Mr. Knuth Explains Response to Intervention Model

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Dear Cazenovia families, Recently, parents of students in grade 7-9 were mailed the (ISR) or individual student reports detailing your child’s performance on the grades 3-8 New York State Math and ELA assessments.  This information is used to identify strengths and weaknesses in both curriculum and instructional delivery.  Our teachers were hard at work all summer making improvements based on the information provided in these reports.  These reports are also used to identify individuals in need of additional academic support, but they do not give us the whole picture. This year Cazenovia High School will be changing the way we identify and support our struggling learners.  In the past, we used the term (AIS) or Academic Intervention Services.  In this model, performance on state assessments is used to identify some students for additional instruction outside the regular education program.  This year we are adopting (RtI) or the Response to Intervention model, which provides for a 3 tiered approach to instruction for all Cazenovia students. In Tier 1 all students are universally screened to ensure that we have an accurate picture of their academic strengths and weaknesses. A key component of RtI is differentiated instruction for all students within the regular education classroom. Differentiated instruction will support struggling learners as well as those students prepared for enrichment opportunities. In Tier 2 and 3, we move to increasingly more intensive supports for students not seeing success from the Tier 1 interventions.  Frequency intensity and class sizes vary by student need.  Students will continue to have their progress monitored and specific interventions will be designed to address skills deficits.  Students will move in and out of Tier 2 as they develop their skills. This year in grades 8-9 we adopted the STAR program by Renaissance Learning as another tool to help us accurately identify what students know and are able to do.  With accurate information about individual student performance we can target and develop specific skills. We can then provide the supports that students truly need.  For example, a student struggling in social studies may be struggling with a literacy deficiency that is unrelated to the content required in class.  Specific student intelligence empowers us to treat the source of a problem rather than a symptom of a larger issue. A key component of the RtI process is parent involvement.  This year parents will be provided with additional information about their child’s performance on the STAR assessments.  Working together we can discuss student progress, collaborate on interventions and set goals to ensure that all Cazenovia students grow.  Thank you for your continued support of student learning and achievement at Cazenovia Schools. Sincerely, Mr. Eric Knuth HS Principal

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