• Instructional Support Team

     

    IST Mission Statement

    The Council Rock Elementary Instructional Support Teams are committed to fostering the educational and personal growth of our children by removing the barriers to lifelong learning.  We strive to meet each child's needs through a strengths-based process that addresses social, emotional, academic, and vocational development.
     

    IST Philosophy

    The IST process represents a system of problem-solving driven by students' needs.  At the core of the process is the belief that all students can learn and all students matter.  IST maximizes the teaching resources by incorporating the best in education in a systematic search for what works.

    IST Process

     The Instructional Support Team (IST) is a positive, success-oriented program which uses specific assessment and intervention techniques to help maximize individual student success in the regular classroom.  The IST concept is based on teamwork.  Collaboration and joint planning occure throughout the process.  Each member of the team has input and decision-making power to determine which methods, learning strategies, or special techniques best address the student's needs. 

      IST Team Members

      The Instructional Support Team is made up of classroom teachers and educational specialists who work together with parents to help a child achieve success.  Our IST teacher, Mrs. Kate Aquila, coordinates the team’s meetings and activities, working with a child's classroom teacher as well as our principal, Dr. Daneyelle Jordan. In addition, the team of teachers at each child's grade level bring to the team different experience and areas of expertise. They all volunteer to participate in meetings, either before the school day or during their prep time. Depending on each child's needs, a literacy specialist, Mrs. Donna Kennedy or Ms. Lauren Dougherty, math specialist, Mrs. Stephanie Fitzgerald, school psychologist, Dr. Beth Rabin or counselor, Mrs. Cory Scott, may also attend.

      Frequently Asked Questions about IST

      Q: Who can make a request for IST assistance?

      A: Either a teacher or a parent can ask for IST assistance. The parent should talk to the teacher, or call
           Dr. Jordan or Mrs. Aquila.

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      Q: Why would a teacher or parent ask for IST assistance?

      A:  A parent would request assistance if they have concerns about the student’s progress in academic, behavioral, or social/emotional areas.

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      Q: Does IST go on the child’s permanent record?

      A: No, but information from IST is given to the next year’s teachers in order to share strategies
           that helped the student succeed in the previous year.

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      Q: What happens after a request for IST help is made?

      A: The teacher fills out a referral form. Mrs. Aquila schedules the first meeting for twenty days from receipt of the form.
           During those first twenty days, she will speak to parents, teachers, and the child about his or her progress in school. She will also           observe the child in classes, collect work samples, and work with the child on class activities. She does not give tests to the student,          but instead she assesses where the child is functioning in the classroom activities.  This information helps inform implementation of       the IST process.

      Phases of the IST Process

      The IST process takes sixty school days. It includes the following stages:
      • First ten days. Request of assistance is made and the problem is identified.  The Instructional Support Teacher contacts parents and teachers to learn more about the student and his or her strengths and needs.
      • Next ten days. Data collection continues about the student. Parents
      • On or about the twentieth day, a brainstorming meeting is held. This is when interventions are designed to help the child.
      • Thirty day intervention period. During that time, teachers and parents carry out the intervention plan. The classroom teacher meets weekly with the Instructional Support Teacher to discuss the child’s progress and to make changes as needed.
      • Fifty days. Progress review meeting is held with parents, teacher, and representative team members to discuss which interventions worked and the child’s resulting progress. One recommendation at the end of the meeting may be to continue the interventions if they helped child meet with success and continue to be necessary. Another recommendation the team may make if the child did not make satisfactory progress or if the interventions were highly intensive is to have a multi-disciplinary evaluation (MDE) to further determine the cause of the child’s difficulty. Our school psychologist, school nurse, and literacy specialist contribute to the MDE. They give the child normative tests of learning and abilities. The MDE helps to determine if the child is eligible for special education services. If so, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) can be designed to meet the child’s learning needs.

      IST Meeting Format

      All IST meetings take place in B-5, the IST room.  At 8:15 a.m. the IST team members arrive and the meeting begins. The meeting is over by 8:45 a.m.  The following is the approximate time frame and order of business in the meeting:

      2 min. – Welcome – Introductions

      5 min. – Review of student’s performance

      3 min. – Specify goal(s) on which student will improve during the intervention period

      10 min. – Brainstorm intervention ideas

      5 min. – Discuss brainstormed suggestions

      5 min. – Interventions selected

      If you have further questions, please call Mrs. Aquila at 215-944-1978