1. Describe the assessment component of your Reading Achievement Plan. Answer questions a & b.
a) Describe what assessment data is used to inform instruction and identify at-risk students.
b) Describe how progress is monitored and instruction is adjusted to ensure students are improving.
a) Students at Wasatch Waldorf participate in a variety of assessments that will inform early reading instruction and help to identify at-risk students. These include:
- First Grade Readiness: this is given to all kindergarteners in January / February. It looks at academic markers, such a phonemic awareness and letter recognition, as well as indicators of physical development that may also demonstrate maturity and readiness for the work of reading in the grades. This assessment also looks at the ability of the student’s to visually track, which can also implicate reading success.
- DIBELS: Administered at the beginning, middle, and end of the year in 1-3 grades. This test is a direct indicator of student progress on reading and ability in pre-reading skills.
- Holistic Rubric: this is used for reporting to parents quarterly throughout the year. It helps teachers to look at other measures of student growth and pay attention to obstacles (academic, social, emotional, physical, or behavioral) that may challenge students in their capacity to learn on grade level.
- Using these various assessments, class teachers at Wasatch Waldorf identify students who are performing below their peers or with whom there may be emerging concerns that could place students at-risk.
b) Once students are identified, regular progress is monitored through teacher observations and additional assessments throughout the year: MOY DIBELS, quarterly Holistic Rubric. Students who are scoring below benchmark on DIBELS are progress monitored on their level in order to track growth and customize instruction, as needed. Students identified as being behind their grade-level peers will receive accommodations, direct instruction and tutoring services as needed. Students receiving additional pull-out instruction from the Literacy Specialist, paraprofessionals, or volunteers, will have their monthly progress monitored and recorded. Adaptations are made as needed to ensure that students continue to make progress.
2. Describe the MTSS (Multi-Tier System of Supports) component of your Reading Achievement Plan, including research-based literacy best practices.
a) Describe what supports/differentiated instruction are provided in Tier I.
b) Describe what supplementary interventions are provided in Tier II.
c) Describe what intensive interventions are provided in Tier III. Be sure to address how Tier III supports differ for students in SPED and those NOT in SPED.
a) Within Tier I students are all able to be taught within the general education environment and without extensive intervention. Reading instruction in the general classroom is based on the Waldorf pedagogical approach which blends whole language components of creating language-rich environments, building listening skills, and auditory processing with basic phonics instruction, including phonemic awareness, digraphs, rhyming and blending. Class teachers use the methods described above to assess students and then may create smaller groups to work with on a weekly basis to practice literacy skills, read, and build fluency. Smaller student groups will receive differentiated lessons based on student needs and abilities each week. In addition, teachers may make accommodations for individual students who may require more challenging or more accessible work.
b) For Tier II students, class teachers may work with the Literacy Specialist to design additional learning sessions. These may occur in smaller leveled reading groups or with trained paraprofessionals or volunteers.
Wasatch Waldorf Charter School has a designated Literacy Specialist who is an experienced teacher and has been trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading intervention. These weekly sessions may be assisted by paraprofessionals or volunteers who are trained to work with students on particular skills and tasks and to track their progress.
c) The Literacy Specialist or paraprofessionals under the guidance of a special education teacher work with students who are identified in Tier III or SPED on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for 15-45 minute sessions using Orton-Gillingham, Read Naturally, or another approved approach to literacy. The Literacy Specialist organizes the curriculum based on student needs for small groups and individual sessions assigned to her. SPED teachers also organize the curriculum based on student needs for small groups and individual sessions assigned to paraprofessionals. All SPED students are tracked and served based on the detailed minutes articulated in their IEPs.
3. Describe the literacy professional development component of your Reading Achievement Plan.
a) Describe what literacy professional development is provided for teachers.
b) Describe what literacy professional development is provided for paraprofessionals. Note: If your LEA does NOT employ paraprofessionals, please note that.
c) Describe how the literacy professional development is presented and monitored for efficacy.
a) Class teachers at Wasatch Waldorf in K-3 will receive three levels of professional development in reading and literacy instruction. First, learning about the Waldorf method of literacy instruction is an embedded part of the teacher’s training through Gradalis. All teachers will be learning about how to present language lessons and ensure that key competencies are being built. Secondly, all teachers receive training on how to use rubrics and assessments to identify student needs and adapt their instruction. This training is provided by the Wasatch Waldorf Pedagogical Director and Assessment Director. Thirdly, teachers will receive specialized instruction and professional development on teaching reading. This occurred in the previous year through a workshop with a visiting expert, Janet Langley, and will be reinforced in the current year through team-level meetings and pedagogical meetings in which the Literacy Specialist and Pedagogical Director help teachers workshop the methods and approaches outlined in Janet Langley’s curriculum resources..
b) Paraprofessionals working with students in kindergarten and first grade will be included in the reading-specific professional development discussed above. Paraprofessionals working with SPED students will be trained by the supervising Special Education Coordinator.
c) Gradalis training occurs in a two-week summer intensive, two practicum weekend trainings, monthly webinars, and one-on-one mentoring visits. Mentors specifically assess teacher’s progress and efficacy in implementing the approaches taught. Assessment and reading-specific instruction that is provided at the school level will occur as part of staff meetings, grade-level meetings, and other training sessions throughout the year. The results of this training will be measured through formal teacher evaluations (which include self-evaluations) and a review of student testing throughout the year.