January 2019

January 12th, 2019
Hello Hosmer Community,

In addition to the weekly Hosmer Happenings from Ms. Fitzpatrick that includes important dates and events, I try to send out an informational message each month. Some common themes come up from time to time and I hope to answer any questions you may have and if I fall short of that, please email me with any clarifying questions. This month we will look at steps taken for struggling students.

In the classroom, teachers present lessons based on district curriculum and use many methods and systems of instruction. Throughout the year teachers will assess students and use the data to inform their instruction. At times, they may find that a child is struggling and the teachers use the data to pinpoint the problem as much as possible and work to remedy the issue. If the teacher has exhausted all means at their disposal the child may be referred to the GET process. GET stands for General Education Team. Parents would be informed by this point and would be aware of the steps being taken by the school to help the child. Our counselors help the teachers by bringing in support staff such as reading or math tutors, coaches, etc. Most often this resolves the problem and this is considered Tier II intervention. Watertown Public Schools is in the research phase of a more formal Tier II program but the current form is in alignment with whatever may come next.

In a very small percentage of cases the student will continue to struggle and various tests may be recommended. This is when parents are brought in by the Evaluation Team Chair and the entire process would be explained. Tests would be completed within forty five school days and the results delivered, explained, and discussed. If the child qualifies for additional services an Individualized Education Plan would be developed and implemented at the appropriate times of the school day. All children spend some or all of their school day in the general education setting.

We are fortunate to have preferential class sizes that allows for more individualized general education instruction and we feel confident that in almost all cases the child is best served through these means. We also provide a good deal of in-class assistance through our co teaching teams as well as support staff "pushing in" to the general education classroom. We have reached the optimum situation at the Hosmer School where there is no stigma attached to receiving support and we are proud of that fact. Educationally, the teacher knows you child best and is the best resource for information. Please begin there should you have any questions and we would be happy to help.

Thank you for your time and I hope this message was of some interest to you. Also, please follow Hosmer School on Facebook as we post some fine photos and information.

Mr. LaRoche