessment process. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a special education law that ensures rights to children with learning disabilities. RTI was passed by IDEA in 2004.
Becky decided to use the information she learned about RTI and carefully implement a special services program and to write a book. The book is titled RTI ~ Great IDEA. RTI ~ Great IDEA provides detailed instruction for educators on how to implement an RTI program the “right way” and shares best practices to better inform parents of what should be happening at their child’s school.