Per reviewer’s request, the closing the gap component narrative now reflects and states the number of scholar who scored Low or Low Average. The narrative includes implications and how I decided to use or discontinue to use certain interventions.
The 2016-17 closing the gap action plan was created to address the achievement gap of ESOL scholars. The counseling department and leadership team were able to identify scholars in second grade who are struggling academically by reviewing various types of data. According to Melwood ES Diagnostic Reading Assessments (DRA) Report, three scholars were reading below grade level at the beginning of the second grade school year. Of the three scholars, two were ESOL. Also, our SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory) scores as a school increased from 62.3 % to 67.74%. However, 27% of second grade ESOL scholars scored Basic or below on the SRI last year compared to 14% that score Basic county-wide. During the 2016-17 school year, the MAP-R became the standardized assessment used to determine reading levels for grades 2-5. After completing the MAP-R in the fall of 2016, it was clear that there was an issue with our second grade reading level scores. A total 43 scholars scored low average or low during the fall of 2016. Of those scholars, 11 were ESOL. The 25% of ESOL scholars identified scored below grade level are in two of three classrooms. Class B has 5 ESOL scholars and Class C has 6 ESOL scholars. The goal was developed in an effort to support Prince George's County school district and Melwood ES goals of increasing reading scores and to provide additional academic support, not only for the second grade team, but our gap group.
Four core curriculum lessons were provided the second grade classes focusing on study skills, test taking skills/strategies, and organization. ESOL homework club was created to work on reading and math skills. A Stress Busters group was created to provide additional supports in a small group setting. A post MAP-R perception survey in the Stress Busters group revealed that 27% prefer online MAP-R testing instead of paper, 36% feels knowledgeable about the MAP-P, 81% is excited about the MAP-R, and 72% new how to prepare for the MAP-R. Other intervention included the following: taking technology classes to familiarize scholars with the use of a personal computer and laptop and increase writing skills via classroom. In addition, I attended parent-teacher conferences and hosted RtI meetings for an ESOL scholar struggling academically. Three RtI meetings were held in six-week intervals. The RtI team suggested the following interventions for the scholar: Read to older sibling every night for 10 minutes and ask questions for comprehension, begin LLI (Leveled Literacy Intervention) in small groups, and work with school counseling on decision making/problem solving skills.
The interventions and activities were effective for our ESOL scholars. A total of 81% of our second grade ESOL scholars increased their score by 10. During the first MAP-R testing 4 ESOL scholar scored Low and 40 scored Low Average. Scholars who were active in both the homework club and attended the Stress Busters group monthly increased their MAP-R scores. The scholar who went through the RtI process, improved his reading level by 15. As I reflect on growing next school year and reviewing the implications, a few changes will occur. Parent involvement and support is a must. During the school year we offered quarterly PASS (Parents As Successful Scholars) Academy. To increase parent participation, I will work with our parent engagement officer in brainstorming ideas to get our ESOL parent more involved. MAP-R and other testing workshops was offered to parents to familiarize them of the test. Only 18 parents signed up for MAP-R, 4 of them were parents of second grade scholars and 1 was an ESOL parent.
There are several implications that result from reviewing results data. Next year, more classroom lessons will be provided to second grade scholars. In the future, and because of the results data for current ESOL scholars, I will track their grades as they prepare to that the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) in the third grade. Working with the ESOL teacher and SPMT; and reviewing WIDA data and other specific data (ie. grades, attendance) for this school year and upcoming school is beneficial. I will also look into inviting mentors to work with this population as well. Future group session topics may also include work habits and problem-solving to improve