ACA utilizes research and evidence-based curriculum, assessments and instructional strategies to support ALL students to achieve grade level proficiency (Tier 1). ACA has also adopted robust, research-based intervention curriculum and assessments that are used by intervention teachers, tutors, and interventionists to provide acceleration support and to aide in the identification of individual students and sub-groups of students most impacted by the pandemic to address the academic impact of lost instructional time. Our intervention teachers work with core content teachers to to help close the gap for our students. School and district leaders provide intervention teachers/tutors with regularly updated data to drive Tier 2 and 3 student rosters which identify the students receiving intervention support, in what specific area. These data are also regularly analyzed to determine the impact that support is having on individual and groups of students, and instructional decisions are made in response.
ACA is implementing a robust tutoring program that consists of acceleration tutoring. Intervention teachers/tutors provided Tier 2 and Tier 3 support to identified students during an acceleration period. This period is built into the master schedule so no student will lose out on other instructional time and/or social-emotional learning time including electives, recess, etc.
A variety of staff provide direct support to intervention teachers/tutors to ensure fidelity of implementation, including ACA's Instructional Coaches. Coaches, along with administrators and academic consultants, lead weekly PLC that focus on the implementation of individual, grade level and school wide strategies to meet the needs of ALL students. Additionally, Instructional Coaches meet with intervention teachers/tutors individually after reviewing acceleration plans, conducting observations, reviewing progress monitoring data to ensure that they have the resources and support needed to implement targeted and differentiated strategies.
Specific supports include:
- ACA has hired highly qualified interventionist teachers/tutors to accelerate and provide intervention to close academic gaps in ELA and mathematics.
- Tutors provide minimum of three sessions per week with up to five sessions. Each session will be a minimum of 30 minutes up to 60 minutes with groups of five or less students based on need.
- Acceleration times are built into ACA's daily schedules for all students' grades K-8, allowing tutoring to be provided during the day during identified acceleration period.
- ACA supports students in tracking their own progress towards closing identified achievement gaps and in their own social-emotional growth, high-quality assessments, both diagnostic and formative to provide timely information for each student.
- Every student has access to a computer device in order to access digital software identified to accelerate learning and provide support in developing social-emotional support, increased student engagement.
In addition to the academic support and intervention that is taking place, ACA is also supporting all students with a comprehensive social/emotional program that includes 1) built in time during the school day for 100% of students to participate in check-ins and time to reflect and discuss any needs or areas of concern going, 2) daily implementation of Positive Action, a social-emotional curriculum approved by the What Works Clearing House, in grades kindergarten through fourth grade on a daily basis and 3) a daily block of Bulldog Empowerment for students in grades 5-8 which focuses on current and relevant social/emotional issues and lessons. Additionally, students track their own progress towards closing identified achievement gaps and in their own social-emotional growth.
ACA's Director of Behavioral Health and Wellness provides direct student services through 1) short term behavioral and emotional support to stabilize emotional crisis, including counseling to K-8 students, 2) in-school 1:1 behavioral coaching, provided through a partnership from an outside agency, 3) providing psychoeducational presentations for students and staff on a variety of timely and relevant topics.
ACA Director of Diversity Equity Inclusion Belonging works in collaboration with the Director of Behavioral Health and Wellness to provide students, parents, teachers, and staff training, coaching and support on social/emotional learning as well as creating a culture of inclusion, equity and belonging. ACA collects student and staff feedback through surveys, including professional development evaluations and a School Culture and Climate survey to determine critical areas of need, opportunities for targeted support.
These programs and supports generate valuable, real-time data that is used by ACA staff to identify and support students' emotional needs and mental health. Classroom teachers, instructional support personnel and administrators are trained in utilizing social/emotional check in data, anonymous reporting via an easily accessible form on ACA's website, as well as parent alerts to drive identification. The Director of Behavioral Health and Wellness utilizes this data to implement supports to students who need it.
Specific supports include:
- All students (K-8) have built in time during the school day to provide regular check-ins for students and set aside time to reflect and discuss any needs or areas of concern going on for students.
- ACA implements Positive Action, a social-emotional curriculum approved by the What Works Clearing House, in grades kindergarten through fourth grade on a daily basis.
- Bulldog Empowerment, a district-created program, is set aside for students in grades 5-8, focuses on current and relevant social/emotional issues and lessons.
- ACA is developing ways to reduce the stigma of mental health needs by sharing educational resources, talking about mental health and letting students know they are not alone.
- The Behavioral Health and Wellness Director, Student and DEIB Director provide individual, small group and class sessions based on recommendations from students, current data trends and requests from parents and teachers.
- ACA implements PBIS, a school-wide system to promote and develop positive behaviors, reduce discipline incidents and a focus on keeping all students in the classroom.