II. Continuity of Services
Summer Programs: June-August, 2021
We have established plans to continue and expand on our existing summer programs to provide support for both unfinished learning and for learners in need of ongoing instruction for either remediation or to address regression of emergent skills. Historically, we have offered a number of programs to include our ESOL Summer Prep program for English learners in grades 1-8, the Summer Connections program for rising grade 1 - grade 5 students from Charter Oak and Smith elementary schools, and Extended School Year (ESY) programs at various grade levels for qualifying students with individualized education plans (IEPs) whose program required this support. In addition to these and other existing programs, we have planned within our ESSER II grant to expand our summer programs in service to needs of the student population and in accordance with the grant parameters. A short description of summer programs follows.
ESOL Summer Prep
Our ESOL Summer Prep program has run annually in support of English learners in elementary and middle school. The program supports literacy, written and oral language skills with some remediation of numeracy in order to help English learners continue to progress with emergent language skills and avoid regression from lack of consistent practice with English over the summer. The program is free of charge and offered to students based on recommendation by the ESOL teacher in consultation with the classroom teacher(s) and school team. Changes in the program for this summer are relatively minor. We see slight but positive net increase in the number of sections (students serviced) and while the majority of students will meet in person, we will offer one section (each) of on-line programming for students grades 1, 2, 3, and 4-5 next year. This program is hosted at Smith STEM School and transportation and lunch are available at no cost.
Our Summer Connections program has run annually in support of remediation of foundational literacy and numeracy skills. Traditionally, this program only serviced students from Smith STEM and Charter Oak IB schools, however in the coming summer, the program will be significantly expanded to service students across the entire district. Participation in the program is based on teacher recommendation and inclusive of all students to include students within our Open Choice program (transportation provided) as well as students with IEPs and 504 plans.
The design of the program has also been adjusted and improved in response to new challenges. We have secured enhanced mathematics including manipulatives and print materials aligned to curricular resources used throughout the year, appropriate for intervention and enrichment. In addition, we are adding an engagement component to each grade level. Rising grade 1 and 2 will engage in activities related to oral language (e.g. storytelling, etc.); grade 3 will engage in gardening activities in partnership with the Root to Rise community program, and grades 4 and 5 will engage in coding activities.
The Summer Connections program will be hosted at Charter Oak Elementary. Transportation and lunch are available at no charge.
Pupil Services Summer Programs
To address regression and emerging functional skills, students qualifying for an Extended School Year (ESY) Individualized Education Plan (IEP), will participate in the following programs at each level, pre-K-Post Secondary. In addition to the comprehensive ESY program, qualified students participate in single-subject tutoring at Bristow. Students with IEPs and 504 plans who do not qualify for ESY services, but meet criteria, have been included in the Summer Connections and Summer School Programs to address the need for grade level skill reinforcement and credit recovery.
Pre-K through 1st Grade (Whiting Lane)
- Summer Fun for Pre-School is a summer program offered for pre-school children returning to pre-school in the fall. Students experience creative summer fun activities, which include a variety of learning, outdoor and nature experiences where sensory, motor and language activities are designed to meet the developmental needs of this population.
- GRASP (Get Ready at Summer Pre-School) is a summer program offered for children entering Kindergarten. GRASP emphasizes experiences in early learning skills (learning to pay attention, following instructions, taking turns, completing tasks, and enjoying music and art projects). Also, students experience activities designed to improve fine and gross motor coordination.
- An Extended Day Program is provided for qualified students. Each student participates in discrete trial instruction designed to address IEP goals and objectives. Two teachers are assigned to the program to monitor programming, collect data, review progress, follow behavior plans and conduct social skills groups. In addition, the daily schedule included recess, lunch and music group 1x/week.
Grades 2-5 (Bristow)
ESY programming focuses on core academic skills to prevent regression/recoupment issues related to extended periods of non-academic programming. Students are provided the opportunity to access elective classes: yoga, arts and crafts, dance and team time to address social and behavioral goals and objectives identified in the IEP. Areas of major emphasis included academics, daily living skills, gross and fine motor skills, communication skills and the development of social skills. Students who require discrete trial instruction are included in special needs classes with their age appropriate peers. Students’ schedules are adjusted for individualized instruction with ABA trained staff as well as a social skills group to address social and behavioral goals, as indicated in their IEP’s.
Grades 6-8 (Conard), Grades 9-12 (Conard)
ESY programming focuses on maintaining satisfactory progress towards the goals and objectives identified in each student’s IEP. Areas of major emphasis include academics, daily living skills, gross and fine motor skills, communication skills and the development/maintenance of social skills. Students are able to enhance their social, communication and independent living skills through field trips and community based instructional opportunities. These opportunities afford our students the authentic vocational and recreational experiences to provide them with the essential skills necessary for greater independence.
The post-secondary program services intellectually disabled students, ages 18-21 and address the need areas of self-care, personal & social independence, vocational, community based experiences, and functional academics. Students participate in community-based learning opportunities to allow for increased independence and greater access to vocational training.
Tutoring in mathematics and English language arts will occur two hours a week for four weeks. During these sessions, Students will receive individualized instruction to address IEP goals and objectives.
Return to School 2021-2022 School Year: Supporting Learning Acceleration, Academic Renewal, Student Enrichment, and Family Partnerships
In order to welcome and reintegrate students who accessed their education through the remote learning environment - especially those who transitioned between school levels, we plan to host specific back-to-school programs at each of our schools in the fall. Programming will specifically target rising 1st, 7th, and 10th graders, however we will have programming available for all students.
Mathematics and Literacy Learning Acceleration
As a district, we have invested in mathematics and literacy education supporting positions such as Reading Specialists, Literacy Intervention Teachers, and Mathematics Coaches. Building on the success of the underlying programs associated with these positions, we seek to expand the footprint of our mathematics coaches to include middle school and expand the role of our Reading Specialists to have a specific focus on academic coaching. We will also seek to expand the number of qualified tutors working at our schools to support both literacy and math. Finally, our secondary department supervisors for these two disciplines will be relieved of teaching duties (0.2 FTE) in order to have maximum time to coordinate academic programming and supervise expectations within a high quality discipline-specific instructional model.
School Engagement, Social Justice and Social Emotional Learning
In an effort to engage and support all students, we will continue to emphasize social emotional learning (SEL) within our curriculum and our school structures. We have secured resources focused on social emotional learning such as Second Step materials and independent reading titles that will support our SEL strategies for direct instruction and flesh out our classroom libraries. We will maintain the integration of both SEL and Social Justice instruction within Morning Meeting at the elementary level, Advisory in the middle school, and Community at the high school as well as our ongoing work to refine and deepen our curricular connections to these key levers.
We will expand our Saturday GOAL Academy piloted in grade 6 this spring to include all middle school grades. This three hour program - similar in design to our middle school summer program - will be focused on literacy, numeracy and school engagement. The program’s focus targets attitudes and dispositions equally with skills. The backdrop of literacy and numeracy content provide a context and framework for the instruction of communication and collaboration skills, note-taking, and conversations to influence student perceptions regarding themselves and their school experience.
We have expanded our staffing within the Office of Equity Advancement with two additional positions to support our community outreach programming and our vision for equity and anti-racism (see Family and Community Connections below). We also seek to expand our work under schools-to-careers to increase opportunities for students to engage in job-shadowing and internships as an engagement strategy. This work will be integrated with our ongoing work related to the Mastery Experience graduation requirement and our Vision of the Graduate.
Finally, we have teams of teachers and instructional leaders at all levels engaged in professional learning and curriculum materials development this summer to support our ongoing commitment to SEL, equity, and social justice. Outcomes of this work will contribute directly to classroom instruction and staff professional learning activities in the 2021-22 school year.
Pupil Services: Supporting Students with Individualized Education Plans
Pupil Services, in collaboration with Curriculum and Instruction and the Office of Equity, acknowledge the need to support students, caregivers, and families moving forward as we embark on a more “traditional” school year. We acknowledge that students and families may need enhanced and individualized supports with social and emotional learning and skill acquisition to successfully re-integrate. We want our students to be engaged in meaningful learning and this requires many layers of support. In addition to maintaining our Child Find obligations of identifying students with disabilities and our systematic support of students through the PPT and 504 process, we will provide the following additional layers of support.
In general, students with IEPs have experienced gaps in skill acquisition as evidenced by data on goals and objectives. Some students have been affected by changes in intervention modes and methods. Post-secondary (transition-only) students have not had the opportunity to access the community for vocational and independent living training.
Additional special education staff at the elementary and secondary levels will allow for smaller class sizes for specialized instruction and re-acclimation support. An additional Teacher of the Deaf will allow specialized staff to provide needed intervention and coordinate student services. Finally, a community-based bookstore will provide post-secondary students critical access to vocational training.