Local News: Monett School Board hears RTI success (5/14/22)

Monett School Board Secretary Lonna Norman, left, delivers the oath of office to Brian Hunter, incumbent winning a three-year seat, Jared Wormington and Annie Smith, one-year board members, and Yesy Perez, incumbent winning a three-year seat at the April meeting of the board. Melonie Roberts/[email protected]

Elementary intervention program focuses on reading, spelling

Monett School Board members heard about the successes being seen in the Response to Intervention (RTI) program being implemented in third through sixth graders at Central Park Elementary and Monett Intermediate School.

“We started the program to meet the needs of children who struggle to read grade level text fluently or at a level that allows for comprehension,” said Melissa Creed, instructional coach. “We focus on assessment and intervention for struggling readers and students who have dyslexia characteristics.”

Outgoing board members Dr. JD Roberts, left, and Dave Beckett received the thanks of the Monett School Board President Brian Hunter for stepping in to fill some unexpected vacancies and helping lead the district through challenging times. Melonie Roberts/[email protected]

I believe told board members that there is a plethora of research concerning the science of reading and the cognitive processes of how the brain learns to read.

“Teaching children to read is complex,” she said. “The ‘ough’ in dough and doe sound the same but have very different meanings.”

Over the past five decades, Creed said thousands of studies had been conducted in multiple languages, learning how reading and writing develop, and why some students struggle.

“This program shows us how to effectively assess and teach these students and improve their outcomes through prevention and intervention,” Creed said.

A slide of the brain indicated the portions for language comprehension, pronunciation and articulation, and visual word forming. brain scans on one test subject indicated a starting benchmark in the ninth percentile, which increased to the 37th percentile after two months of remediation.

“The remediation program works for all students, which currently includes 100 at elementary and 40 at intermediate,” she said. “Every struggling reader or child with dyslexia is one science of reading-trained teacher away from being a successful reader.”

Creed said student data determines placement and instruction in the program.

Instructors keep a watch list for all students to ensure they don’t fall behind as they advance through the program.

“We have quite the long wait list,” she said.

Board reorganization was next on the list, with Brian Hunter named president by acclamation.

Ken Gaspar was named vice president and MSBA delegate, with Lonna Norman retaining her position as board secretary and Tracy Wimberley as treasurer. AJ Bahl was named alternate MSBA representative.

In his operations report, Steve Garner said new roof work was being completed at the middle school. Work also continues at the new middle school construction site, with brick having been delivered and upper framing underway.

A recent “Grow Your Own” program found 13 area colleges meeting with students planning to enter the field of education, with six of those ultimately signing on with universities. Three $500 scholarships were awarded at a reception honoring past, present and future teachers. The Grow Your Own program encourages students to return to their communities to teach after receiving their credentials.

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