District Data/Program Reviews
Batavia Public School District 101 is committed to the continuous improvement process. Part of this process is taking a critical look at our efforts, including our programs, strategies and practices. The Curriculum and Instruction Division evaluates programs on both an ad hoc and set cycle. The program evaluations are designed to succinctly capture the history of our efforts as well as evaluate the effectiveness of the effort. As with most social science research, it is difficult to measure impact of one strategy since there are many factors to the learning process. Therefore, what you will find in the effort evaluations are on-going analyses that guide improvement and decision-making.
Reading Resource Program
The primary focus of Batavia’s Reading Resource program is on early intervention in grades K through 2; however, three of the six elementary schools serve additional students in grades 3 through 5. Services are delivered in daily, small groups that are separated from the child’s general education classroom. The student’s goals for improvement are clustered around the five components of literacy, including phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary. Data collected from a review of the program over three school years indicates that, while the Tier 3 intervention has shown success, there are inconsistencies in the way that interventions are accessed at different buildings throughout the district. A few recommendations have come from the review: entrance and exit criteria need to be consistent across the district and support needs to be given based on student need, not location; there needs to be clear communication that students who receive Reading Resource also receive guided reading as part of their core instruction five days per week; Reading Resource needs to be integrated into the district’s Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) Process to ensure that all students, regardless of grade level, receive the support they need and that protocols need to be established to review data at the district and building levels.
Co-teaching is a strategy for meeting the academic needs of students within the requirements of IDEA. IDEA requires Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), meaning that special education students have access to being educated with non-disabled peers to the greatest extent appropriate. The level of specialized instruction in co-taught classrooms is currently not being monitored for consistency of service delivery or incorporation of best practices within a co-teaching environment across classrooms in Batavia. At this time no conclusions can be drawn with the effectiveness of this strategy at the district level program due to the limited data available for analysis. As a result of this study, recommendations are as follows: develop an action plan for data protocols for on-going program evaluation monitoring student growth, implement a professional development cycles for co-teaching partners, and on-going fidelity checks by co-teaching partners and building administration.
Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)
Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a term used to describe an evidence-based model of school improvement that uses data-based problem-solving to integrate academic and behavioral instruction and intervention. The integrated instruction and intervention is delivered to students in varying intensities (multiple tiers) based on student need. “Need-driven” decision-making seeks to ensure that district resources reach the appropriate students (schools) at the appropriate levels to accelerate the performance of ALL students to achieve and/or exceed proficiency. Despite placing resources at each elementary building to combat students who are underperforming in either academics or social emotional supports, data indicates that in reading 17.5% of students entering RMS in the fall of 2014 were 1 or more grade levels below standards and 14.8% of students entering RMS were 1 or more grade levels below standards in math. Program evaluation data indicate – structures of MTSS are somewhat in place, but there is currently no district policy and procedures in place for consistency amongst elementary buildings. Decisions for MTSS are building based, and inconsistently implemented resulting in an un-integrated system of support structures for students. A few recommendations have come from the review: develop a district steering committee to support the implementation of MTSS consistently across the district, develop a comprehensive assessment system with clear decision making rules at each tier and provide staff ongoing coaching and professional development to use the tools and understand the evidenced based, matching curricular needs with fidelity.