Thursday, March 25, 2010

RTI Wire: You Site for RTI Resources

RTI Wire has some fantastic resources, with links to school districts around the country who are implementing RTI.

Power Point on RTI in Middle School and High School

Click here to view.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jr. High in-service and OIP information update

At today's in-service, Mrs. Marquez distributed and discussed our building's OIP timeline with goals for the next four years.  The following are updates on BLT goals for year one:

Year 1

1.a.1. Research, select and adopt intervention framework
  • Update - Mrs. Cindy Houk updated staff on Reading Plus, for which WJH is serving as a pilot school. Our inclusion staff, as well as Mr. John Knight and Mrs. Jenny Silcott, received training for Reading Plus last week.  Last Friday, students were tested and registered for the program.  Reading Plus targets the needs of students in the third grade and higher, and is a potential framework for our building's reading RTI.  The program correlates with Bloom's taxonomy and focuses on creating better silent, independent readers while improving their comprehension. 
1.a.3. Communicate goals of implementation to all staff.
  • Update - Staff member have been apprised of the OIP goals for the next four years.  Also, Mr. Patrick Williams has included a link on the WJH web page for this blog in order to keep staff up-to-date on the process.
1.b.1. and 2.a.1.  Define and communicate expectations of systematic assessments and their use for each grade level/subject.
1.b.2. and 2.a.2.  Continue development and revision of short-cycle assessments.
  • Update - Jr. High staff members have completed short-cycle assessments for all four grading periods.  Teachers will continue their revision of quarterly assessments as needed. 
2.a.4  Provide HQPD on creating assessments that include higher order thinking skills.
  • Update - All Jr. High staff members have attended training on utilizing higher-order thinking skills/questions on short-cycle assessments. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mentorship program

Issues have come up regarding the mentorship program that probably warrant a letter home to parents. I think we need to include general information about how students were selected for the program, as well as, the involvement of PAWS. We may even want to include the advising teachers' names so parents will have a contact if necessary. I also believe that we should have parents contact the office or Mrs. Marquez if they do not want their child participating in the program. Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

"FreeReading" intervention resource

While browsing the web this weekend I found this amazing site, aimed at literacy development in grades K-3.  I'm pasting their general information below, with a link.  Even though we are a middle school, I felt that many of the activities on FreeReading could be useful to our lower readers.  I also wanted to make this information available to our co-workers in the Primary and Intermediate buildings!

"FreeReading is a free, high-quality, open-source reading program addressing literacy development for grades K-3. Leveraging the collective wisdom of researchers, teachers, reading coaches, and other education and industry professionals, FreeReading provides a high-quality, cost-effective alternative to static materials. By establishing a foundation of hundreds of research-based lessons and materials that users can download and use for free, FreeReading has created the framework for intervention programs supporting K-6 literacy. The collective wisdom within FreeReading is invaluable and can be more beneficial than any one reading program.

Schools and teachers everywhere can use the complete, 40-week, research-based intervention program for K-1 students, or use the library of lessons to supplement existing curriculum in phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing.

The research base for FreeReading includes the 2000 National Reading Panel research concerning the five Big ideas in Beginning Reading (Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension). Review the FAQ for additional information.

FreeReading truly is free. The materials on it are free for you to Review, Download, Print and Teach what's already here, or Contribute Comments and new Lessons to the FreeReading site."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The IRIS Center for Training Enhancements

Visit the IRIS Center for Training Enhancements for free online interactive resources that translate research about the education of students with disabilities into practice. Their materials cover a wide variety of evidence-based topics, including behavior, RTI, learning strategies, and progress monitoring.

(RTI and progress monitoring webinars can be found here.)

Total RTI Website and Information

Fifth grade math teacher Rhonda Henry sent me the following email with fantastic information on RTI.  Please click on the link highlighted below to learn more:

"Several of us went to the RTI conference in Columbus. I have found several things on their website  very informative.  I wish I would have read "A Simple Explanation" before our DLT meetings. There is also an "Academic Intervention Handbook" that contains interventions for 16 of the most common student deficiencies. Another clarification for me: an intervention MUST have instruction. That is the difference between accommodations, modifications, and interventions."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mentorship Program

The Waverly Junior High OISM/curriculum team has recently developed and begun implementation of a "new" mentorship program for at-risk students.  WJH teachers and staff have served as mentors for students with significant behavior and/or academic issues for the past two years.  This year, however, our mentorship program is utilizing the PAWS student group from Waverly High School, in conjunction with teacher and staff support.

PAWS is an acronym for “People Assisting Waverly Students”. Their motto is: "Trust Us; We Care!”   PAWS members are:
  • Trained in peer counseling and are available to listen to any problem a fellow student may have.
  • Ready to contact advisors when the problem or concerns harm or are a life threatening situation to the individual or another person.
  • Available to listen but not give advice.
  • Trained to maintain confidentiality at all times, except in life threatening situations.
  • Responsible for creating an awareness of alternatives to problems other than turning to drugs or alcohol.
PAWS members were matched with at-risk Junior High students, and began meeting with their students this week.  All stakeholders in this activity (PAWS members, staff, administration) are excited about the positive effects and benefits these partnerships will create academically, socially, and behaviorally in the lives of our children.

The curriculum team would like to thank the following individuals for their assistance with the mentorship program:
  • Mrs. Brenda Walls - PAWS advisor
  • Mr. Bill Hoover - Waverly High School Principal
  • Mrs. Melissa Marquez - Waverly Junior High Principal
  • Mrs. Dee Long - Guidance Counselor
  • Mr. Byron Green - Discipline data
  • Mrs. Cindy Houk - Academic data
  • WJH teachers and staff
  • and last, but not least, the generous and compassionate PAWS students who are volunteering to make a difference in the lives of their peers.

WJH Ohio Improvement Process Reading and Math Goals and Action Steps

District Reading Goal:  By 2012, 90% of all students grades K-12 will meet or exceed proficient levels on the OAT/OGT/Local Assessments in reading and increase the students with disabilities passage rate by 10% each year over the previous year's score.

District Math Goal:  By 2012, 85% of all students in grades K-12 will meet or exceed proficient levels on the OAT/OGT/Local Assessments in reading and increase the students with disabilities passage rate by 10% each year over the previous year's score.

WJH Action Steps: 
  • Research, select, and adopt intervention framework.
    • Update:  WJH is researching RTI (Response to Intervention) frameworks.  Mrs. Suzanne Holderness and Mr. Matt Murphy recently attended a two-day RTI training in Columbus, and made an excellent presentation on RTI to the staff at last week's in-service. 
  • Communicate goals of implementation to all staff.
    • Update:  Mrs. Melissa Marquez communicated OIP goals to the Junior High staff at the in-service.  Staff members have been emailed the link to this blog in order to keep up-to-date, and have been encouraged to offer feedback on the process.
  • Define and communicate expectations of systematic assessments and their use for each grade-level/subject.
    • Update: At the in-service, subject-area meetings were first held by teachers, who completed a thorough audit of current interventions and assessments.  Each department of teachers then reported their findings in meetings with Mrs. Marquez.
  • Continue development and revision of short-cycle assessments
    • Update:  WJH staff members have quarterly assessments completed for the entire school year.  Our staff understands, however, that assessments are obviously subject to revision when needed.  In addition, all WJH staff recently attended a training, arranged by Mr. Dickens, on utilizing 21st century thinking skills/higher-order thinking skills when designing test questions for quarterly assessments.   

Monday, November 2, 2009


Hello everyone!

This blog has been created for the purpose of providing information on Waverly Middle School's progress on the Ohio Improvement Process.  The Building Leadership Team members (see side bar) are authorized to contribute to this site.  Comments by nonmembers of the blog have been disabled for security reasons only.  We encourage your feedback, however, and ask that you email a BLT member with any suggestions and/or questions you may have.

Thank you in advance for your support of our EXCELLENT staff and students!

-Waverly Middle School BLT