The Orange Elementary District is pleased to offer its students a Tiered System of Support. This is not a program, but an approach to supporting students and their individual needs. Adoption of this system is prompted by the results from our state testing as well as an independent evaluation from a recent site visit conducted by the state's District and School Assistance Center (DSAC).
Orange students are receiving high-quality core, classroom instruction that is paced consistently from classroom to classroom, with equal time for instruction in math, science, social studies, and English Language Arts in all grade-alike classrooms. All classrooms use a Responsive Classroom approach to foster positive classroom culture and social skills. Classroom teachers will take part in administering universal screenings in math and reading three times a year and those results be used to identify students who may benefit from a supplemental, Tier II math or reading group which is funded by our Title I program.
Once a student has been identified as a candidate for extra help in reading or math, he or she may receive additional, small group instruction from a Title I teacher. This service is up to 40 minutes, 3-5 times a week. In 2015-2016, the district will fund Title I math services for selected students in grades 1-6 and Title I reading services for selected students in grades K-6. Students receiving this additional instruction will participate during a designated time called the "Intervention Block" and will not miss any specials, lunch, or recess, nor will they miss core, classroom instruction in reading and math; Title I regulations call for this support to be in addition to classroom instruction. If a student qualifies for both reading and math support, a team of teachers will decide which service the student needs most and the student will be considered again for the second service in approximately 6-8 weeks.
The progress of students in a Tier II reading or math group will be monitored with a short test every 4-6 weeks and adjustments to instruction and group composition will be made using the resulting assessment data. Classroom teachers and Title I teachers will work closely to make decisions regarding a student's Tier II intervention. If a student is not making adequate progress, relative to their peers as well as national benchmarks for similar-age students, a Student Support Team (SST) will convene to determine next steps. This team may include the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student.
If it is determined that a student needs more intensive intervention, he or she may be further evaluated and may participate in a Tier III program. The intervention(s) used may or may not have the student working within the general, grade level curriculum and the instruction and program used may be designed for students with a particular academic disability. Depending on the case load of the special education teachers and the needs of the students, the student may work in a small group or on a 1:1 basis, either in the classroom setting or in a resource room.
Tier I: High-Quality Classroom Instruction (Whole Class and Small Group)
In Tier I, students are exposed to classroom instruction in reading and math. Some of the instruction is whole group and some of it is in small groups. A classroom teacher sets up every child's first opportunity to learn and every effort will be made to ensure that all students are included in core instruction. Students in the district are screened on a periodic basis (three times a year) in reading and math to identify individual progress and next steps as well as to identify students who may be falling behind. Students who are not making adequate progress are considered for inclusion in a Tier II math or reading intervention. This service is not special education. Every student in the district has access to this support, and will be included if they are identified as needing it the most.
Tier II: Targeted, Supplemental Interventions
Students who are not making adequate progress with Tier I instruction, are considered for inclusion in an extra math or reading group. This group is taught by a skilled teacher who has received training in math or reading programs and who has met requirements of the federal and state definition of a 'Highly Qualified Teacher.' The groups are small in size (4-6 students) and the programs used are matched to the students' needs and include, but are not limited to Fundations, Leveled Literacy Intervention, Advantage Math, Wilson Just Words, Envision Focus Math, and Read Naturally. Students receiving a Tier II intervention will be monitored closely and will exit out of the program as soon as they reach the grade level benchmark, creating space so that other students may participate. If they should fall behind at any time, they may once again be considered for inclusion in Tier II services, as the group composition is reconfigured every 6-8 weeks.
Tier III: Intensive Interventions and Comprehensive Evaluation
Students who are not making adequate progress in response to Tier I and Tier II instruction may be considered for further evaluation. At this time, Tier III interventions in Orange are taught by a licensed special education teacher and each child's program goals are crafted alongside parent(s)/guardian(s). Interventions are designed to be intensive and may or may not reflect the particular grade level standards of a single grade level. Examples of programs used in Orange in Tier III include, but are not limited to the following: Wilson, Wilson Just Words, and SRSD Writing.