Park City School District

English Language Arts Plan FAQ

Why are we restructuring?

Restructuring to provide early intervention and foundation skills in literacy and numeracy

Why high quality preschool?

We believe in a stronger foundation skills in early learning for literacy and numeracy. A language rich program is required to have longitudinal gains.
In Park City School District, we have a nationally recognized preschool program with data to support students’ long-term increases in learning. The district’s preschool program limits class size to no more than 20 students, with one adult for every 10 children. Teachers either have a bachelor’s degree or a child development certification. The program’s curriculum is based on research-based high quality early childhood standards and requires ongoing professional training of teachers, frequent assessment of students, and significant data collection. According to Mismic (2014), academic rigor in preschool increases performance through kindergarten. Park City School District has the data to support this type of academic rigor. We have an extremely successful preschool model that shows lasting benefits for our students who have attended. Please see Promise Park City Data.The growth shown in the preschool students with no second language or literacy services is an indicator that this kind of instruction and structure is possible through Kindergarten and 1st grade.

Why all day kindergarten?

Our goal is to use the same model for our kindergarten to continue the pattern of achievement and learning for our students. We believe that all day kindergarten creates equity for all students in our district. Educational equity creates conditions in which each student can excel, including equity of educational opportunities and culturally responsive practices to promote each student’s academic success and well-being. Resources, policies and practices will be aligned to high expectations and successful outcomes for each student. The kindergarten will have a 20:1 ratio with a full time, benefitted aide. The scope and sequence for the kindergarten curriculum maps will be finalized in May 2016.

Beginning in 2016, Park City School District will offer free all day kindergarten for all students at each elementary school. Recent research is clear that students in a full day kindergarten perform significantly higher on tests of reading and math achievement at the end of school year in comparison with similar students in half-day kindergarten (Kay and Pennucia, 2014). This is particularly true in high quality kindergartens that challenge students with advanced rigorous content. (Claessens, Engel, and Curran, 2014). Park City School District is using the same model for all day kindergarten as the preschool program with staffing and program structure. All research indicates that change may not result in immediate increases in student performance but rigorous, language rich curriculum will provide lasting results.

What is tier 1,2,3?

Utah Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Definitions

Tier 3 is being addressed through combining the Title I monies, current ESL monies, and other funding sources to provide this instruction for our identified students.
All Tier 2 interventions happen within the classroom. Specific training for teachers is and will occur to identify struggling readers. To improve Tier 2 interventions instructional coaches and interventionists will be there to support and remediate the student deficits.

For more information review the Reading Presentation.

What is an interventionist?

The interventionist position is a new position. It is a method for continual improvement and an adjustment to the current reading and ESL services. Funding will be provided through the current maintenance and operations (M&O). No new monies are needed.

Who is working with the identified struggling readers in groups?

The teacher, assistance provided by instructional coaches and interventionist. PLC Teacher Collaborative Teams to draw upon expertise using data.

Who then is working with the on level ones? The teacher, Music, Art, PE, Dance

The high ones? The teacher, PACE specialist

What are we doing with students who do not speak any English?

Providing support through support from the interventionist (former ESL/ Title I Specialists, aides), direct support for Level 1/2

What are we doing in the upper grades?

Job embedded professional development, unit maps, district mandated professional development, teacher evaluations.

Are we keeping reading specialists in the schools?

For the 2015-2016 school year the reading specialists remain in the schools and have been modeling strategies for teachers and working with students in the classroom as a transition to next year. Next year we will not have reading specialists in the schools as our new English Language Arts plan no longer includes a pull-out reading program.

What is happening to the current reading and ESL aides?

We have adjusted the ESL and reading program with an intentional focus on early foundational skills. The current reading and ESL aides may apply and interview for other newly created positions.

How are we covering the costs of all day kindergarten, the interventionist, and kindergarten aides?

Our new English Language Arts plan no longer includes a pull-out reading program, and therefore we will not have reading specialists and reading aids in the elementary schools starting with the 2016-2017 school year. As a result of this program change we have funding to support all day kindergarten certified staff, the school interventionist, and aides.

This change in our English Language Arts plan led directly to the elimination of the reading specialist and reading aide roles. These positions were not eliminated in order to fund all day kindergarten.

Where is the ELL plan?

On our web-site under Departments, Student Services, Title III. Scroll to the bottom to Alternative Language Plan

How can we be the top school in ELA for the state?

We have high performing students but students are not meeting their learning growth targets.

If 7% proficient in English Language Arts for our ELL students is the "norm" in Utah, why isn't that one of our main goals?

7% is not acceptable for our students. This is the reason we are redoing are reading interventions, our ESL model, and our professional development.

What exactly are we classifying as reading intervention?

We use a multi-faceted data analysis. Students not at grade level standards as measured by SAGE, DIBELS, and Galileo.

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