Area of Nomination: Literacy &
Special Education Instruction
Cooperstown Central School District
Grade Level: Elementary
Grade Level: Middle School
The practice is also featured as a Mentor School.
Cooperstown Central School is a small, rural district located in Central New York. Current enrollment consists of approximately 950 students in grades K-12, with about 405 students attending the elementary building. The campus is comprised of two buildings; an elementary school for grades kindergarten through five and a middle/high school building for students in grades six through twelve.
The guiding principle of the RTi Literacy Model includes the use of universal screening for all students in grades K-8. These benchmark assessments are completed three times per year, and include a variety of assessments designed to gauge the effectiveness of our literacy practices and identify students who are not making progress. Benchmark assessments are completed by their "Dream Team" which is comprised of a group of recently retired teachers. The Dream Team conducts the universal screening, ensuring the integrity of the test administration, data collection, and scoring. In addition to the screenings, teachers in grades 1-6 administer placement tests from our core reading program (Scott Foresman). With these are other sources of student data, targeted instructional planning can occur. Students who are identified as at-risk move through a 3-tiered system of interventions, including: • Tier 1/ Teacher Watch and Monitoring • Tier 1 with progress monitoring • Tier 2 Interventions, varying in frequency and intensity depending upon student response • Tier 3 referral to the Committee on Special Education for non responders.
Why was the practice initiated:
In 2005, the District began a school-wide literacy initiative in response to data analysis that targeted this as an area of need. At the center of this initiative was the development and implementation of a Response to Intervention (RTi) Model. CSC designed their model after an extensive review of the literature; including the word of Doug and Lynn Fuchs.
Why the practice was validated by S³TAIR:
Cooperstown Central School District has a sophisticated and well oiled
system for data collection, analysis and integration of information into
instructional planning. Data is collected systemically from multiple
sources and a team of retired teachers (Dream Team) ensure the integrity
of the test administration, data collection, and scoring. There are
schedules to ensure timely response, protocols to guide the process, and
check systems in place at every level of response. There is evidence
that changes have been made to the system based on an analysis and
understanding of data. CCSD has made a long term commitment to
job-embedded professional learning for all educators. A culture of
common language and a shared commitment to student learning has been
carefully nurtured over time. Leadership has been consistent and firm in
their support of the literacy initiative. Evidence supports that the
initiative has had a positive impact on student achievement. Fewer
students are being referred to special education.