What Does Support At Walnut Acres Look Like
Response to Intervention (RtI)
We practice research-based “Response to Intervention” (RtI) on a daily basis. RtI visualizes a 3-tiered approach to cognitive and emotional learning. The RtI approach begins with excellent first teaching for all students (green section of visual.) Assessment informs further instruction and placement in Tier 2 (yellow section of visual.) Tier 2 support is the process of classroom teachers working with small groups or individual students within their classrooms. More intense, targeted small-group or individual support in Tier 3 (red section of visual) is provided through pull-out services as indicated by continued assessment.
For further research-based information about RtI click here.
Tier 1 – Teachers implement research-based curriculum and instructional practices focused on student ownership that are designed to prepare students for citizenship and leadership in our dynamic, technology-based, communication-focused world. Our curriculum and instructional practices promote both choice and differentiation so that every student is educationally supported. Through this dual focus we can address the needs of all learners, whether they are academically gifted and need access to more sophisticated curriculum, or struggling academically for any reason, or both.
Our Reading and Writing curriculum is Columbia Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP), along with Fundations, a Wilson Program designed to support decoding and encoding foundational skills. Bridges Math is our core math instructional tool. See our English Language Arts tab and Math tab for further details about our RtI-based approach to Reading, Writing, and Math. Our Science program includes weekly hands-on experimentation in our science lab to learn the CA Science standards, as well as routine design thinking, coding, and robotics experiences in our STEM Lab. In Social Studies, we teach students about our communities beginning in TK and K with our families and classrooms, and focus on ever larger communities, including California Native American communities and culminating in a basic overview of early American history through the Revolution.
Tier 2 – Teachers reteach those students who have not mastered the academic skills and concepts taught during Tier 1 or they provide alternative instruction to students who have already mastered content and need access to learning. Teaching may be completed in small groups, 1:1, or using adaptive online programs. Ongoing formative assessment is pivotal to indicate the need for Tier 2 support. Teachers consistently assess student progress through observation of student work, 1:1 assessment results, online and paper/pencil tests, and analysis of student products.
Tier 3 – Thanks to the generosity of our PFC, specific Tier 3 supports are offered in the content areas of Reading and Math. Selected students who are not mastering academic skills and concepts after ongoing targeted Tier 2 support in the classroom, are pulled into small groups to receive ongoing, consistent instruction using a variety of targeted strategies.
Students who manifest a pattern of struggling over time will get further attention when appropriate staff members meet as a consultation team to brainstorm academic support for individual students. Sometimes we invite parents to join us in a Student Support Team (SST) meeting so that together we can develop and implement an academic support plan for a student. Parents or guardians are also invited to initiate an SST meeting.
Social Emotional RtI
Tier 1 – We promote social skills and emotional development by targeting lifeskill practices (citizenship, respect, fairness, caring, trustworthiness, and responsibility.) We teach and model these life-skills throughout the year. Because life-skills are rather abstract for young children, we have created four basic expectations to promote positive, pro-social behavior in each classroom and all around the school. We continually ask students to Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Kind. As a staff we are continually learning new strategies for creating and strengthening a positive classroom environment. Some of these strategies include celebration circles, class problem-solving meetings, social skill-based assemblies (Sing-outs,) mindfulness and bucket-filling activities. For further information about our Tier 1 practices, please click on our Climate Handbook.
Tier 2 - On the Playground-The Peace Paths on our playground offer concrete scaffolding for student to walk and talk through the conflict resolution process. The structure provides students with a common language that scripts the process of a problem-solving conversation. Students self-select to attend the semi-structured play and additional adult support with our school counselor once a week. In the classroom - Some students need more support than the social teaching, disciplinary guidance, and diverse reinforcements provided generally in classrooms and around the school. Teachers implement targeted behavioral and emotional intervention strategies, including daily behavioral contracts, individualized attention, and personalized reinforcers, to support emotional and social growth of identified students.
Tier 3 - For students who need more support than can be provided in the classroom on a whole group (Tier 1) or small group/individualized (Tier 2) basis, our part-time counselor provides more targeted support to students with individual needs. We may also request district behavioral support as needed or hold consultation meetings among appropriate staff members to brainstorm support for students. Sometimes we invite parents to join us in a Student Support Team meeting so that together we can develop a plan for a student with social and emotional needs.