CHICAGO HEIGHTS | School District 206 will introduce two new programs as part of the Response to Instruction and Intervention plan designed to help raise student grades.
Megan Springer, a teacher at Bloom Trail and a RTII coordinator for the district, presented the programs to the board Monday night.
Springer said every Illinois school district must have a detailed plan to help students who are failing.
“The current district plan has been in place since 2010,” Springer told the board. “While we have had success with our plan, we feel we can make significant improvements in the plan, which will result in better test scores and grades for our students.”
According to Illinois state law, each district must have a working plan for the bottom 20 percent of students.
“We want to expand beyond the minimum state requirements,” Springer told the board.
Springer suggested adding two new programs in January.
The first program would be an after school program for freshmen who are failing in one or more of the core classes – math, English, history, or science. Students would receive instruction in a small group setting. In addition to instruction, students would have the opportunity to complete missing assignments and hand them in for credit.
“One of the biggest reasons for failing a class is missing assignments,” Springer said. “By having the students complete these after school, with tutors available to help, will reduce the failing grades we are seeing.”
The second program would take place during school hours. It is designed for freshmen who test well, but underachieve due to poor organizational skills.
“Many of our struggling students have trouble getting organized,” Springer explained. “Time management is a challenge for them.”
Students would go to the program instead of physical education twice a week to work on strengthening organizational and time management skills.
“These students should be able to return to the mainstream in a much shorter period of time,” Springer said.
School Superintendent Lennell Navarre told the board he wholly supports the proposed programs.
“We have been working very hard to raise the number of graduates in our district, and reduce the number of dropouts,” Navarre said. “This is the next logical step in that work.”
The board unanimously approved both programs. They will begin in January.