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How does Mary Endres help all students be successful?

We know that students will grow academically, socially, and emotionally throughout the year, but in order to grow teacher need a plan for their students.  Sometimes, different plans are needed for different kids. It's a real challenge to educators today to figure out how to use the available resources so that every child succeeds.

At Mary Endres, each grade level consists of a team of teachers that work together to plan and implement core curriculum.  We also have a special services team, made up of the principal, psychologist, social worker, special education teachers, reading interventionist, instructional coach, speech pathologist, and OT/PT therapists.  Together with the parents/guardians, we will make team decisions on what is needed so that a student can be successful.

We work together as a team to determine what the informal and formal student data is telling us, what resources we have available to us, and how to provide additional help that is seamless for students.

RTI or Response to Intervention is a 3 tiered system we use in District 200 and at Mary Endres Elementary School for academics and social emotional needs.  Tier 1 stands for universal core instruction. This is what everybody gets at their grade level. In literacy it is Ready Gen and in Math, it is Go Math. We use Second Step for our social emotional curriculum.  

However, some kids will need a little bit more than the core curriculum.  That is referred to as Tier 2 and typically happens inside the classroom. Then some kids may need a more intensive intervention. That is referred to as tier 3.  This typically happens outside of the classroom.

Teachers at the very beginning of the block are teaching core instruction to their classroom of students.  After whole group, they move into centers or rotations, or a variety of independent activities. This is where the students will work together as a group, in pairs or be more self-directed in their learning.  It is during this time that you will see a group of students being pulled together by the teacher for purposeful, small group instruction that is related to the core lesson. Everyone gets this.

If a student needs a tier 2 intervention, parents/guardians are notified and then they will get a second group that is focused on a specific skill.  Their progress is monitored over several weeks to see if the intervention is working. If it isn’t, a different intervention will be tried for another 6-8 weeks. For social emotional needs, this could look like a classroom incentive plan or an individual behavior plan in the classroom.

Parents/Guardians are kept informed of the progress.  They can also contact the teacher at any time to see how their child is doing.  We use Class Dojo as a way to easily connect families with the teacher. However, email and phone calls work as well.

We know that early intervention is the key. So at first and second grade, if a child is still not making adequate progress, then they will meet daily with the reading interventionist for leveled literacy instruction using research based materials.  If a child is still struggling, time will be scheduled with the special education teacher to determine what more extensive intervention should take place and if they would qualify for an individualized educational plan. For social emotional needs, this could look like a small group with the social worker, an outside of class behavior plan (check in check out), or having an adult mentor.

During all phases of intervention, parents and guardians are kept informed of progress and data is kept to determine the next course of action.  The principal or our psychologist will run problem solving meetings with the teams to check in on where students are in the process and how many available resources we have to offer.

We want you to know that you are an important part of this process.  If you ever feel that your child is struggling or that more help is needed, contact your child’s teacher first. They will have the best perspective on how they are mastering grade level standards by looking at several assessments and how they are doing in the classroom.  

If you believe that your child needs more, you can contact the principal, Mrs. Pala or the psychologist, Ms. Jones for more information on our academic systems and what the next steps may be.  If you have a social emotional concern, you can contact the principal, Mrs. Pala or the social worker, Ms. Baunach. It is our goal to work together to provide what is best for our students to succeed.

GO Timberwolves!