Webster Hill is dedicated to ensuring that all students achieve academic and personal excellence through effective, high quality instruction that promotes inquisitive life-long learners, embraces individuality, and celebrates the diversity of our community.
For reporting a student absence, please call 860-929-5828.
- Can you help me understand more about SRBI, tiered interventions and switch groups?
- So what is Math Garden and how do I know if my child is attending?
- Is there a difference between STRIVE and PBIS? How do they work?
- What are Letter Buddies and is that different from Book Buddies?
- There seems to be a lot of congestion around the school during drop off. Isn’t there a better system?
- Who is Mr. S and what does he do?
- What is Author’s Celebration?
- What is WEE Deliver?
SRBI (Scientific Research-Based Interventions) are provided to students who are not meeting grade level benchmarks. We universally screen all students three times per year and compare that assessment data to other district measures and daily classroom performance.
When multiple measures show the need for additional support, students enter what is called “Tier One” support. In grades K-5, students are clustered in small groups (3-5 students) in a very specific and targeted intervention group. Students are supported by an interventionist or classroom teacher at their grade level and their progress is monitored very closely. In all grades (except grade 4), these support sessions are run right after morning announcements so arriving to school on time is extremely important for these interventions to be as successful as possible. Due to morning specials, grade 4 runs their interventions later on in the morning. Our goal is to target weaknesses, fill gaps, and move students out of Tier One support. Some students spend a very short time in Tier One, while others require the additional support for much of the year.
When Tier One isn’t enough to close the gap, students are brought to our Student Success Team. An inter-disciplinary team of staff members meet and design a more intensive support plan (Tier Two). At this point, students continue in their Tier One groups, but we also call upon the expertise of an interventionist or tutor (Math Garden Tutor, Comprehension Tutor, Fluency Lab Tutor, Kindergarten Tutor, Reading Specialist, or Early Intervention teacher).Once again, we track each students’ progress closely in the hope of closing the gap and moving students out of Tier Two support. Some students are successful and go back to Tier One and some require even more (Tier Three).
When a student is not successful in Tier Three, we typically refer the student to Special Education Testing to identify what else we can do to support a struggling student. Not all students who get referred to Special Education testing qualify as Learning Disabled but, at this point, we require more information to best meet the needs of a student who has not responded to intensive interventions.
Math Garden is to math what our reading supports are to reading. When children require Tier Two support, they work with an interventionist (math and/or reading). Madelyn Filomeno and Lisa Glowacki are our two math interventionists so students who see them are supported through our Math Garden. Parents are informed by the classroom teacher if their child is attending Math Garden.
Sarah Bailly and Jamie November are our reading interventionists along with our Reading Specialist (Amy Snyder) and Early Intervention Teachers (Cathy Martin and Laurie Kobelski). When students are serviced through Tier One groups, a phone call is made or a half-sheet is sent home informing families that their child requires additional support. Parents/Guardians of students who reach Tier Two receive a phone call from the classroom teacher and a letter from the interventionist. Parents are also notified if Tier Two is unsuccessful and children require Tier three.
STRIVE (Webster Hill students who Support, Trust, Respect, Inquire, Value education and each other, and Excel) started in 2009. There wasn’t a system in place to recognize students for good behavior and no system to communicate our expectations to students and families. STRIVE was born.
Any staff member can complete a STRIVE form when they see a student demonstrating STRIVE behavior. We share STRIVE recognition each Friday morning during morning announcements, the principal visits each student’s classroom and delivers the STRIVE certificate and a STRIVE pencil, and each student’s name appears in The Connection. This has continued and continues today.
When the district began to phase in PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports), we tried to meld the two. Our PBIS team, made up of classroom teachers, specials teachers, and support staff, receive training and meet throughout the year to implement PBIS. The goal is to clearly communicate a consistent set of behavioral expectations for students to follow and staff to teach and reinforce. Lesson plans are created to teach what Respectful, Responsible, and Safe behavior looks like in all areas of the school day (bus, hallway, bathroom, lunchroom, recess, classroom, and auditorium).
Through teaching, re-teaching, and acknowledging positive behaviors, we work to extinguish negative behaviors by focusing on what children are doing right. When children struggle with meeting our expectations, we treat this as we would for a child who is struggling with math, reading or writing. We teach. There are times when consequences are necessary and a protocol is in place to help children meet our expectations. When reminders of our expectations don’t work, students complete a reflection sheet (drawing for our youngest students and writing for our older ones). This helps students identify what expectations they are not meeting and what they can do to get back on track. Often times, this is all a student needs to be successful. If after a reflection sheet, students are still not meeting with success, they bring their work to a neighboring classroom and parents/guardians receive a phone call home. With family support, we look to quickly curb the behavior and support our students through a team effort. Students are rarely sent to the office, but if they are, parents also receive a phone call home.
There are many facets to PBIS. One difficult area lies in reinforcement/rewards. Some staff and parents believe in a more extrinsic system where children are given something tangible for meeting our expectations. They believe this creates a very clear message that children are making a good choice or doing the right thing. Others struggle with this system and believe we should be promoting more of an intrinsic system and that children should not be rewarded for doing what is right.
There are pros and cons to both approaches and no one system will satisfy all teachers or parents. Our PBIS team works hard to find the system that will best benefit our children now and in the future. Because we are in year 2, we are still experimenting with what will support Webster Hill most effectively.
They are not the same. All classes have teamed up with another class for “book buddies”. Most book buddy partnerships are between an upper elementary classroom (grades 3-5) and a classroom from PK-2. They often meet weekly to read together and do cooperative projects. It is a highlight for most children and staff. It’s a special part of Webster Hill which promotes the importance of taking care of one another.
Some of our kindergarten and first grade students need support with letter identification, letter sounds, or sight word recognition. We recruit responsible fourth and fifth graders to come down and work with our struggling little ones. That’s “Letter Buddies”. It gives our older students a sense of responsibility and a true leadership opportunity. It gives our younger ones a special time to reinforce an important skill they are struggling with.
Good question. For many years, we have entertained different ideas, had the West Hartford Traffic Division come out and observe, and tried different approaches. When drivers follow the current plan, we have the best success. Drivers need to enter the circle and pull up as far as they can go. When they don’t, that causes back up. Drivers who use the circle also need to be quick. Drivers who get out of their car, help their child out, help with the backpack and give extra hugs and kisses also cause a delay. Parents/Guardians who enjoy a slower “good-bye” should use Webster Hill Blvd or a side street. The circle is for quick drop-off only. When drivers do their part, drop-off runs about as good as it can.
Mr. S is Mr. Greg Staley. He is one of our Building Teaching Assistants and he does just about everything. His primary role is to support at-risk students but he does so much more. His affinity and expertise in the area of science allows him to capture the imagination and creativity of some of our science lovers. He does whole class lessons, small group projects and supports students who are struggling with behavior. No matter what we ask of Mr. S, he responds, “Can do!” and somehow he finds the time to get it all done. He works with students (for support and enrichment) based on teacher-recommendation.
Once a month, classroom teachers in PK-5 nominate students to have their writing celebrated in the auditorium. Families of the celebrated authors receive a letter in the mail and invite them to our special celebration. Children are given the opportunity to practice their public speaking skills and share their writing with the audience. Their pieces are enlarged and displayed in the hallway until the next month’s celebration.
Webster Hill School has an intra-school postal system run by children. Students in grades 2-5 can complete and submit an application to work at WEE Deliver. With the help of a parent volunteer, student workers check, sort and deliver mail sent to students and staff. Our student Postmaster oversees the process, problem solves and troubleshoots to make the mail system flow properly. Any student, staff or family member can write a letter and put it in the mailbox outside the Family Resource Center. Mail is delivered every Wednesday afternoon. Every classroom and teaching space has an address and every hallway has a street named after a whale (Webster Hill’s original mascot). Feel free to write a letter to your child.