H-PT updated on student support project

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Anna Bradfish, 11th- and 12th-grade special education teacher at Houghton High School, tells the Houghton-Portage Township Schools Board about progress on the school’s multi-tiered systems of support framework.

HOUGHTON — Progress in the multi-tiered systems of support initivative that has been implemented at Houghton High School has been “slow and methodical” by design, Anna Bradfish told the Houghton-Portage Township School District Board Monday night.

“We can’t overdo it at the high school level,” said Bradfish, who teaches 11th- and 12th-grade special education at Houghton High School. “We want to make sure the things that we do are done correctly.”

The educational framework is used around the country as a way to encourage early intervention with underperforming students.

Bradfish updated the board on efforts to use data and improve the school culture. This year, she said, there was a concerted effort to make sure students knew the staff was there to support them academically and mentally.

Staff has reinforced positive behavior through GRIT Cards, which are given to students who exceed schoolwide expectations. Students can trade the cards in for popcorn at the end of the week.

“Our kids flock to get their popcorn every week,” she said. “They’re so excited for it. I don’t know why, but they love it.”

The school store, which had been shuttered, has been reopened, selling goods such as lanyards, school supplies and earbuds.

Bradfish said they are working in conjunction with the school boosters club. The store is primarily operated by special education students.

“They get job experience and experience with customer service through utilizing that store and working within it,” she said.

TOMORROW: The ABCs of education data assists with the academic support of students.