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Intervention Model Summary - Julia Kiniski School


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A summary of efforts made in establishing a Collaborative Response Model at Julia Kiniski School.

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Intervention Model Summary - Julia Kiniski School

  1. 1. Using  a  Collaborative  Response  to  Intervention  at  Julia  Kiniski  School  2014   “Without  teacher  dialogue  and  discussion  about  students,  it  really  doesn’t  matter  what  your  intervention   is......"  (Kurtis  Hewson,  Mill  Woods  Professional  Learning  Session,  August  2013)      What  sounds  so  simple  is  really  about  creating  a  cultural  shift  in  how  we  talk  about  what’s  most   important.    At  Julia  Kiniski  School,  our  journey  with  interventions  has  had  a  shared  history  with  that  of   many  of  our  schools  –  teachers  have  worked  with  a  ‘focus  on  results;’  have  shared  ‘best  practices;’  have   followed  the  ‘instructional  focus’  framework;  have  moved  from  ‘differentiation’  to  ‘universal  design  for   learning,’  and  so  on.    We  have  spent  team  meetings  and  collaborative  time  developing  rubrics,  I  Can   statements,  and  backwards  design  lessons.  All  of  this  has  been  time  well  spent.    All  of  this  has  focused   on  solid  teaching  practice,  supporting  inclusion,  and  school-­‐wide  improvement.    This  year,  we  have   made  a  slight  shift,  by  talking  about  students  first.       In  August  2013,  the  staff  at  Julia  Kiniski  School  committed,  along  with  colleagues  in  the  PLC  South   Network  (Mill  Woods),  to  working  with  the  Collaborative  Response  Model  developed  by  Kurtis  and   Lorna  Hewson.      (    The  focus  of  this  work  is  on  strengthening   collaborative  team  structures  and  processes,  and  providing  regular  opportunities    for  educators    to   discuss  individual  student  growth  in  relation  to  a  four-­‐tiered  Intervention  Pyramid,  and  common  team   assessments  .       In  our  October  collaborative  team  meetings,  teachers  and  their  EAs  used  large  tri-­‐fold  boards  to  create   an  Intervention  Pyramid  at  each  grade  level,  using  colour-­‐coded  post-­‐it  notes  representing  students.   Each  pyramid  was  created  with  four  colours;  each  colour  corresponding  to  one  tier  of  the  pyramid.     During  regularly  scheduled  team  meetings,  the  pyramid  serves  as  a  catalyst  for  professional  dialogue   about  the  celebrations  and  successes  of  specific  students;  any  supports  currently  being  provided;  those   students  who  may  need  additional  supports;  and  strategies  that  teachers  are  using  as  interventions.     The  conversation  involves  physically  moving  the  students  along  the  pyramid  –  down  a  tier  if  the  student   has  shown  growth  and  no  longer  requires  the  intervention;  up  a  tier  if  increased  supports  or  services  are   needed.    The  beauty  of  the  conversation  is  that  every  4-­‐6  weeks,  teachers  are  intentional  and  strategic   in  their  conversations  about  student  growth.     Each  team  has  created  team  norms  and  SMART  goals,  to  which  they  refer  at  the  beginning  of  each   meeting.  They  keep  a  record  of  the  students  and  strategies  discussed,  in  a  team  binder,  along  with  an   achievement  chart  that  we  created  for  transition  discussions  at  the  end  of  the  year.    In  Term  2,  teams   were  all  provided  with  some  time  embedded  into  the  day,  to  work  on  their  goals.  Most  teams  created   an  assessment  tool,  such  as  a  rubric  or  a  student  reflection  checklist.  Some  teams  have  organized   themselves  into  cross-­‐graded  guided  reading  groups.  Other  teachers  are  taking  LLI  training  and  building   Leveled  Literacy  Interventions  into  their  guided  reading  time.  And  all  teachers  are  using  UDL  strategies,   to  provide  multiple  means  of  representation,  engagement,  and  demonstration  of  learning.     During  the  year,  the  work  has  been  evolving.  It’s  messy  work  at  times  because  it  is  nonlinear.    We’re   making  adjustments  along  the  way,  in  how  to  best  work  with  the  physical  aspect  of  the  pyramid,  for  
  2. 2. example,  or  what  to  record  in  our  meeting  logs.    In  our  recent  team  meetings,  it  was  encouraging  to  see   how  many  students  were  indeed  moving  ‘down’  the  pyramid,  to  more  independent  tiers,  because  of   supports  that  had  been  successful.  With  meetings  scheduled  for  every  4-­‐6  weeks,  teachers  are  better   able  to  stay  on  top  of  not  only  the  shifting  needs  in  their  students,  but  also  the  opportunity  to  support   each  other  with  intervention  strategies  to  try.   In  a  recent  planning  session  with  Kurtis,  our  school  leadership  team  was  excited  about  possibilities  for   next  year  –  how  do  we  sustain  this  valuable  collaborative  time  embedded  into  the  day?    How  might  we   re-­‐organize  in  blocks  during  the  year,  to  create  flexible  groupings  between  classes  or  to  enable  more   teachers  to  provide  interventions  for  a  few  targeted  students  ?  How  might  we  further  define  our   strategies  within  each  Tier  and  communicate  these  to  students  and  parents?  How  do  we  shift  the  focus   to  looking  at  interventions  in  math?  Or  in  social-­‐emotional  well-­‐being?  How  might  we  involve  our  ILS   partners  in  our  team  meetings?  The  questions  are  an  important  part  of  the  journey.   The  Collaborative  Response  Model  is  a  simple,  yet  systematic  framework      that  can  provide  the   structures,  processes  and  tools  for  robust  professional    dialogue  about  complex  issues  related  to     improving  teaching  practice  and  student  achievement.                     Marlene  Hanson,  MSc.    Principal   Julia  Kiniski  School