St. Mary Students are given many opportunities to receive small group instruction and one on one support when necessary. Our teachers and support staff feel it is important to guide children through the learning process which allows children to be successful in many ways. The students are encouraged to seek help and also to begin making accommodations for themselves in ways that will support them as lifelong learners.
Differentiation at St. Mary School
St. Mary students are supported in their learning, and encouraged to learn at a level that is appropriate for them, regardless of their age or grade. Every child is challenged to do his/her best and to achieve.
Response to Intervention
Because every child is accepted for who they are and what they are capable of, St. Mary School works with children in many ways.
- We have two reading teachers who work solely with students in reading. These teachers spend much of their time with the primary grades, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades. Each child is tested in the beginning of the year using Fountas and Pinnell to determine where their needs would best be met. The students are then grouped by ability with the two classroom teachers each taking groups, and then each of the reading teachers taking groups. This allows the children to work in a smaller group with a lower student teacher ratio. In some cases as small as 6 to 1. This affords the students more time on task and greater chance for success. The students are then tested periodically throughout the year to ensure their needs are being met and they are in the group that best meets their needs.
These reading teachers also begin working with the Kindergarten students second semester and some of the upper grades students as well. It is important that the children feel supported in their learning throughout their time at St. Mary School.
Those students who have the greatest need are also further tested using Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) as an inventory of determining the students’ needs.
- We have two aides, one in Preschool and one in Kindergarten. They are responsible for assisting the teachers in many ways so teachers can focus their attention on teaching the children. The aides are assigned to work with children, to work one-on-one, or with small groups who either need more attention, direction, or supervision while doing projects or classwork. By having these aides, the students who are absent or cannot follow along with the class are afforded opportunities to stay caught up.