nativity catholic school orchard park ny

Mrs. Rozsa’s Learning Lab

All children are capable of learning. It is imperative children be offered a diverse approach to learning. Many children learn differently and at different rates. One way Nativity is able to accommodate them is through:

Mrs. Rozsa Learning Lab

 

Nativity’s Learning Lab was developed in 2001 to better accommodate today’s learner. The services which are carried out through the lab are Literacy Coordinating, Response to Intervention/Academic Intervention Support, 504 plans and IEP testing accommodations. In addition, the lab is used for all make-up tests K-8, and as a quiet area for students who need to complete any independent work.

 

RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION

RtI

Nativity of Our Lord School believes in providing the highest quality of education for every student.  We recognize that students learn differently, and are committed to helping all students succeed.  To meet this goal, we adopted a three-tiered approach to instruction.  This process, known nationally as Response to Intervention, or RTI, gained attention when federal law established these practices as an approach to identify and provide early intervention to struggling students.

 

We currently provide RTI in Reading and Math for grades K-4. Our school-wide screening tool for Reading and Math, AimsWeb, is administered to all students in K-4 three times during each school year to determine the students who are at or above benchmark and students who will need supplemental instruction to meet grade level expectations.  Students needing intervention will be monitored weekly using AimsWeb progress monitoring assessment tool.  Data from these tools and a variety of other sources will help us provide students with the best instruction.  Information from assessments will guide instruction and keep the school and you aware of how your child is progressing.

 

Each tier provides additional support beyond the core curriculum.  Students needing supplemental instruction/intervention will be monitored frequently to ensure students meet grade level expectations.  Students will continue to participate in the core curriculum even if they need the support of tier two or tier three interventions.  In tier one, teachers will use different strategies within the core curriculum to address student needs.  Students who are not progressing at a rate to meet end of year benchmarks in tier one, will be provided interventions matched to their needs.  These tier two interventions take place in a small group for 60-90 minutes per week.  The students’ progress will be tracked with the intervention plan weekly.  Interventions occur for a minimum of five weeks, but may continue as needed to ensure student success in the core program.  If needed, adjustments may occur in the intervention plan based on the student’s progress.  Depending on student need and progress, we may change the intervention or increase the frequency, time or intensity of the intervention.  This more intense level is considered tier three.  Students provided with tier three interventions are placed in smaller groups than tier two, and the number of minutes increases to 180 per week.  Monitoring student’s progress continues on a weekly basis with the AimsWeb weekly Reading and Math probes.

 

One of the main intervention tools is a software package called Success Maker by Pearson. The Reading component reinforces concepts and skills to address a variety of instructional needs within the five major components of reading for K-4 students. The mathematics course enables teachers to give one-to-one support to a wide spectrum of K-4 students who have difficulty with grade-level math concepts. Behind it all, the powerful Learning Management System provides on-demand reports for quickly assessing progress by classroom or student. Records are kept, and consistent services must be provided in order to help a student achieve the learning standards of New York State.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt supplements are also used to parallel our Reading series Journeys.

 

Another feature of The Learning Lab is to act as a literacy coordinator for grades K-4. Some of the responsibilities are as follows.

 

  • Disseminate student RtI files from the previous year to classroom teachers for students currently involved in the RtI process and maintain files of students continuing in RtI.
  • Oversee the implementation of all benchmark assessments and the universal screening for RTI.  Determine the cut score on the screener to be used by each grade level or classroom to identify the Tier 1 students.
  • Collaborate with the classroom teacher to identify the Tier 1 students.
  • Support the classroom teachers with the Tier 1 intervention process by providing resources and strategies for differentiated instruction.  Some examples of ways in which intervention strategies may be addressed are PLCs, grade level meetings, individual teacher conferencing, etc.
  • Provide all forms to classroom teachers as needed for documentation of Tier One.
  • Collaborate with classroom teachers toward the final weeks of Tier 1 to predict which, if any, students may need to be identified for Tier 2.
  • Design and deliver small group specifically targeted interventions for Tiers 2 and 3 students to address deficit reading skills. Tier 2 interventions shall take place in the classroom whenever possible as to provide more support for teachers and more intensive instruction for identified students.  Trained paraprofessionals, special education personnel, and other trained personnel may assist with the interventions under the consultation of the literacy coordinator.
  • Maintain appropriate documentation for Tiers 2 and 3 as well as required charting of slope and growth.
  • Maintain a file of all Tiers 2 and 3 data and monitor the documentation for Tier 1 by classroom teachers.
  • Maintain a calendar and monitor appropriate intervals of time and documentation regarding all Tier 1, 2, and 3 students.
  • Collaborate with the school counselor for scheduling School Intervention Team meetings for students entering Tiers 2 or 3.
  • Administer additional reading screenings as deemed appropriate.

 

 

504 Plans and IEP’s 

 

The lab is also used for students who have 504 plans. This is an accommodation plan which is written at Nativity for those children who have been tested by a professional, and need something which cannot be provided in the classroom. 504 plans and IEP’s  “level the playing field” for the student. The lab is used to carry out accommodations such as extra time on tests, rephrasing directions, separate location for tests etc.

 

The lab also acts as a liaison between Orchard Park Public Schools and Nativity. All paperwork and meetings are coordinated through the Learning Lab. As a result of the testing, Orchard Park Central School professionals come directly to Nativity during our school day to provide the services for any child who qualifies through an IEP (Individualized Educational Program) or 504 Plan. Most of the time, these services are on a 1-1 basis. In other schools, the group of children being serviced at the same time can be up to 4 or 5. These services provided by Orchard Park can include OT (Occupational Therapy), PT (Physical Therapy), Speech, Resource Room etc. The Learning Lab also carries out any testing accommodation a child has on an IEP.

 

NOTE: At any point in this multileveled process, a child may be referred for evaluation under IDEA to determine if he or she is a “child with a disability” as IDEA 2004’s regulation defines that term at §300.8. Becoming involved in RTI does not mean that a child has to complete a level, or all levels, of an RTI approach before he or she may be evaluated for eligibility for special education and related services. The IDEA 2004’s regulation is very clear about this. RTI may not be used as a means of delaying or refusing to conduct such an evaluation if the school suspects that the child has a disability or if the parents request