New Roles to Meet More Needs
Size is relative. An ideal size for one context is sometimes problematic for another. St. Francis of Assisi School has redistributed resources in the areas of personnel, employing teachers and trained instructors in new roles this year to meet a wider variety of needs. With more ancillary staff and the new flex spaces, we will be better able to customize learning.
As Benchmark 7.6 of the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Schools states, “Classroom instruction is designed to engage and motivate all students, addressing the diverse needs and capabilities of each student, and accommodating students with special needs as fully as possible.” St. Francis has had a full time Learning Consultant to address diagnosed special needs for quite a while. Chris Mora continues in that position. This year we will add an Early Interventionist and instructional aides to our staff to allow for greater monitoring of progress and greater differentiation amongst all students.
A well-known face around St. Francis of Assisi is Chris Cuneo. Chris is an award-winning teacher who has blessed SFA with her gifts and talents for many years. Chris has agreed to pioneer the newly created position of Early Interventionist. Chris knows where a student should be by the end of their primary years. Through working with our Learning Consultant, Chris Mora, our K-3 teachers, and our instructional aides, Chris will provide additional monitoring, teaching, and assessing of critical foundational skills in the areas of reading and math. With the addition of this position, SFA TEACHERS WILL BE BETTER ABLE TO CATCH AND ADDRESS LEARNING NEEDS, WHETHER THEY ARE NEEDS FOR GREATER CHALLENGE OR NEEDS FOR REMEDIATION.
Additionally, several teacher aides have been hired to utilize a workshop approach and flexible grouping during lessons. These instructional assistants are either certified teachers or other professionals trained in small group instruction. They participate in professional development as the teachers do. While the classroom teacher is the teacher of record who does the planning, assessing, and leads instruction, the aide may reteach a lesson in a different way or may enrich a lesson to take it beyond grade level. Students will have personalized materials that support their learning.