Westford Public Schools
We are fortunate to have a variety of regular education reading intervention options for our elementary students who need support beyond classroom instruction. These include Reading Recovery (gr. 1), Literacy Specialist (gr. K-2), Reading Resource Facilitator (gr. 1-5), and Title 1 (Miller, Nabnasset, & Day Schools).
A selection process is used to determine students’ eligibility for these programs at the beginning of each school year. Students who are referred for possible placement are selected using several criteria including teacher recommendation, level-specific formal and informal reading assessments, report card grades, and a review of their classroom work habits. Staff rank-order students by need and an appropriate intervention program is recommended for those that qualify. The goal is to provide all students with the most supportive reading instruction possible so they can continue to grow as readers during the year.
Administrators, the English language arts coordinator, classroom teachers, and support staff meet regularly throughout the year to monitor all students’ progress in reading and make recommendations as necessary for students entering or exiting a program.
Teachers are responsible for the reading instruction of each of their students. They work collaboratively with staff to ensure classroom instruction is supported and meets the needs of those students that are receiving other services .
The student’s classroom teacher will notify parents/guardians if their child is selected for one of these programs.
Reading Recovery (Funded by the operational budget)
The Reading Recovery Program is an intensive, early intervention program for our most at-risk grade one students. It is a research-based, nationally recognized program that is taught by highly trained teachers. Each Reading Recovery (RR) teacher services eight students during round I for 16-20 weeks, depending on the needs of the students. At the beginning of the first grade year, referred students and any students new to the school are screened using an approved RR assessment. All students are ranked, and the highest-ranking students are selected to participate in the program. RR teachers typically service eight new students for round II or keep a few of round I students, if these students still require this intervention. Each student receives a one-on-one lesson five days a week for at least thirty minutes. Approved RR
instructional strategies and materials are used in this program. They include the use of leveled readers for increasing vocabulary, comprehension, and word analysis strategies, word work (phonics, sight words), manipulatives, and daily journal writing.
Literacy Specialists (Funded by the operational budget)
The K-2 literacy specialists are certified reading teachers and provide a variety of instructional interventions to our most struggling students in reading and writing across the grade levels. These specialists provide resources, support, and some professional development to teachers under the guidance of the English language arts coordinator and principals, and compliment and expand the existing pre-referral programs. Small groups or individual students are seen for about 30 minutes, four-five times each week by each literacy specialist, primarily in the classroom during literacy block. Their caseloads may change throughout the year as students make progress or are recommended for services in another support program.
Reading Resource Facilitators (Funded by the operational budget)
The Reading Resource Facilitator (RRF) Program has been a support service option for almost 22 years for students in grades one through five. There are two part-time reading resource facilitators at each of the primary schools and three at each of the intermediate schools. At the K-2 level, the RRF caseload is made up of students who did not qualify for other programs but still require extra support to continue to make progress in reading. At the intermediate level, support is provided through individual or small group instruction and typically is scheduled 3-5 times a week. All RRFs work closely with classroom teachers and the English language arts coordinator to supplement the curriculum that is taught in the classroom. A variety of leveled books, RRF-made materials, and commercial materials are used with
Title I Program (Funded through a grant)
Nabnasset, Miller, and Day are our K-2 targeted schools this year. One Title I tutor is assigned to each of these schools to provide daily support to a caseload of students. Students typically remain in the Title I program for the school year unless significant progress is made and it is determined that they no longer need services. Tutors provide support to their students mostly within the classroom setting. A small percentage of time is allotted for pull-out services to students and is conducted during non-instructional times throughout the day. The tutors administer on-going assessments to their students to monitor their progress and determine the most appropriate instructional strategies and materials to use in the tutorial sessions. A variety of manipulative materials, leveled books, and activities are used to strengthen
the identified areas of weakness. Our Title I tutors are highly qualified paraprofessionals who work collaboratively with teachers, the principals, and the English language arts coordinator to meet the needs of their students.
If you have any questions about our elementary regular education reading support programs, please do not hesitate to contact Margie Berenson, English Language Arts Coordinator, at (978) 692-5560 – Extension 2116.