As schools work to answer the question “How will we respond when some students do not learn?” they often start by looking for ways within their daily schedules to allocate time for interventions—time for students and teachers to drop everything and address specific skill gaps. Recently I’ve had several conversations with teachers and leaders who are making plans in their schools for this time. Having worked with several schools that have successfully made this time, I know it is imperative to simultaneously ask the fourth critical question of a PLC (“How will we respond when some students already know it?”). If Tier I instruction is quality, then only 15 to 20 percent of students should need interventions, which leaves at least 80 percent with no need for traditional interventions. If the time is going to be allocated to meet individual needs, the instruction during that time must be meaningful for all students.
Mary Hendricks-Harris is chief academic officer for the Francis Howell School District in Missouri. With more than 20 years of experience, Mary has been a special education teacher, director of special education, and director of assessment.
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