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Mater Christi School serves students from preschool through grade eight in Burlington, VT. Beginning in June 2014, the Stern Center began providing an average of 50 hours of professional learning courses to all staff members in order to expand teacher knowledge and to develop a common language for literacy.
Data analysis was conducted to support students’ learning needs at all levels for the teachers. At the same time, we worked with teachers in “taking stock of their system” to create a structure for strong collaboration data-based decision making using newly developed structures to support learners Preschool teachers will be trained in the BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LITERACY® along with kindergarten teachers and area pre-K providers.
All of the private school diocese representative pre K teachers will be attending as well. Mater Christi is continuing its work as a Learning Laboratory with teachers in grades K-3 participating in the Orton-Gillingham Classroom Educator practicum following the 45 hour course. In addition, teachers will be taking a course in Explicit Approaches to Writing within the Common Core. We now have a campus presence at Mater Christi and will be presenting seasonal workshops for families through the Parent Teacher Organization.
Greenwood School is a boarding school for boys in sixth through twelfth grade who have learning differences, learning disabilities (LD) such as dyslexia, attention difficulties (ADD / ADHD), or executive functioning deficits. The school’s mission is to empower students with the skills and strategies necessary to bridge the gap between their promise and present abilities.
We have been collaborating with Greenwood School to assure the implementation of research-based best instructional practices. We offer professional learning in structured language to new teachers, and those wanting a tune-up, in order to maintain the standard of Greenwood instruction. As an accrediting member of the Orton-Gillingham Academy, the Stern Center is able to make recommendations directly to the Academy for teachers to be certified at the Associate or Classroom Educator levels.
The Stern Center is establishing a presence for professional learning on campus with our Assessment Series that begins in the Fall of 2015. Our mutual goal is to meet the professional needs of teachers in southern Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Orange North Supervisory Union contracted for four years of customized professional learning through the Cynthia K. Hoehl Institute for Excellence at the Stern Center. Through that work, the school has implemented school improvement coaching and offered various structured literacy programs, including T-I-M-E for Teachers and the Orton-Gillingham Classroom Educator. Customized learning for special educators has focused on the development of learner profiles. The goal is to support special educators and speech/language pathologists in bringing their expertise to school-based data teams in an MTSS.
Results from the 2015-16 school year to the 2016-17 school year are showing exciting evidence of growth in students’ foundational and reading skills across grades and schools. Current trends, using the district’s local assessment tool “Track My Progress”, show strong growth in both areas from fall to spring/summer 2015-16, with gains maintained, if not enhanced, over the summer into the 2016-17 school year (a time when most students regress). This is likely due to summer services provided by district interventionists who had been trained in structured literacy by Stern Center staff over the past four years.
District leaders are immensely impressed:
“Since implementation, more students each year are meeting targets on Universal Assessment in the area of foundational skills. For example, 72% of first grade students met or exceeded the Foundational Skills target on Universal Assessment in December, and the group is on track to meet the district goal of 80%.”
– Michaela Martin, Co-Director of School Transformation