A-H-S-T Elementary School
literacy efforts help all of our students become skilled readers
A-H-S-T Elementary is
pleased to be part of a new statewide effort designed to help ALL of our students read
proficiently by the end of third grade. Team
members representing the school were Mrs. Brooke Ploen – Title I Teacher, Mrs.
Katie Pace – Literacy Coach/Student Services, Mr. Morgan Miller – Principal,
and Mrs. Andrea Danker – Green Hills AEA External Coach. The team will likely expand in the near future
by adding more members.
The team joined with over 600 educators from across Iowa to learn
how Iowa’s education system is working together to put in place a practice
known as Response to Intervention (RtI).
This is a statewide effort through Collaborating for Iowa’s Kids (C4K),
a partnership among Iowa’s AEAs, school districts and the Iowa Department of
RtI is a proven practice that helps schools identify students who
are struggling readers and then offers interventions to help them improve. Teachers can adapt how he/she is teaching to
fit each student’s individual needs and then can monitoring the student’s progress
to identify what is working. About 10
percent of the state’s schools will roll out RtI this fall.
one in four fourth-graders scored below proficient on the state reading test in
2012. Those numbers hold true at A-H-S-T Elementary. Of the 34 students in fourth grade this year,
12 of the students were below proficient on the Iowa Assessments administered
to them during their third grade year. Students
who don’t read proficiently in third grade are four times more likely to drop
out of school, according to a 2011 report by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey
Miller stated, “The opportunity to join phase one of this training was a
no-brainer for A-H-S-T Elementary. It is
the right work for our teachers, and ultimately for our students.”
Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck welcomed
participants to the workshop.
“What would it mean for Iowa if every child finishing third grade
could read at or above the third-grade level?” Buck asked. “We’re at a pivotal
time. We agree we must dramatically
improve. I say that Iowa’s education is
good as it ever has been – it’s just that other states have passed us on some
Through the three-day workshop, the team learned three key
elements to RtI as to how it provides a snapshot of the student’s current pre-literacy skills.
1. Assessments that will be
used to ensure that students are ready to learn when they start kindergarten;
2. Assessments in kindergarten through
sixth grade that continue to monitor each student’s progress
3. Making decisions based on data.
The school’s partners at Green Hills AEA will continue to provide
training and coaching, as it will implement this process. The school looks forward to sharing more
stories with you as we move forward.