Thursday, October 4, 2012

Targeted Services

Our Kindergarten program went through a major change for this school year. In the past we each had two classes - Red Day and Blue Day. The students would attend on alternating days. This meant that we each had over 40 students. Included in those students there were a handful of everyday students that were either on IEP's or were retained from the previous year.

Fast-forward to this year... Each teacher has only one class and all students attend Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This means that we moved from 3.5 Kindergarten teachers (one was only part-time!) to 7 teachers. We also hired 6 new paraprofessionals for the program. Quite the change in staffing in the Kindergarten hallway!

So what does this have to do with Targeted Services? Well, since I was already a full-time employee, the district offered me the opportunity to teach the students who need extra help on Mondays and Fridays. Obviously I wanted to remain full-time so I accepted! This was the first time a program like this was offered in the district and we were starting from scratch. We completed assessments with all of the students in Kindergarten to determine which students would qualify for the additional help. The classes were formed and we started just a few weeks ago. It has been amazing! I can already tell that these extra classes will make a big difference! I can't wait to see the results from the screenings this winter and again in the spring.

Does anyone else have a program like this in their district? We call ours "Kindergarten Plus" but it is funded through a program entitled, "Targeted Services." I'm curious to learn about what others do in their schools. What do you do with struggling Kindergarten students?

Ultimately, we would like to see everyday K funded through the state. The state currently funds Kindergarten at .6, which is really sad. Hopefully someday soon we will see this happen!

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