Targeted Learning Labs
The Mill Valley School District has improved our intervention model and developed individual targeted reading goals for every elementary school student. In this new system, each child has an opportunity to vastly improve their reading skills whether they begin the year below, at, or above grade level.
Our Targeted Learning Labs (TLL) have been developed for our elementary students to create the opportunity for differentiated learning in small, flexible groups targeted to the needs of each student based on frequent assessment. Our Targeted Learning Labs are currently focusing on reading skills, and feature:
Uninterrupted Learning Blocks
- Every grade has scheduled instruction time dedicated to the TLL four days per week. This creates time for targeted instruction with fidelity, and allows all students to get what they need.
- Each child works toward a specific reading goal.
- There is time dedicated to meaningful conversation between staff members
- Uses of 6 week cycles of learning to monitor progress.
- New, flexible learning groups created for each 6 week cycle
- Students are not tracked in groups, as group membership shifts with new assessments each cycle to ensure students are focusing on their updated goal.
Increased Staff Resources
- A Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) has been hired at each school.
- TOSAs have dedicated time scheduled to meet with the teaching team to discuss students' progress
- TOSAs instruct students
Background and Development of Targeted Learning
- TLL is intended to replace the K-5 RAMP program, where students reading below grade level were pulled out of class for specialized instruction inconsistently across the district. Students pulled out of class missed the high level instruction. Missing these lessons created an inequity and inability to move out of RAMP.
- TLL keeps all students in the classroom and every student, no matter the skill level, is provided small group, specialized attention.
- Funds contributed by the state via the California Extended Learning Opportunities fund, which provides for accelerating progress to close learning gaps through the implemntation, expansion, or enhahncement of learning supports, and additional academic services for students.
- Aligns with our Strategic Plan and LCAP goals, which call for us to provide targeted academic support for all learners (goal 1, action 3), assessments designed to ensure students meet or exceed standards (goal 2, action 2) and analyzing data to effectively support learning (goal 2, action 2).
Progress and Updates
- The program was implemented at the beginning of this school year with a slower start to give all staff and students time to adjust to the new system. We will continue to update and adjust the program as we analyze student data.
- TOSAs meet at the District Office twice a month to receive professional develpment and discuss the program's progress.
- District leadership is closely monitoring the progress of the program.
- The previous RAMP program, at times and inconsistently, addressed students' math needs. The current Targeted Learning program is not specifically addressing math as a separate entity, but may in the future. However, worldwide, research has shown that reading comprehension is one of the largest factors affecting math comprehension, so we look forward to seeing growth across both academic areas as we initially focus on reading skills.
- We are also targeting student math needs in other ways such as: a newly purchased math fluency online program, REFLEX and FRAX for all elementary students, access to iReady to support math comprehension, differentiating math in the general education classroom, and the formation of a math committee that will research, examine, and practice differentiation, assessments, and the upcoming refresh of the California Math Frameworks.