The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

April 8, 2013

Tutor program touted: Johnstown district using new system

— The I and I in Pennsylvania’s RtII tutoring program stand for Instruction and Intervention.

But Greater Johnstown School District Superintendent Gerald Zahorchak uses an additional I word to describe it: Intense.

The district implemented the program during the current academic year.

The district already had a tutoring system in place, but as Zahorchak explained, “This is probably as intense as it has ever been now.”

The new system, formally called Response to Instruction and Intervention, is designed to close achievement gaps and help students graduate at proficient or higher levels.

“We’re seeing some early signs of progress,” said Zahorchak, as the end of the school year approaches.

RtII offers a tiered system to helping students improve academically.

Tier I is regular classroom instruction. Struggling individuals can receive Tier II tutoring, where the student-to-teacher ratio is 10 to 1.

Anybody who needs extra help can get one-on-one lessons on Tier III.

“When you get to that level – that one-to-one support – you get to know the kids,” said the district’s federal programs coordinator, Raymond Arcurio. “You really get to have a good relationship with the kids.”

A student’s needs are assessed by examining data from classroom work and tutoring sessions.

“There is communication between teacher and tutor,” said Lynne Williams, reading/math facilitator at West Side Elementary.

“Tutors are trained in instructional strategies and complete lesson plans to meet the group’s needs. After 20 days of instruction, progress monitoring is administered. After a review of that data, it is determined who needs Tier III intervention. That is provided one-on-one with a certified teacher with a lesson plan for each individual student.”

A major goal of the program is to make sure classroom work and tutoring instructions are in sync with state guidelines.

“In the areas where we did not have alignment, we’re working very hard at getting aligned,” said Zahorchak, Pennsylvania’s former education secretary.

More than two dozen district staff members are involved in the program, as either teachers, RtII coordinators, facilitators or paraprofessionals. Fifteen local college students assist, too.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say

    The findings, in a survey released Monday by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products.

    April 16, 2014

  • Boston doctors can now prescribe you a bike

    The City of Boston this week is rolling out a new program that's whimsically known as "Prescribe-a-Bike." Part medicine, part welfare, the initiative allows doctors at Boston Medical Center to write "prescriptions" for low-income patients to get yearlong memberships to Hubway, the city's bike-share system, for only $5.

    April 16, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why Facebook is getting into the banking game

    Who would want to use Facebook as a bank? That's the question that immediately arises from news that the social network intends to get into the electronic money business.

    April 16, 2014

  • Classes to resume at Franklin Regional High School

    April 16, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    April 16, 2014

  • Search teams will send unmanned sub to look for missing Malaysian airliner

    Teams searching for a missing Malaysian airliner are planning for the first time to send an unmanned submarine into the depths of the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage, an Australian official leading the multi-nation search said Monday.

    April 16, 2014

  • bank1 West End bank robbed

    The West End branch of AmeriServ Financial was robbed Tuesday morning, two days before the branch is scheduled to close.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather_2 Old Man Winter returns to area

    Just when you think we’ve finally escaped the cold temperatures, winter swoops back in to remind us it’s not going away just yet.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • City seeks support for sewer revamp

    The city is looking for backup from the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority in spreading what they call “true” facts and figures regarding the city’s encompassing sewer revamp.

    April 15, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads