Academics » Special Programs

Special Programs

Paulding Response to Intervention Program (PRTI)

Description of Model Program

The Paulding Middle School model is directly linked to the district mission to "Engage, Challenge and Inspire students through the power of learning." Paulding aligns its site goals directly with goals of the district on Student Achievement, School Climate, Future Readiness and Organizational excellence. The district LCAP, in compliance with California Education Codes 52060 and 52066, centers on three goals for the district schools:

Goal 1-Achievement: All Lucia Mar Students will meet or exceed their individual learning targets while utilizing the Four C’s of 21st Century Learning: Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking and Collaboration.

Goal 2-School Climate: Lucia Mar Schools will support the growth of the whole child and their families by providing social-emotional support and parent education.

Goal 3-Future Ready Education: the students, staff and systems of Lucia Mar will be supported by future ready technology and facilities.

Lucia Mar utilizes several key “LCAP Actions” to achieve these goals including: intervention curriculum, intervention teachers, increased counseling, teachers on special assignment (TOSAs) and site allocations to allow sites flexibility to utilize district and site resources to assist targeted students. It is within this framework the that Paulding Response to Intervention Program (PRTI) developed over the last four years. While in alignment with district priorities, the PRTI program is unique to Paulding and is not a specifically district-created program that is implemented by other school sites in the district.

Tier I Academic & Behavioral RTI

(Implementation and Monitoring)

As you can see in slides two and three above, the basis of the PRTI program is increasing academic and behavioral supports for students from level one through three. Tier I supports are available to all students at Paulding. Starting with the academic side of the pyramid, the belief is that all students receive high-quality instruction and a belief that all students can reach their potential.

Students at Tier I are screened using the NWEA Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment. Before the start of the school year, administration compiles that last two years of MAP and CAASPP assessments to identify students in need of academic intervention. In addition, students are screened within the first two weeks of school to get a baseline performance score for the year and to identify any additional students for academic interventions. At the end of the first semester, all students are screened again to determine levels of academic growth, to monitor the progress of students in intervention classes and to determine any additional intervention placements for second semester.

Students in Tier I academic receive high-quality instruction that is aligned to the California Common Core standards. Two unique elements of the Tier I program include Paulding’s Writing Across the Curriculum and AVID Critical Reading programs. All teachers are trained to implement the Thinking Maps program and to utilize that program to scaffold expository essay writing for students at Paulding. Each student writes a diagnostic essay at the beginning of the school year and then writes an essay at least once in each subsequent month in either their Language Arts, Social Studies or Science classes. All student essays are scored using the SAT five-point rubric. All scores are recorded and monitored by teachers and administration with the goal of all students increasing at least one point over the course of the school year. On average over the last three years, students at Paulding have always met this goal. In tandem with the writing program, Paulding utilizes AVID critical reading strategies in the core to teach students skills to analyze and comprehend their reading.

Moving to the behavioral side of the pyramid, Paulding believes that academic and social behaviors must be taught and reinforced in all classes. For several years, Paulding had existing, effective programs at Tier I including an advisory program (a first period program teaching academic and behavioral skills) and student reward/recognition programs. During the 2017-2018 school year, Paulding teachers worked to create a behavior matrix as part of school-wide positive behavior program (PBIS) to identify expected behaviors for students that can be taught and reinforced. The matrix was finalized in the 2018-2019 school year and is called the Paulding Pride matrix. This year we are using the matrix as a basis to teach and award students using a digital scanning system called 5-Star Students.

Tier I academic and behavioral supports are implemented through our campus-wide small-learning communities that we call “teaming.”  For several years Paulding has utilized the small learning community model based loosely from the DuFours professional learning community model. Each grade level is divided into two teams and all students take their core classes within their “team” and mix with students from other teams only during electives, physical education and breaks. Teams are composed of core content teachers (ELA, math, science, social studies and special education) and at least one representative from the physical education and/or elective departments. The purpose of the teaming approach is to make the learning environment smaller and more personalized for the students and to allow the core teachers to focus on a common set of students to maximize their effectiveness. The teachers in each team have regularly scheduled meetings to monitor the academic and behavioral progress of their students (see slide five above). Teachers create team-based plans to address academic and/or behavioral deficits. This has been especially effective in reducing the number of students referred to administration for assertive discipline.

We monitor the success of the Tier I program using the California School Dashboard and the results of the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS). For 2018, Paulding was overall “green” for all areas on California School Dashboard. That said, continued work and focus at Tier I is necessary for all student subgroups at Paulding including: students with disabilities, Hispanic, homeless, English language learners and socioeconomically disadvantaged students. The results of the March 2018 California Healthy Kids survey point towards a positive school experience for the students at Paulding.

Tier II & III Academic & Behavioral RTI

(Implementation and Monitoring)

Tier II supports are supplemental, short -term academic interventions while Tier III academic interventions are intensive, longer-term interventions. Currently, 18% of the student population at Paulding is in either a Tier II or Tier III academic intervention course. Students enter the intervention program in three ways. First, a student may be placed through universal screening results from the NWEA MAP assessment. Second, is when a student is referred to the Tier II Team after Tier I interventions from the core team have proven unsuccessful (see slide five above). The third method is for students who are classified as English language learners (ELLs). ELLs are automatically placed in a tiered language intervention class based on their MAP scores and scores from the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). The Tier II team meets weekly to monitor the progress of students in the intervention and other special programs on campus.

At Tier II, there are two supplemental language and mathematics courses. These courses target students who are up to two years below grade level in language arts or mathematics. The ELA intervention course uses district approved curriculum that meets the needs of both ELLs and non-ELLS. The math courses use the HMH Math 180, Course II program. At Tier III, there is one intensive language course that uses the HMH Read 180 program and one intensive math course that uses the HMH Math 180, Course I program.

Transitioning to Tier II behavioral supports, site administration transitioned to using alternative corrective actions rather than uniformly implementing recommended assertive discipline starting in the 2017-2018 school year. This decision was made when the administration realized detentions and suspensions were not reducing behaviors and did not take into account special factors for our student subgroups. In addition to alternative corrective actions, the site utilizes supplemental counseling services provided both at the school site and by referral to community partners. For the past three years, Paulding offered the Jump Start program to at-risk students in both seventh and eighth grade. This program brings at-risk students to  campus two weeks before school starts and gives them an academic “jump start” in addition to having them spend two weeks with a teacher that will serve as their mentor/advisor throughout the school year. These students are placed on an academic team with their advisor during the year so that the advisor can meet with them daily in addition to serving as one of their academic teachers. Tier III behavioral supports include the use of behavior contracts, additional counseling, referral to the Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) and suspension/expulsion when necessary.

The effectiveness of Tier II and Tier III academic and behavioral interventions are monitored primarily utilizing student growth reports from the NWEA MAP assessment and discipline data. While the implementation of these supports are still in development at Paulding, the initial data is promising. During the 2017-2018 school year 55% of seventh graders and 68% of eighth graders met their target growth goal in mathematics. 67% of students in Tier II interventions and 50% of students in Tier III interventions met their growth goals respectively. For the 2018-2019 school year, Fall to Winter growth data revealed that while 50% of seventh graders met their growth goal; 54% of seventh graders in Tier II math intervention met their growth goal. 56% of eighth grade students met their growth goal while 40% of students in Tier II intervention met their growth goals. 25% of seventh and 8th grade students in Tier III interventions met their growth goal.

During the 2017-2018 school year, 53% of seventh graders and 64% of eighth graders met their Fall to Spring growth goals as measured by the NWEA MAP assessment. During that year both seventh and eighth graders were mixed in a single Tier II intervention course and 50% of those students met their growth target. In 2018-2019, Fall to Winter data showed that 49% of of seventh graders met their growth targets while 75% of seventh graders in Tier II intervention met their growth targets. In eighth grade, 60% of students met their growth targets while 56% of students in Tier II intervention met their growth target. In the Tier III class, 57% of students met their growth targets (note Tier III is a combination of seventh and eighth graders).

The effectiveness of Tier II and Tier III behavioral interventions are visible in the reduction of suspension and overall decrease in assertive discipline entries. During the 2016-2017 school year 6.4% of the student population was suspended while during the 2017-2018 school year the percentage dropped to 2.6%.

Areas of future consideration for the Tier II and Tier III programs include: additional focus on subgroup academic performance and data monitoring. Currently, successful students are moved out of intervention at the end of the first semester. This may skew results since Fall to Spring growth data is not a single cohort. In addition, 2018-2019 is the first year the ELD and intervention classes were blended to better target specific skills. While initial results are positive, additional monitoring is necessary to determine the overall effectiveness of this model.