LL-H Board gets support system program update

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Kathy Kumpula, fourth-grade teacher at Lake Linden-Hubbell Elementary School, updates the Lake Linden-Hubbell Public Schools Board on the school's Multi-Tiered Systems of Support program Monday.

LAKE LINDEN — The Lake Linden-Hubbell Public Schools Board heard an update on the elementary school’s Multi-Tiered Systems of Support program from a faculty member.

Last year, the elementary school rolled out its Positive Behavior Intervention Support System (PBIS), focusing on all students’ behavior, said Kathy Kumpula. That approach typically works for about 80 percent of students.

Students receive weekly, monthly and quarterly rewards for good behavior. The first quarter was a movie. The second was a skiing and snowshoeing trip.

“They had a blast down there,” Kumpula said.

This year, the goal is to work with the 15 percent of students who comprise Tier II, which involves an extra level of support. Kumpula hoped to have 90 percent of students receive either zero or one office discipline referral forms.

“I was at the ISD (intermediate school district) today, and we’re at 92 percent, so we’ve already surpassed that goal,” she said. “We’ll still continue to work on it and make it better.”

Tier II students have implemented the “check in, check out” system, in which adults regularly interact with the students to give them positive feedback. Students carry cards with them on which they get points.

They also bring the card home, where the hope is that parents will continue the positive feedback.

If students aren’t getting support at home, someone at the school acts as a “pseudoparent.” Kumpula is one of the staff members filling that role.

“Even when I’m not (scheduled), like when I was at the ISD today, I still came in to do my job,” she said.

Students also get verbal feedback on which things they can improve, Kumpula said.

Students are also working on Tier I reading. The school tied its reading selection, “You Be You,” with the messages delivered by a yo-yo performer at the event’s kickoff. Students also painted a rock to show their individual personalities.

“Once the snow melts, we’re going to line them up outside the school,” Kumpula said.

Kindergarten through fourth grade now gets an uninterrupted 90-minute reading block; fifth and sixth grades receive more. Teachers have also taken extra training in areas such as phonics instruction.

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) benchmark data showed that 10 percent more students have met the benchmark than at the same point last year. Ninety-four percent of students from the fall who were at the benchmark level have remained there, versus 89 percent last year.

Schoolwide, 73 percent were at benchmark. At the midway point, that is at 79 percent, just shy of the 80 percent goal.

“Hopefully with what we’re doing, with some more things we’re now introducing, we’ll surpass that goal,” she said.

More Tier II supports are needed in first and fifth grades, and more Tier III supports in all grades, Kumpula said.

Teachers will receive more instruction at their next in-service day. Students are also starting Lexia, a K-5 computer program designed to boost literacy skills.