Principal: We need to set up ‘Urgent care’ in classrooms

FRANKFORT, Ind. (WLFI) — Low ISTEP+ scores are prompting one school to create an “urgent care” so teachers can prescribe extra help in certain subjects.

An urgent care not for medical needs, but for education.

“What we’re trying to do is identify and diagnose the areas of concern for each individual child,” instructional coach Nichole Antrobus said.

After just 47 percent of Frankfort Middle School students passed ISTEP+ last spring, Principal Michael Kelley said they needed a change in the classrooms. His idea was to make a medical model for teachers, use tests to diagnose the needs, and prescribe the right dose of extra attention.

“They formulate a prescription down here with what kind of highly effective instruction they’re going to use with those individual students,” Kelley said.

The idea came from Kelley’s own experiences in the exam room this summer.

“Doctors do this all the time,” Kelley said. “This is how they fix people’s problems medically. Why not try this in the education field?”

As part of the new model, 70 percent of students in grades sixth through eighth spend one hour a day working in small groups with two teachers.

“The kids are really enjoying the time in the classroom, the teachers are enjoying having that smaller group size so we can provide more individualized attention,” Antrobus said.

Kelley said he hopes the new approach brings up ISTEP+ scores, but most importantly helps students learn.

“That’s what’s really important, individual growth,” Kelley said. “How each kid does and is there growth for that individual? Maybe the growth won’t get them passing the ISTEP, but if we see growth we know we’re being successful.”

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