Barnstable Intermediate School
School Curriculum Accommodation Plan
The Barnstable Intermediate School takes pride in its role as an important bridge for students as they make the transition from elementary to secondary education. BIS provides a warm, supportive, and welcoming atmosphere for students while setting high expectations for academic achievement and behavior. BIS staff members are committed to ensuring the success of all students regardless of background and level of educational need. Teachers and administrators understand that students have a wide diversity of learning needs, and are committed to meeting the needs of diverse learners.
The BIS School Accommodation Plan represents agreed upon practices designed to promote the success of students with diverse learning needs. The plan represents an affirmation of important services, teaching practices, and classroom accommodations that promote student success.
School-Wide Support for Success
BIS staff members are committed to helping all students develop skills and understandings that promote enhanced academic performance, improved social understanding, empathy for others, and the ability to meet behavioral expectations. To this end, the staff at BIS have embraced two important initiatives that create a foundation for academic, social, and behavioral success for all students.
Effective Effort Campaign
The BIS effective effort campaign is designed to teach students about the relationship between effective effort and success. The key facets of effective effort, including Commitment, Focus, Persistence, Feedback , Time and Resourcefulness, are explicitly addressed in all classrooms by all teachers on a regular basis. Students are encouraged to set high goals and give their best effort, and the result of their hard work is acknowledged and rewarded.
Culture of Kindness
BIS staff members are committed to and support a caring school culture that values empathy and kindness to others, and actively discourages bullying and harassment. All students participate weekly in a curriculum designed specifically for this purpose. Additionally, research supported social skills curricula are provided to small groups of students who require a greater level of support in this area.
Student Support Staff, Services, and Programs
The following list includes staff, services, and programs designed to support diverse learners to meet expectations for achievement in the academic, social, and behavioral domains. The staff at BIS recognize that while all students require social, academic, and behavioral support, some students have needs that are greater than others. BIS student resources are designed to provide tiers, or levels, of support to meet the needs of all learners.
The Barnstable Intermediate School has two school counselors who function to promote and assist with the academic, social, and emotional development of all students. Services include, but are not limited to, comprehensive support to children and their families, short-term counseling, referral to community resources, and referral to and collaboration with other agencies that provide support to students and families.
School Social Worker
The school social worker supports students with unique social-emotional and behavioral needs by providing individual and group counseling, individualized intervention plans, and school-wide supportive services in efforts to help students reach their full potential. School attendance and truancy concerns are also managed by the school social worker.
BIS has established long-standing relationships with professionals in the community who offer specialized groups to meet the needs of our students. Examples include grief counseling groups, social skills groups, and Alateen (for students affected by someone else’s drinking).
Student Assistance Team
The Student Assistance Team is comprised of a trained group of staff members who serve a mentor role with students in need of extra companionship and support within the school setting. The mentors do not serve a counseling role, but offer the students an opportunity to develop a trusting, caring relationship with an adult within the school. The student and mentor meet on a regular basis throughout the school year.
The Prevention Office staff, overseen by a Vice Principal in charge of ensuring safety and discipline, works collaboratively with student services staff (including the school counselors, social worker, and psychologist) to consistently implement school discipline procedures, while at the same time focusing on supporting a culture of kindness and respect to prevent student discipline problems. Additionally, prevention staff work with students, teachers, and other staff members to design and implement positive behavior support strategies for students who have difficulty managing their behavior in the school setting.
Instructional Support and Intervention Process (ISIP)
The ISIP team, led by the BIS school psychologist, is a problem-solving team that meets with parents in a supportive atmosphere to find solutions for students who are having academic, social, or behavioral difficulties.
English Language Development
Students who speak languages other than English are provided specialized support by trained, licensed ELD teachers. ELD staff provide explicit instruction in spoken and written English, provide support in the classroom, and serve as a conduit for resources both within and outside of school.
After School Programming
BIS has secured a grant through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as part of the 21st Century Community Learning Center Initiative. The Renaissance After School Program (RAP) is designed for students who may require extra academic help and could benefit from creative, hands on, enriching activities that will promote their overall attachment to school. BIS also provides “Effective MCAS Tutoring” sessions each spring for students who are at risk in ELA and / or Math.
Title I Academic Support in Reading and Math
Title I reading and math services provide additional instruction to those students who demonstrate additional needs in those areas. Title I teachers are state licensed and highly qualified in their respective areas of instructional expertise.
Effective Teaching Practices
BIS staff members are committed to effective teaching practices that contribute to meeting the needs of all learners. The staff at BIS understand that students do not all have the same learning needs. BIS staff members recognize and affirm best instructional practices that benefit all learners, and at the same time understand the need to differentiate instruction based of the varied needs of diverse learners. The following represent agreed upon instructional practices that ensure the best opportunity to maximize positive outcomes for all students.
- Lesson goals are made explicit and shared with students as a mastery objective
- Lessons are framed with essential questions that guide the learner in making connections
- Key vocabulary is identified, taught, and repeated throughout the lesson
- Students have opportunities to work in collaborative groups
- Lessons provide opportunities for engaging in critical thinking and discourse
- Student understanding is evaluated using multiple formats
- Lessons include activators
- Lessons include summarizing activities
BIS staff members are committed to meeting the unique needs of diverse learners. The following classroom accommodations may be implemented to allow students with diverse learning needs access to the curriculum in a manner that reflects the individual needs of the student.
- Directions are clarified
- Directions are repeated
- Directions are paraphrased
- Directions are provided both visually and verbally
- Teachers check for understanding after giving directions
- Students are provided extra time to complete class assignments
- Students are provided extra time to complete tests and quizzes
- Students are provided exemplars / models of completed products, and / or rubrics
- Students are provided with graphic organizers
- Students are provided with preferential seating
- Students are given wait-time prior to expecting a response
- Students are provided with checklists for multi-step tasks
- The amount of time spent on homework / the length of homework assignment can be limited
- Students are provided visual schedules
- Students are provided with organizational checklists
- Students have opportunities to take breaks
- Students are provided opportunities to redo assignments and re-take tests
- Students are provided with study guides
- Students are provided with a variety of assessment response formats (oral, written, performance, etc.)
- Teachers model “thinking aloud” as part of instruction
- Incentives and rewards / positive reinforcement is incorporated into instruction
Staff Development and Training
The Barnstable School District supports a wide variety of staff development and training for BIS staff members. Staff development and training opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Induction / Mentoring Program for new staff members
- Professional Development Workshops, including a wide variety of elective workshops developed by Barnstable Public School District staff members and organized by the school district
- In-School, embedded professional development provided at staff and department meetings, including professional development in the areas of curriculum and effective teaching strategies
- District support to attend graduate courses, including pedagogy (e.g., “skillful teaching”) and content area courses
- Non-Violent Crisis Intervention training
- Participation in approved conferences and training is specialty areas, such as the development of behavioral assessment and intervention strategies
- Training and coursework in meeting the needs of English Language Learners
The Barnstable Intermediate School Building Curriculum Accommodation Plan represents the school’s response to Chapter 71 of the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL Chapter 71: Section 38Q1/2) that states,
“A school district shall adopt and implement a curriculum accommodation plan to assist principals in ensuring that all efforts have been made to meet students’ needs in regular education. The plan shall be designed to assist the regular classroom teacher in analyzing and accommodating diverse learning styles of all children in the regular classroom and in providing appropriate services and support within the regular education program including, but not limited to, direct and systematic instruction in reading and provision of services to address the needs of children whose behavior may interfere with learning, or who do not qualify for special education services under chapter 71B. The curriculum accommodation plan shall include provisions encouraging teacher mentoring and collaboration and parental involvement.”
Additionally, the Massachusetts Department of Education indicates in its regulations (603 CMR 28.03(3)(a) Instructional Support), “The principal shall implement the plan developed and adopted by the district to ensure that efforts have been made or will be made to meet the needs of diverse learners in the general education program. As part of his/her responsibilities, the principal shall promote instructional practices responsive to student needs and shall ensure that adequate instructional support is available for students and teachers.”
The Barnstable Intermediate School is proud to be committed not only to meeting the letter of its statutory obligations, but strives equally to meet the spirit of the law by acknowledging the strengths of its diverse student population. BIS staff members are committed to a continuous and evolving understanding of the diverse learning needs of all students, and take pride in responding positively to the diverse learning needs of its students as they navigate the intermediate years between their elementary and secondary education experiences.