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KMS pilot project nets educational strides

Data wall assesses students, determines if intervention is needed

Feb. 12, 2013

Germantown - Kennedy Middle School is making sure no student goes unnoticed.

Teachers and administrators at KMS have piloted a Response to Intervention program for the second semester that individually assesses students. The array of information is used to determine if help is needed and to what extent.

Reading is the focus this year, as "reading helps across the board," KMS Principal Susan Climer said during a presentation to the Germantown School Board on Monday.

It starts with a data wall

The program begins with a look at all students before narrowing them down into groups. Teachers then conduct a data wall, looking at things such as MAP testing, grades and classroom performance to conduct a comprehensive analysis that determines if there are any students of concern, Assistant Principal Mark Kaminski said.

The data is compiled to give each student a score. The score alerts teachers if education intervention is necessary.

"Numbers are great, but it's also important to look at the quality of data," Kaminski said. "We aren't just looking at a number, we are looking at the student."

There are three testing seasons, all of which are looked at to determine if a student needs intervention. This gives teachers a bigger picture of how a student is performing.

"When you look at all three pieces of data, that's a better range," Kaminski said.

Creating a plan

An individualized plan is created to help students become proficient.

"Where do you need to be to be successful?" Kaminski said.

Students needing intervention will have a running record that tracks their progress.

As part of the program, teachers have started to work with students on individualized daily reading during the sixth hour block. At a minimum, students read 30 minutes per day during that block, Climer said.

She said they choose reading materials for students that are appropriate for their level, so the material is both challenging, yet not frustratingly so.

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