REACH Realignment Information for the 2019-2020 School Year

High Ability Realignment Parent Information
Tier III REACH
2019-2020

To help ensure a continuous flow of increased progress and enhancement of abilities, research suggests that high-ability students need consistent opportunities to interact and learn with intellectual peers (Rodgers, 2002). Given adequate circumstances, students with these gifts will work to increase the realization of their potential in problem solving and other high level thinking skills (Shaughnessy, 2002).  

Current Programming for Elementary K-5
A tiered system has been developed to provide a multifaceted program for students, enabling the school corporation to offer a continuum of services providing for a variety of student needs to be met, ranging from high ability in math, and/or language arts to high ability in general intellect.  The levels of services include:

Tier I
The general student population is comprised of the first tier. Students in this tier may experience enrichment lessons as deemed appropriate or relevant by the classroom teacher in their respective home schools.

Tier II (CLUSTER)
Students are clustered in classrooms at their respective home schools.  Instruction is differentiated with a greater depth and breadth of content and materials.  

Tier III (REACH)
This tier of instruction moves at an accelerated pace and mastery of grade level material is crucial for academic success in this tier.  The REACH program is currently located at Thompson Crossing and Arlington Elementary schools for grades 3-5, as students are shuttled to the schools from their respective home schools.  There is one REACH class per grade level.

Deficits found in the current programming after evaluation

  • Decreasing enrollment
  • Inconsistent delivery of content
  • Lack of teacher collaboration
  • Inequity among resources
  • Inconsistent social/emotional curriculum
  • Parental perceptions in inequity between program locations
  • Under representation in demographic subsets
  • Limited opportunity for multi-age instruction based on skill level
  • Vertical alignment curriculum is hindered by being at two locations
  • Service is limited to only serving General Intellect,  not specialization
  • Extracurricular STEM and academic opportunities are not equal
  • Pass+ rates for state assessment

Solution to Improve Programming
The plan is to move the REACH program to South Creek Elementary so that the program can be in one location and all REACH teachers can collaborate in a more cohesive manner. FTCSC has the capability of keeping all state assessment data at respective home schools.

Benefits

  • Establishes the process that bridges the gap in the readiness of students from underrepresented populations and prepares them to be successful in high ability programs
  • Daily teacher collaboration versus monthly
  • Shared resources in one location
  • Consistency for curriculum alignment and time to revise curriculum
  • More opportunities for multi-age instruction based on skill level for individual needs of students
  • Flexibility to move beyond General Intellect/ELA/Math-potential to  move into meeting needs of gifts and talents, as well
  • Consistency in meeting the affective (social/emotional) needs of students
  • Improve equity in students receiving common experiences such as guest speakers, project-based learning, independent learning, research, presentation, and field trips
  • Broaden scope of looping integration
  • More classroom space for STEM, Robotics and academic extracurricular teams
  • Create a more comprehensive program by using common formative assessments and data collection to improve instruction
  • K-1 identification of students for Tier II (CLUSTER)
  • Potential to pilot a K-2 Tier III (REACH) program in a small school setting for the future
  • Opportunity to develop a program (Rising Scholars) for K-2 students who have high ability potential to participate in the program
  • Meet teachers’ requests to have more collaboration and have opportunity to work  together

Timeline
August-December 2018 – Planning/Collaboration
January 2019 – Communication to stakeholders
January 16, 2019 – Public Announcement
January 31, 2019 6:00 P.M. – Parent Information Meeting at South Creek
February 2019 – Selection Committee meets for identification for 2019-2020
March 2019 – Parents informed of identification placements
April 2019 – Parent Informational Meetings for new HA Tier III students
May 14, 2019 – Open House at South Creek
May 21, 2019 – Student Field Trip to South Creek
June  2019 – Transportation Collaboration

High Ability Realignment Q & A
Tier III REACH

Question:  Why are the REACH programs being moved to one location?
Answer:  The plan is to put the programs together in one location to improve consistency, collaboration, instructional programming and offer additional opportunities to best meet individual student need.  Survey results presented a need for improvement in the areas of acceleration, meeting student individual need, and consistency.

Question:  Who made the decision to move the programs to one location?
Answer:  This was a collective decision made including district administration and teachers after evaluation of the program.  Evaluation of the program included data collection, use of IDOE evaluation rubric, teacher and parent surveys.

Question:   Will both Thompson Crossing and Arlington REACH classes move to South Creek?
Answer:  Yes, both programs will be in one location to improve program consistency.

Question:  Will the same REACH teachers move to South Creek and teach REACH?
Answer:  Yes, the plan is to move the existing REACH teachers to South Creek so they can work together in  one location.

Question:  How will the program look different?
Answer:  Curriculum will remain the same.  There will be more opportunities for more differentiation based on student level and need. Program director and teachers are currently working on differentiation plan.

Question:  Will class sizes change?
Answer:  Class sizes fluctuate each year based on HA identification and enrollment.  Class sizes should be more balanced and tailored to meet student skill levels.

Question:  Which middle school will students attend?
Answer:  Students will follow feeder pattern of home school (original school before attending REACH):  South Creek, Thompson Crossing, Kitley and Acton attend Middle School East. Bunker Hill, Adams and Arlington attend Middle School West.

Question:  Which Robotics program will be provided
Answer:  High Ability director and REACH teachers are currently having conversations about extra-curricular activities. Information will be shared late spring.

Question:  Will students be able to remain with same teachers?
Answer:  Student placement will be intentional, based on several factors.  The team is currently having conversations about grouping. Information will be shared soon.

View the REACH realignment parent letter