Williamston Schools thrive on Tier System

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By Julie Dunmire
The Williamston Post

A presentation on educational improvements made in Williamston Community schools was given to the school board at their last meeting. The primary focus was the benefits the “tier system” has made in recent years.

IMG_2948The middle school made strides in increasing its proficiency across reading, writing and math, by preaching literacy to students.

This improvement can be attributed to the “tier” adaptation being put in place, to help at-risk students get the help they need, while encouraging higher-level learning for students who may be ahead.

Kelly Campbell, multi tiered system of supports coordinator, works hand in hand with both the middle school and high school curricula and says that working hard and as a team is the key to a student’s education.

“Really, our school improvement is about making sure all students are improving,” said Campbell. “We want to make sure all students have a quality core instruction that is going to give them 21st century skills.”

This skill set is one that should transfer into high school, as well. Williamston High School Principal Dr. Jeff Thoenes says that the coordination and transition from middle to high school is highly valued.

“The middle school and the high school coordinate really well,” said Thoenes. “Best I’ve seen in my career.”

This coordination overlaps from middle to high school, especially since many middle schoolers take math at the high school, and many high schoolers take classes for college credit.

The tier system encompasses behavior, as well as academia to make sure that all students are on track to success. By incorporating both behavior and academic performance, the multi-tiered system of supports is designed to identify students who need early intervention in both areas.

In an average school, the tier system should be administered as follows: all students are considered to be “tier 1,” or the area where students are given their core instruction. A smaller group of students are considered “tier 2” and those students receive additional academic or behavioral intervention. A very small group of “tier 3” students are those who need intensive intervention to improve their quality of education.

It’s the blend of both disciplines that is making strides in student success at Williamston Community Schools.

“We work on improving on communication, and blending behavior and academic skills to support students,” said Campbell.

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