Literacy and Math Support
Our literacy and/or math support is designed to provide intervention with the reading and math processes for students in need of additional support. This more specialized instruction is delivered during POLAR Time in small-group instruction focused on reading and math strategies and thinking processes. The goal is to accelerate each child's progress in order to become an independent reader and mathematician.
Students are selected for participation in the literacy and/or math support on the basis of multi-criteria. Our goal is that all students qualifying will be served in a capacity appropriate to the student’s needs. Please refer to the Response to Intervention link for more information about how student needs are matched with appropriate interventions.
In Jackson, two schools will be served this year with Title I services -- Amherst and Lake Cable Elementary. Title I programs are open to students that meet designated criteria attending those schools. All other schools are provided support through local funding.
Each grade level team is made up of teachers that have received additional training in reading, math or gifted education. Literacy and/or math support is provided by classroom teachers, full time reading teachers and part-time tutors during POLAR Time. Specialized training has been given in programs such as Reading Recovery, Leveled Literacy Instruction, Fundations and Math AddVantage.
Most others hold a master's degree and/or other specialist degrees in reading or math instruction or gifted education. The district holds ongoing professional development utilizing release days (half day and full day), professional learning communities (PLCs), building leadership team (BLT) meetings, waiver days, online learning modules, and summer days.
POLAR Time stands for Purposeful, Organized, Learning, and Review Time. This is a 30 minute period when there is no new instruction and it allows teachers to intervene in areas of need.
Interventions and Materials
A more detailed description of the types of interventions offered during POLAR Time can be found here. Materials are determined by the individual needs of each student and may include such things as children’s literature, leveled readers, textbooks, magazines, student-made books, teacher-made activities, educational software, and multi-sensory equipment. Math intervention is delivered through hands-on activities and math games.
Impact On Literacy and Math Instruction
Each year the effectiveness of the literacy and/or math support is evaluated and adapted to continually better meet student needs. The district uses a variety of assessments to measure progress including, but not limited to the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment in Reading, MAP-Measures of Academic Progress and Ohio’s Reading Test. Students’ retention rates, classroom teachers’ recommendations, student progress reports. A significant portion of individual student gains can be attributed to classroom teachers’ instruction with the additional support of POLAR Time instruction.
Some gains in literacy and math, however, are not measurable by standardized tests. Growth in self-confidence, an increased interest in reading and math, choosing to read or write for enjoyment and sharing books with friends, and initiating the play of math games are also important outcomes of the intervention.
Families of students receiving literacy and/or math support have the opportunity to participate in the design and implementation of the program and are involved in a variety of ways; individual conferences, parent information meetings, literacy and math parent nights, and end-of-year program evaluation. Families are important partners in our work with your children.
Jackson Local Schools literacy and/or math support is jointly funded by local and federal funds. The federal funds come from the Title I. Not all of Jackson’s schools qualify for these funds. Selection of schools within the district is determined on the basis of the number of students receiving free or reduced-priced lunches. This year the Title I schools are Amherst and Lake Cable Elementary. In all buildings, additional support is provided by local funds.