Response To Intervention and House Time at St.Pat’s!
“Gone are the days when hard work and elbow grease were enough for the average person to make a living. To prepare for successful life in a competitive global marketplace, today’s students must learn more than the three R’s (reading, writing, arithmetic’s); they must also master the higher–level thinking skills required to continue to learn beyond high school” (Buffum, Mattos, Weber, 2012). Response to Intervention (RTI) is a step–by–step tiered process that includes systematic, research–based instruction and interventions for struggling learners. It is a process of providing testing to determine if students need help, the intervention, and then further testing to ensure the interventions are working. The instruction and interventions are matched to the needs of the students. It is designed to be an early intervention process to prevent long–term academic failure and to help children adapt to the general education classroom.
WHAT GOES ON IN HOUSE? Out of a 10–Day cycle, the students will benefit from 6 House periods, 28 minutes each. Two House periods will be dedicated for teacher intervention with students. The remaining four House periods will be devoted to the development of the whole person. Every student at St. Patrick’s High School belongs to a House group. They have House class every day. Here, they meet with the same teacher every day—their House Teacher. Here, they will be with the same classmates every day. This House group is made up of approximately 20 students, which is usually smaller than their academic classes. These small groups foster a sense of family, collaboration, connection and caring among students and staff. During this class, there is a positive interaction with a caring adult and their peers. This setting provides a sense of belonging for each which is vital to a positive school atmosphere. During this class, House Teachers and students explore themes such as getting acquainted, school adjustment, cultural diversity, group/team identity. A very important role of House is the monitoring of each student’s academic progress and study skills. During House, the students learn valuable skills such as how to use an agenda efficiently. The House Teachers will provide their students with suggestions on how to be organized or how to complete HW assignments. They may look at tips on avoiding procrastination or note taking skills. During House, they may take part in role –playing games that will promote good choices when school challenges arise. These activities reflect on issues such as fitting in, fear, strengths, individual behaviors and emotions. The activities may focus on the life skills of communication and conflict resolution. Peer relationships are very important to teenagers, and discussions within their House group can help clarify the importance of relationships and how to make and keep good friends. House periods may be used as Study Hall as well. House lessons are different for each grade level. For example, a Secondary 1 house class may focus primarily on ways to be organized in high school, or how to use the agenda efficiently; whereas, a Secondary 5 house class will focus on graduation standards, CEGEP preparation and job seeking strategies. House is a safe place where every student can be heard, a place where they can seek for help, a place to talk.