Educational Support

Educational Support

Julie Muffler comes to Borden Elementary most recently from Huntsville, Alabama where she worked at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center as an education specialist. Ms. Muffler is a veteran teacher having taught in the public school systems in Indiana, Illinois, and Texas. Both her Bachelors and Masters degrees are in elementary education. She is enjoying getting to know the students and is very excited about teaching art this year!  

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of West Clark Community Schools is to provide each child with appropriate educational experiences corresponding to their academic ability. West Clark Community Schools recognizes that some students perform at, or show the potential to perform at, an outstanding level of accomplishment in core academic subjects. These students are found in all socio-economic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. West Clark Community Schools recognizes the need to identify these students through systematic, on-going procedures and to provide differentiated curriculum and instruction in core academic subjects in order to develop their talents in these areas.

 

GENERAL DEFINITION
A high ability learner (HAL) is a student who performs at, or shows potential for performing at an outstanding level of accomplishment when compared with other students of the same age, experience, or environment and is characterized by exceptional gifts, talents, motivations, or interests. (Indiana Code 20-10.1-5.1-2)

 

 

PROGRAM GOALS
Goal 1 – High Ability Learners in grades K-12 will be identified regardless of gender, race, age or socio-economic background.

Objectives:
• To have a reliable, consistent identification procedure to identify high ability learners and to share identification procedures with teachers and parents.
• To make early identification of high ability learners a priority by allowing students to be referred from any grade at any time.
• To evaluate the identification protocol and the high ability program as a whole on a regular basis.

 

Goal 2 – All Staff and stakeholders will be trained in the academic, social, and emotional needs of High Ability Learners.

Objectives:
• To train all instructional, guidance, and support staff to appropriately work with HALs.
• To provide on-going professional development to promote appropriate differentiated instruction in the core subject areas.
• To encourage additional high ability professional development such as attending conferences on high ability education.

 

Goal 3 – To provide challenging, differentiated curriculum and instruction that corresponds with the ability and achievement levels of identified HALs.

Objectives:
• To implement best practices for differentiated teaching and learning specific to the needs of HALs (such as tiered lessons, ability grouping, flexible grouping, and acceleration).
• To adapt, modify, or replace the regular classroom curriculum with more in-depth and accelerated content to maximize potential and meet the advanced learning needs of HALs.
• To continue to explore the best practices and best strategies, such as enrichment or acceleration of HALs.

 

 

SERVICE DESCRIPTION

Elementary School
West Clark Community Schools serves elementary high ability students through the Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model (SCGM). High Ability Learners will be placed in cluster groups at each grade level.  The number of cluster groups will vary depending on the number of High Ability students in the grade level. The teacher will differentiate the curriculum for the HALs by using various strategies, such as, but not limited to, curriculum compacting, tiered lessons, ability grouping, flexible grouping, acceleration, and independent study projects. The High Ability Coordinator will serve as a resource to the cluster teachers, as needed.

In addition, students in grades 3 and up in elementary school are invited to participate in T.H.I.N.K. class once a week.  In T.H.I.N.K class students will practice problem solving using a variety of strategies,complete leveled activities at which they can work at their own pace and level, engage in whole class, cooperative activities focused on critical thinking, and complete team challenges that focus on communication, cooperation and creativity.

 

Middle School
High Ability Learners entering middle school are looked at individually to determine the best class placement for these students depending on their academic strengths and interests. Course offerings vary depending on what school the student attends. Please contact the school’s counselor for additional information on course offerings. HALs may also be clustered into a classroom where the teacher will differentiate the curriculum for the HALs by using various strategies, such as, but not limited to, curriculum compacting, tiered lessons, ability grouping, flexible grouping, acceleration, and independent study projects. The High Ability Coordinator will serve as a resource to the cluster teachers, as needed.

 

High School
High Ability Learners entering high school are also looked at individually to determine the best class placement. HALs are encouraged to take Advanced Placement courses and Dual Credit offered through Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana University, and Vincennes University.  Course offerings vary depending on what school the student attends.  Please contact the school’s counselor for additional information on course offerings. Silver Creek High School and Borden High School also have Project Lead the Way Engineering and Biomedical programs. In addition to dual enrollment in high school and college courses and Advanced Placement courses, Silver Creek High School offers a special class that is interdisciplinary as a service option. The topics for this four-year program consist of Art and Architecture, Discovery, World Civilizations, and Conflict. An extended curricular trip is associated with each year’s study to give the students first hand exposure to the concepts being studied.

 

SCREENING
During the Spring semester all students in grades K and 2 are administered the CogAT Screener, which measures learned reasoning and problem solving skills in three areas: verbal, quantitative and non-verbal.  Students who score in the top 25% of the grade level at their home school will be placed in the nomination pool.

 

The High Ability committee will also actively seek new referrals from teachers or parents for students not already identified in grade 5 at SCE, grade 6 at BES & HES and grade 8 across the district.  These students will also be placed in the nomination pool.

 

Students in the nomination pool will be invited to participate in further testing to determine eligibility for High Ability placement (to begin the following school year).  These students will be further assessed with the full CogAT and the Iowa Assessments, if needed. Additional data is also collected for each student, such as, but not limited to, Acuity, M-class, Dibels, DRAs, ISTEP scores, classroom grades, teacher recommendation, and reports of classroom performance.

 

In May the High Ability Study Council reviews data collected on students in the nomination pool to determine placement for the following school year. 

 

IDENTIFICATION FOR SERVICES
Decisions regarding placement for High Ability services will be made by the High Ability Study Council.   Students can qualify for high ability placement in multiple ways:

 

Students in grades K & 1 qualify as a High Ability ELA student by:

  • achieving a Verbal Reasoning score in the confidence band of the 95th percentile on the CogAT
  • achieving a Verbal Reasoning score between the 85th – 94th percentile AND an ELA (English/Language Arts) TOTAL score at or above the 95th percentile on the Iowa Assessments.

Students in grades 2-8 qualify as a High Ability ELA student by:

  • achieving a Verbal Reasoning score in the confidence band of the 95th percentile on the CogAT
  • achieving a Verbal Reasoning score between the 85th – 94th percentile AND an ELA (English/Language Arts) TOTAL score at or above the 95th percentile on the Iowa Assessments
  • achieving a Verbal Reasoning score between the 85th – 94th percentile, an ELA (English/Language Arts) TOTAL score between the 85th – 94th percentile on the Iowa Assessments, and performing at an outstanding level of accomplishment when compared to other students of the same age, experience, or environment, as determined by the High Ability Study Council.​

​Students in grades K & 1 qualify as a High Ability Math student by:

  • achieving a Quantitative Reasoning score in the confidence band of the 95th percentile on the CogAT
  • achieving a Quantitative/Non-Verbal Composite score in the confidence band of the 95th percentile on the CogAT
  • achieving a Quantitative Reasoning or Quantitative/Non-Verbal Composite score between the 85th – 94th percentile AND a Mathematics total score at or above the 95th percentile on the Iowa Assessments.

​Students in grades 2 – 8 qualify as a High Ability Math student by:

  • achieving a Quantitative Reasoning score in the confidence band of the 95th percentile on the CogAT
  • achieving a Quantitative/Non-Verbal Composite score in the confidence band of the 95th percentile on the CogAT
  • achieving a Quantitative Reasoning or Quantitative/Non-Verbal Composite score between the 85th – 94th percentile AND a Mathematics total score at or above the 95th percentile on the Iowa Assessments.
  • achieving a Quantitative or Quantitative/Non-Verbal Composite score between the 85th – 94th percentile, a Mathematics total score between the 85th – 94th percentile on the Iowa Assessments, and performing at an outstanding level of accomplishment when compared to other students of the same age, experience, or environment, as determined by the High Ability Study Council. 

Students qualify as a High Ability General Intellectual student by:

  • qualifying as both a High Ability Math AND ELA student

 

 

CONTINUED PLACEMENT

A student who qualifies for High Ability placement at the end of Kindergarten will be placed in the program for grades 1 & 2.  At the end of 2nd grade, students will participate in the screening process again and must “re-qualify” to remain in the program.  This is necessary because learned reasoning ability and achievement scores can change rapidly in the primary grades.  Therefore, it’s important to make sure that students who qualified at the end of Kindergarten are still performing up to the same standard, when compared to their same-aged peers at the end of second grade.

 

A student who is identified at the end of 2nd grade will remain in the program indefinitely unless a students begins to perform poorly in the program and the Exit Procedures (described below) are initiated by a teacher or parent. 

 

 

PETITIONING/APPEALS PROCEDURES
An appeal process is in place in the event the a child is not placed for High Ability services, and a teacher, parent, or other person close to the child challenges this decision.

The following steps clarify the appeal process:

1. The petitioner contacts the High Ability Coordinator who provides an appeal request form.


2. Appeal request form is completed and delivered to the High Ability Coordinator.


3. Coordinator reviews student profile and requests alternative assessments from School Psychological Services. Alternative assessments may include:

 

       • Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (2nd edition) (K-BIT2)


       • Wechsler Preschool & Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI)


       • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV)

 

4. School Psychological Services administers an alternative assessment within 60 school days and forwards results to the petitioner and the High Ability Coordinator.

 

 

EXIT PROCEDURES
If a student, parent, or teacher believes a high ability placement for services is no longer appropriate, he or she may:


1. Arrange a conference with the parties involved, including the parent and the teacher(s) providing services.


2. Parent, student, and teacher examine issues of concern and discuss interventions that may be implemented.


3. Participants agree on a probationary period not less than one semester to implement interventions.


4. At the end of probationary period, all parties involved meet to review progress and determine whether or not the student should exit services.


5. If an exit is deemed appropriate, the parent signs permission to “de-flag” student for high ability placement and services.


6. Parent Permission for exit and documentation of meetings/interventions are sent to the High Ability Coordinator.


7. High Ability Coordinator removes high ability flag for student in the student management system.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

For more information please contact Christina Pearson, High Ability Coordinator at cpearson@westclarkschools.com

McKinney-Vento Act Residency and Educational Rights Information

In Indiana over 29,000 children experience homelessness each year.

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act was created with the goal of ensuring the enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless children and youth in school. 

 

The McKinney Vento Act provides certain rights for homeless students. This includes waiving certain requirements such as proof of residency when students are enrolling and allowing eligibility for certain services, such as free textbooks. 

 

When families and students find themselves in transition due to their housing situation, it is important that they know their rights regarding education. If students meet the requirements as stated in the McKinney-Vento Act (42 U.S.C 11431 et seq., Title VII, Subtitle B), their rights are as follows:

  • Students may attend their school of origin or the school where they are temporarily residing.
  • Students must be provided a written statement of their rights when they enroll and at least two additional times per year.
  • Students may enroll without school, medical or similar records.
  • Students have a right to transportation to school.
  • Students must be provided a statement explaining why they are denied enrollment or any other services.
  • Students must receive services, such as transportation, while disputes are being settled.
  • Students are automatically eligible for Title I services. Educational services for which the homeless student meets eligibility criteria including services provided under Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or similar State or local programs, educational programs for students with limited English proficiency.

 

According to the U.S. Department of Education, people living in the following situations are considered homeless:

  • Doubled up with family or friends due to loss of housing or economic hardship
  • Living in motels and hotels for lack of other suitable housing
  • Runaway and displaced children and youth
  • Unaccompanied Youth
  • Homes for unwed or expectant mothers for lack of a place to live
  • Homeless and domestic violence shelters
  • Transitional housing programs
  • The streets
  • Abandoned buildings
  • Public places not meant for housing
  • Cars, trailers (does not include mobile homes intended for permanent housing), and campgrounds
  • Awaiting foster care
  • Migratory children staying in housing not fit for habitation

 

Questions may be directed to the WCCS McKinney Vento Liaison: Mrs. Jill Gerlach – 812-246-3375.

Title I, Part A

The mission of Title I is to provide a continuum of services and resources to Title I districts and charter schools that enrich curriculum and instruction, promote interaction and coordination of supplementary services and resources, and result in excellence and high expectations for educators and students. Through collective efforts, we endeavor to increase accountability for all participants in the educational process; enhance cooperation between school and home; provide educators in Title I schools with greater autonomy for shared decision-making; and most importantly, promote increased educational performance of students attending Title I schools.

 http://www.doe.in.gov/titlei

 

West Clark Title I Director:

Clemen Perez-Lloyd,  Cperez-lloyd@westclarkschools.com

 

What is a targeted assistance school? (TAS)

A targeted assistance school, primarily addressed in ESEA Section 115 of Title I, uses Title I, Part A funds to provide services to a select group of children, those identified as failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet state standards, rather than overall school improvement, as in schoolwide programs.

 

A targeted assistance school must meet the following requirements:

  • Part A funds may be used in targeted assistance schools only for programs that provide services to eligible children identified as having the greatest need for special services.
  • Part A funds must be used for services that supplement, and do not supplant, the services that would be provided, in the absence of Part A funds, from non-federal sources.
  • Records must be maintained that document that Part A funds are spent on activities and services for only Part A participating students.

 More information about Targeted assistance program: www2.ed.gov/legislation/ESEA/Title_I/target.html

 

What is a Schoolwide Title I Program ?  (SWP)

A central aspect of schoolwide programs is their focus on the provision of Title I activities and services to all students in the school.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are three “ core elements” of a Title I schoolwide program:

A school operating a schoolwide program must conduct a comprehensive needs assessment that identifies the school’s strengths and challenges in key areas that affect student achievement.

The school must develop a comprehensive schoolwide plan that describes how it will achieve the goals it has identified as a result of its needs assessment.

The school must evaluate annually the outcomes and the plan’s implementation to determine whether the academic achievement of all students, and particularly of low-achieving students, improved, whether the goals and objectives contained in the plan were achieved, and if the plan is still appropriate as written.

 

West Clark Title I Schools

Silver Creek Primary School

Title I – Targeted Program   

Maggie Epkey  Mepkey@westclarkschools.com

Silver Creek Elementary 

Title I – Targeted Program

Jon Sifers  JSifers@westclarkschools.com

Borden Elementary

Title I – Targeted Program

Lisa Gardner  LGardner@westclarkschools.com

Henryville Elementary

Title I – Schoolwide Program

Kim LaMaster at KLaMaster@westclarkschools.com

ABOUT BORDEN ELEMENTARY

We believe in our students. We believe in their ability. We believe in their creativity. We believe in their intelligence. We believe in their enthusiasm to all the things they believe in. We believe in their liveliness. We believe in their innocence. We believe in their talent to overcome obstacles in their lives that would make many of us want to give up. We believe in our students.

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