Supported Learning

  • Because every child is accepted for who they are and what they are capable of, St. Mary School works with children in many ways.

    • Multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs. The RTI process begins with high-quality instruction and universal screening of all children in the general education classroom.

    Tools we use:

    • ASPIRE scores - Interims are given in Fall and Winter, and the Aspire Summative in Spring
    • AimsWeb –  a universal screening, progress monitoring, and data management system that supports Response to Intervention (RTI) and tiered instruction.  AimsWeb uses brief, valid, and reliable measures of reading and math performance for grades K-12, which can be generalized to any curriculum.
    • Fountas & Pinnell – helps match reading material (books) with students reading achievement level; promotes reading achievement growth and content area learning

    We have two reading teachers who work solely with students in reading.  These teachers spend much of their time with the primary grades, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades.  Each child is tested in the beginning of the year using Fountas and Pinnell to determine where their needs would best be met.  The students are then grouped by ability with the two classroom teachers each taking groups, and then each of the reading teachers taking groups.  This allows the children to work in a smaller group with a lower student teacher ratio.  In some cases as small as 6 to 1.  This affords the students more time on task and greater chance for success.  The students are then tested periodically throughout the year to ensure their needs are being met and they are in the group that best meets their needs.

    These reading teachers also begin working with the Kindergarten students second semester and some of the upper grades students as well.  It is important that the children feel supported in their learning throughout their time at St. Mary School.

    Those students who have the greatest need are also further tested using Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) as an inventory of determining the students’ needs.