Thanks to a New York State Education Department grant, teachers at Hannibal High School have formulated a plan designed to provide additional support to students struggling with reading and writing.
The data-driven literacy intervention grant, issued earlier this year, funded the collaboration of six secondary-level teachers and their development of a Response To Intervention plan at Hannibal High School. After meeting multiple times over the course of two months, the six-person team comprised of Hannibal English teachers and other personnel were able to put their ideas on paper.
“Our charge was to create an RTI for the building to do literacy instruction and to create our dream,” said Courtney Best, who served as the grant facilitator. “It’s very rare for teachers to get together and create an RTI process for this age group. This is ground-breaking for the high school. It is a dream and we’re hoping it moves forward, that would be amazing.”
That dream, as outlined by the committee of six, is a multi-pronged approach targeting freshmen. It calls for a guided study hall, which would be overseen by a teaching assistant and would be specifically for students who are not completing homework or class assignments.
The plan also calls for a literacy lab where students would be required to read select book titles individually and aloud, identify unknown words and study vocabulary words.
According to Best, this proposal is a critical component in addressing literacy issues among high school students.
“It’s (very) important to have a plan that focuses on literacy,” she said. “Students need to have good literacy skills to be successful in any of their classes. All content areas are focusing on literacy and are receiving professional development in this area. The district sees that as a significant need.”
Although the plan has been drafted, Best noted that the vision is a long-term one.
“An RTI process is a fluid process where it starts as a seed; so this is just a seed we’re planting and it should develop over the next five or six years. I’m hoping we can revise it and refine it as we go along,” she said.