Strategies for Student Success 2015 - Page 55

At Trousdale County Schools, which also won the district SCORE Prize in 2013, value-added and assessment data are closely monitored from elementary school on. Value-added data guide about 85 percent of classroom forming decisions starting with late elementary grades. The district and schools use the data to divide students into three tertiles – low, medium, and high achievers – and monitor which teachers tend to foster the most growth from students within each group. Placements are adjusted based on student performance, as often as every nine weeks at the middle school grades. There are other factors considered when forming classes, like kids who don’t need to be together or personalities that don’t match. But in most cases, students are grouped in classes with similarly achieving peers and taught by the instructors most likely to help them succeed. The district’s goal is for each student to have a personalized learning path. Making this happen begins with leveled classes but doesn’t end there. At Trousdale County’s middle school – Jim B. Satterfield Middle, named in honor of Mr. Satterfield’s father – a unique schedule delivers some form of intervention to all students, whether kids are in need of enrichment or RTI2. Kids on an RTI schedule are in 90-minute “coach” blocks of time every other day, receiving skills-based instruction in math and English language arts. All staff members– regardless of subject area – help teach these classes, keeping student groups very small. “Every kid has the opportunity to grow,” Principal James McCall said. “If every student and every