Each year our school calendar provides several early release days for teacher professional development. In fact, we have one coming up this week! These days are critical for our staff to collaborate with one another and to learn from one another to support the day-to-day teaching and learning in our classrooms. A lot has changed in our curriculum over the last five years, and this time allows teachers to continue to refine their practice to meet the needs of our students.
In addition to these half days, teachers meet during the school day periodically to discuss student progress and to plan for how we can best meet the needs of our learners. Over the last two weeks, each grade level came together with our intervention team to do this important work. Student progress for those students not yet meeting benchmarks in reading, writing or math was discussed by their teachers – What were the goals we designed at our last meeting? What has he/she been working on during WINN? During class? How has the child progressed? What are the needs for the next 6-8 weeks? How can we work together to ensure she/he continues to make or to exceed this level of progress?
I can not begin to share how impressed I was with our staff during these meetings. The dedication they have to your children is impressive and deserves to be shouted from the rooftops! Their passion and enthusiasm for meeting the needs of our learners shone through during these meetings as did a deep level of knowledge regarding who each child is as an individual learner. Students who are not yet at benchmark are making progress due to the hard work, dedication and passion of our Intervention Team and our classroom teachers. I know you join me in thanking each of them for their hard work! We are lucky to have such a dedicated group of individuals championing the needs of our children!
When a learner struggles, it is critical for a caring adult to step in to provide guidance and support so that the child does not become discouraged. He/she needs to be skilled in developing targeted goals and designing meaningful intervention so that the child feels success. These small successes breed increased efforts which lead to further success. At RLS, we are lucky to have a staff who is committed to honing our skills in this area through Professional Development and regular collaboration with each other. At RLS we are committed to working together so that all students achieve!
If you are interested in learning more about our WINN block (What I Need Now), I encourage you to read this blog post. Included in the post, is a link to a presentation that outlines this program further.