The District uses a variety of interventions to support learning. Those interventions fall into two broad categories: academic and behavioral. Academic interventions include such things as tutoring and reading interventionists. Behavioral interventions follow the Behavior Intervention Support Team (BIST) model and draw upon research based strategies to best support students.
The District employs a Focus Facilitator at each elementary and intermediate school. The Focus Facilitator works in the Focus Room, which is a place where students can refocus and regroup to be ready to manage their feelings, learn, and succeed. The Focus Facilitator is a full-time staff member who works directly with students to help identify problem situations and develop a proactive plan for success. They do this in close partnership with the classroom teacher and other school staff.
The Focus Facilitator provides caring confrontation to calm students and de-escalate emotions. The facilitator also helps to identify a student's needs and learn ways to avoid acting out. The facilitator works with the student and teacher by coordinating and providing supportive assistance while monitoring goals during the recovery process.
Student Assistant Teams at each school help to determine how best to intervene with students who need additional support.
They work directly with students to help them improve specific reading skills, including letter-naming, initial sounds, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
As members of each school's Professional Learning Community (PLC), they consult with teachers and administrators and review student data to determine students who may need further assistance.
Reading Interventionists are not tutors. They are full-time teaching professionals who supplement classroom instruction. They design and provide additional instruction based on the needs and learning styles of individual students who are struggling. Those services look like "pushing in" to help a child in the classroom during reading or "pull-out" services in the reading intervention resource classroom. They also continue to collaborate with the teacher about the student’s progress. Most interventionists are experienced teachers, and several have a reading specialist degree.
Reading Interventionists are also helpful resources for classroom teachers. They help teachers improve instruction and identify effective teaching strategies in the area of literacy. They also assist with professional development and serve on building Student Assistance Teams. Occasionally, Reading Interventionists work with students struggling in writing or math.
The Ray-Pec School District employs full-time Reading Interventionists at each elementary school. In addition, each intermediate school has a reading teacher who works with readers using the Read 180 intervention program. Here are the District’s Reading Interventionists:
- Creekmoor Elementary: Caron Scott
- Peculiar Elementary: Stephanie Thomas
- Raymore Elementary: Valerie Collom
- Shull Elementary: Kathy Martin
- Stonegate Elementary: Gayle Stoklasa
- Timber Creek Elementary: Peggy Miller
- Bridle Ridge Intermediate: Joanne Carmichael (Read 180)
- Eagle Glen Intermediate: Risa Bullard (Read 180)
Many people are familiar with academic interventions, such as tutoring or speech therapy. Providing support in the social-emotional area also helps students learn and be successful. This is the area of emphasis for Behavior Interventionists. Basically, a behavioral interventionist helps people learn strategies to stop disruptive or harmful behaviors or to replace those behaviors with positive actions.
Cindy Sinclair was the first person in the District to hold this job title. Now retired from a full-time position, she continues in the role part-time and works exclusively with special education students. Carolyn Deane and Allison Scott are full-time behavior interventionists working with general education and special education students at all District schools.
As specialists, they work directly with students, but also work closely with teachers and administrators.
They provide professional development to help teachers and administrators learn to assess, intervene and monitor behavior interventions. They help teachers learn to prevent negative behavior by recognizing situations or signs that lead to problems.
In this sense, they say, they work to build capacity. Because they cannot be at every school at every moment, they work to share their knowledge with others so that staff members are equipped to work with students who need support.
Behavior Interventionists explain that students requiring such interventions aren’t “bad.” Students may demonstrate negative or disruptive behavior for a wide range of reasons, including: inability to verbalize their emotions; hunger, fatigue or illness; death of a loved one; desire for attention; failure to understand the rules; drug problems; response to abuse or neglect; new living arrangements; or seeking to test limits. As a result, interventionists work with staff and parents to employ a variety of strategies for success.
The interventionists also share expertise through sessions with parents and in professional development sessions with substitute teachers and bus drivers.
This is Allison Scott’s third year as a Behavior Interventionist in the District. Previously, she was a kindergarten teacher, a focus facilitator, and a middle school teacher.