District using interventionists to increase student achievement

District using interventionists to increase student achievement
Posted on 10/17/2019
Reading interventionistMehlville School District is using math and reading interventionists, primarily in our elementary schools, as a method to increase student achievement.

There are six math interventionists. There are also reading interventionists who work primarily in grades K-2 and 25 reading specialists dispersed throughout the district.

“The logic behind where we place them is to put them in buildings that are having struggles in that particular subject area,” said Dr. Brian Smith, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning.

Julie McNamara was a first grade teacher at Rogers Elementary for 11 years before transitioning to the reading interventionist role for this school year.

“I loved the idea of being able to focus just on reading,” McNamara said. “That is such a huge thing in kindergarten, first and second grade to give the kids a foundation in reading and decoding and comprehension.” 

Smith and McNamara both say that a common misconception is that interventionists only work with students who are struggling.

“A lot of times, parents think my job is to work with students who need extra help, but in reality, I get to work with all kindergarten, first and second grade students,” McNamara said. “The goal is to work with all students at some point during the year.”

“The goal is to provide more specialized instruction,” Dr. Smith said. “It’s more a focus on instructional strategies to find ways that can interest the various needs of the learner.”

Watch the video to learn more about the use of interventionists in Mehlville School District.


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