What can I do if my child is struggling academically?

We have a number of programs and resources available to support students who are struggling in one or more of their classes and who are not part of our Special Education program. 

504 Plans

A 504 Plan provides students who have a disability with accommodations to meet the needs of the student and ensure that student's education is not hindered because of their disability. 

Intervention and Referral Services

What are I&RS? 

Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) are the primary way in which general education teachers or specialists can assist a student who is at risk for school problems within the general education environment.  I&RS programs are not intended to replace traditional methods or resources for helping students to function effectively in school.  Rather, they exist to focus on particular student problems using available resources within the general education environment.

The purposes of the I&RS are: to identify students in need and then plan and provide appropriate interventions for those students within the general education setting; to identify the responsibilities of building staff who participate in the planning and provision of intervention and referral services; to actively involve parents/guardians in the development and implementation of I&RS plans; to review and assess the effectiveness of the services provided in achieving the outcomes identified in the intervention and referral plan; to provide professional development to general education staff members who either refer students to I&RS or who assist in providing the intervention and referral services; and to coordinate the services of community-based social and health agencies.

The I&RS team is one of many resources used by schools to intervene with student problems, prior to Child study Team (CST) evaluation.

What is the I&RS Process? 

The Intervention and Referral Services process is a collaborative school effort between district personnel and parents to intervene when a student has been identified as making minimal academic, social, and/or emotional progress in the general education setting.  The team collects and evaluates relevant data in order to identify specific barriers to student performance.  Once these barriers have been determined, individualized interventions are identified and implemented through an action plan in order to address areas of concern.  Intervention may include the use of the Response to Intervention (RTI) model.  In general, RTI is based upon three components:
1) the use of multiple tiers of increasingly intense interventions;  
2) a problem-solving approach to identifying and evaluating instructional strategies; and
3) an integrated data collection and assessment system to monitor student progress and guide decision-making. 
Student monitoring continues throughout this process by the identified individuals in the action plan and adjustments are made to the plan as needed.

Steps in the I&RS process are: 

  1. Request for Assistance
  2. Information Collection
  3. Parent/Guardian Notification and Participation
  4. Problem Solving
  5. Development of I&RS Action Plan
  6. Support, Monitoring, and Continuation of Process
  7. Problem Resolved or Referral to Child Study Team

If the I&RS process exhausts all of the available school-based general education interventions with minimal success, the student may be referred to the Child Study Team for a comprehensive evaluation in order to gather additional information and to determine if the student is eligible for special education and related services.  The recommendation for a Child Study Team evaluation can come directly from the I&RS team or from a parent/guardian at any time during the process.

What is Intervention?

Intervention refers to efforts by school personnel to study and creatively problem solve educational issues that place a student at risk for school failure.  Using a team approach that encourages parental involvement, school personnel carefully consider the needs of students who are “at risk” for learning, behavior, and health problems and implement strategies to address areas of concern.

Intervention is a process whereby plans are revisited and modified. A successful intervention plan, developed and shaped over time, can be a powerful method to support an at-risk student.  If successful, it is preferable to special education referral which requires a student to undergo evaluation and have an identified disability.

At times, intervention is not successful and a referral for special education is necessary.  However, the prior period of I&RS intervention is valuable, as it demonstrates that a referral is appropriate and informs the IEP team about strategies that have or have not produced success when and if it becomes necessary to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). 

Accelerated Intervention Services (AIS)

The AIS program provides supplemental instruction to the accelerate students' learning so that they are able to meet grade-level benchmarks in reading, writing, and mathematics. Students are selected to participate in the AIS program based on a set of criteria for each grade level. 

AIS in Grades K-5

Students in grades K-5 receive AIS instruction during the Focus Period, which provides a time for all students to engage in activities that support or challenge students' strengths and needs. By receiving AIS instruction during the Focus Period, we ensure that students don't miss out on critical general classroom instruction. 

Accelerated Intervention Services (AIS) is the supplemental portion of our general education program.  It is NOT replacement instruction.  Students receive their full Language Arts and Math instruction with their classroom teacher.  AIS offers extra help to students in addition to this classroom instruction.  The program is based upon the individual needs of the students being served.  Therefore, the focus of each AIS class will change with those needs.  The instructional format is established in collaboration with the classroom teacher. The targeted weaknesses and goals identified will drive the AIS instruction.   It will focus intensely on specific areas in need (i. e. fluency, phonological development, or comprehension).  Students will receive this extra help either in their classes or on a pull out basis.  At the fall conference, you will receive your student's Individual Student Acceleration Plan (ISAP) which will outline the program format and the specific focus areas to be addressed.  

Goals of the Program:

  • support students who are experiencing weaknesses in reading, writing, and/or mathematics
  • identify and evaluate individual strengths and weaknesses
  • demystify student so as to make him/her aware of his/her strengths and weaknesses
  • teach student strategies to strengthen weaknesses and ultimately, become a successful learner

Literacy Program:

  • initial reading assessment given to determine current instructional level
  • independent/guided reading at student's own instructional level
  • vocabulary development (incorporated with independent reading)
  • spelling, grammar, and phonemic development
  • written language instruction (short answer, essay, narrative)
  • novel studies (in the upper elementary grades) to enhance vocabulary, expressive language, written language and critical thinking skills
  • often, novels selected are directly related to history or science being taught in regular classrooms at the time.  

Our ultimate goal is to instill a love of reading in all children!   


Mathematics Program:   
        

  • initial math inventory given to inform and guide instruction
  • use of hands-on activities and manipulatives to develop a clear understanding of the underlying mathematics concepts
  • timed fact tests
  • math skill development and problem-solving practice
  • computer programs to drill facts, practice basic processes and develop ability to solve mathematical story problems

Homework:

We expect all students receiving Language Arts support to read each night. We will allow students to bring home books they have already read so they can practice them and read to you.  It is imperative that these books are returned to school the next day.  Additional homework is given on an “as needed” basis for both Language Arts and Math students when practice is required in order to internalize the learning.

Student Expectations:

  • try their best at all times
  • be responsible for self and belonging
  • show respect for self and others

Communication is the key to student success.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have during the school year.

AIS in Grades 6-8

Middle school students enroll in a "workshop" class for mathematics, reading, and/or writing, depending on their academic need. Workshop classes allow students to be nurtured in a smaller class setting and work on targeted skills. Based on students changing academic needs, students may enter or exit the AIS program periodically during the school year.