Intervention options help students stay on track

Posted on August 30, 2012 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The Sonoma Valley Unified School District provides a variety of intervention options for students struggling academically to meet grade level expectations. Offered as after-school classes, the elementary school level interventions go a long way towards helping students succeed.

At the August school board meeting, Lynn Fitzpatrick, director of curriculum and instruction updated board members and staff on progress made during the 2011-2012 school year.  According to Fitzpatrick, each school site was responsible for reporting the effectiveness of its programs and each site showed growth.

The intervention programs at each of the elementary school sites focus primarily on reading comprehension, fluency, writing and vocabulary with an average of between 50 and 100 students per school.  Of those students, there is a fairly large percentage of English Language Learners and the results of the growth documentation are broken into total school results over time, ELL subgroups and by intervention programs for the given school year.

Fitzpatrick points out that, as a subgroup, students identified for intervention scored consistently lower than their peers which demonstrates that sites are correctly identifying students with the greatest need for after school intervention.  The report notes that at three of the five school sites, struggling students showed significant gains as a result of both their daily instructional program and the after-school intervention they received.

The report does not, however, take into account the number of intervention sessions each individual student attended throughout the year.  For instance, some students participate each trimester while other students only received services for a trimester or less.

At future board meetings, Fitzpatrick will address the impact of other programs designed to improve student academic performance including during-school interventions like leveled grouping in K-5, SAE at Adele Harrison Middle School and strategic courses at Altimira, as well as the A+ period at Sonoma Valley High School.

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