Meeting The Needs Of All Learners!

Dear Readers,

Each week I send the Pleasantdale 107 staff an email titled “Bright Spots”.  The purpose of this email to to highlight the wonderful work happening in our schools and recognize our amazing students and staff.  I am particularly proud of the program being recognized this week and thought I would share this week’s Bright Spots with you.

Have a great day,

Greetings, Colleagues,

One of the things that makes our district strong is the diversity of our students.  When we think of diversity, we often think of a melting pot of cultures that make our classroom environments rich with students whom have differing life experiences.  However, we also have a great diversity of learners within our schools.  This year, a very special group of students matriculated to the middle school.  While all of our students are extraordinary, the children in our middle school extended resource program are truly exceptional!  The extended resource program serves students who have comprehensive learning needs and is staffed by a dedicated team of teachers and aides.  

The goal of the extended resource program is to serve students’ unique learning styles in a way that ensures their growth and development.  At the same time, we want to ensure that these students have a traditional middle school experience that includes participation in clubs, attendance at activities, and positive peer relationships.  Over the course of the summer, the staff who serve these students worked to put the curriculum in place, staff the program, and set up the room to meet the students’ needs.  As the year began, the staff worked to build relationships with students and reinforce strong academic habits.  When we look at the outcomes from this program, it is clear that students in the extended resource program are growing by leaps and bounds.  Below is a table that outlines just a few of the students’ MAP scores:

As we make the transition from focusing on attainment to growth as a measure of success, it is clear that these students are on the right path.  In addition to making academic growth, the students in the extended resource program are involved in a variety of clubs and activities, are social with friends at lunch, and communicate their learning with peers and adults.  I am proud of the staff who have worked so hard to give these students an authentic middle school experience and helped them to grow so much (both academically and socially) in such a short period of time.  This week’s Bright Spots goes out to our Extended Resource staff:
Andrea Mars, Juliet Miglieri, Elizabeth Camis, Kathy Kras, Stacy Savas, Jennifer Mehlman, Carrie Castaldo, Wendy Rydberg, Renee Cafculus, and Candy Papanicholas.  You are making a difference in your students’ lives and make our school a better place.

Have a great weekend,

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