Academics

Senita Valley’s Academic Services includes:

Daily Math Skills (DMS) are used to reinforce basic grade-level math skills throughout the year. Math Reteach and Enrich is a block of time reserved for ensuring mastery in mathematics standards. All of Senita Valley’s certified and classified staff members are utilized. Each day from 12:30 – 1:00 p.m., students are either retaught or enriched on a specific standard through scaffolded instruction, task analysis, and spiral review. Based on grade level curriculum calendars, assessments measuring standards mastery are administered. These assessments are administered after specific state standards have been thoroughly taught. Once the assessment is scored, students performing at or above 80% are considered to be at mastery. Mastery students are placed in enrichment classes to revisit the standards using higher level thinking skills, including logic and reasoning. A student receiving a score of 79% or below is targeted for Reteach. Reteach classes instruct students using scaffolding and high student engagement activities such as Kagan structures. After students experience reteach lessons, they are reassessed for mastery on the specific standard. Some of the many advantages of Reteach and Enrich include: students work in small groups and are given individualized instruction; if a student does not achieve mastery after being reassessed, that student is targeted for more individualized instruction.

Reading Interventions are provided by a reading specialist for first and second grade students. Senita Valley’s reading specialist assesses struggling students to determine their individual needs. Individualized reading instruction is then provided. This supports the classroom teacher by ensuring that all reading state standards are mastered by all students. As one teacher stated, “Having the additional support of a reading specialist increases the confidence and self-esteem of the students and self-worth in their learning as they achieve success in reading.” Teachers have collectively agreed that they have seen a difference in struggling students self-image as they become successful readers.

Advanced Math Placement Classes are offered for students from second through eighth grade. Students are identified for placement in advanced math classes by teacher recommendation and qualified math specialist. standardized test scores. This service allows students to accelerate and advance beyond the regular classroom standards. For example, a second grader may be working on the fourth grade standards in math. By the time an advanced math student is in the eighth grade, he or she will have already taken high school math classes. These classes are instructed by a highly qualified teacher.

Headsprout is a program for students in kindergarten and first grade. It is an intensive phonics based reading program aimed toward students who fall far below grade level in reading. Students are identified for this program based on their performance using CBM or DIBBLES data. Students who rank in the bottom 12% of kindergarten and first grade reading scores are placed into the Headsprout Program. During the classroom reading block, Senita Valley’s Achievement teacher works with the students to assist them in becoming fluent readers. Eighty technology based lessons are supplemented with books and posters to keep track of how students are progressing. This program meets the needs of low readers by providing additional support with books and materials geared towards reading fluency. The built-in incentive program keeps students motivated.

Study Island (AIMS Test Preparation) has been created to improve students’ understanding of the state academic standards. This program also provides teachers with valuable diagnostic tools and information that enables them to help students master the state standards by preparing them for AIMS. Students can access Study Island from any computer on campus. A pre and post test are given to students. Once the pretest is given, students work at their own pace to complete essential standards in tested subject areas such as math and reading. As the standards are assessed and passed, a post test is given to measure progress and deficiencies. Reports give the teacher statistics which assist them in analyzing student performance. Study Island prepares students for the AIMS test.

DIBBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) is a standardized, individually administered measure of early literacy development. Short (one minute) fluency measures are used to regularly monitor the development of pre-reading and early reading skills by our Kindergartners here at Senita Valley. This research based test is a norm referenced assessment that is given three times a year. Interventions are given to students who are identified as low or below level readers. DIBBELS assessments allow first grade teachers to make an early identification of students who will need intensive reading instruction.

Reading Seeds includes community members and parents who are actively involved in the education of Senita Valley’s children. These volunteers show their commitment by meeting with students weekly, one-on-one for one hour to read.

OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring Program is implemented by retired community members. These volunteers address new and innovative approaches to reading. Senita Valley’s OASIS volunteers tutor students using materials and curriculum based on state reading standards. Students functioning below grade level receive an OASIS tutor for weekly one-on-one sessions throughout the school year. One unique feature of this tutoring program is the mandatory training sessions these tutors receive. These tutors help foster students’ self-esteem and positive attitudes toward reading and learning.