Voices from the Field: Jack Jackter Intermediate School, Colchester

Submitted by Jeremy Bond, SERC Publications Coordinator

When describing the impact of SPDG at Jack Jackter, Principal Deborah Sandberg cites three areas:

  • School climate. The welcoming walkthrough led to low-cost and no-cost ways to promote a more welcoming environment, such as signage.
  • Higher-order thinking skills. Jack Jackter participates in the Higher-Order Thinking (HOT) Schools Program, which incorporates a rigorous arts curriculum, the integration of art into other disciplines, and promoting democratic processes through shared leadership. As SPDG has helped support effective classroom practice, Deborah has seen former struggling students shining through artistic expression.
  • An engaged staff who feel committed to the school and invested in the students’ success.
Jack Jackter Intermediate School
Jack Jackter Intermediate School

SERC Consultant Anthony Brisson facilitated a review of the levels of intervention. The special education team reviewed the data over time, and too many students had been identified as requiring Tier III interventions, resulting in a kind of “hourglass” of Tiers I and III. General education teachers now have more tools at their disposal to support interventions early and reduce the numbers of students who would have been expected to receive Tier III interventions.

Under SPDG, the school has established clear, targeted SMART goals, determined how to measure progress toward those goals, and learned to revise the process as needed. The result has been more focus on Tier I and fewer kids struggling at reading. Through strategies such as co-teaching, staff have been better able to work with students as individuals.

Deborah credits Anthony with helping the staff and school leadership envision new approaches they had not thought of before.

“He listens to what we’re doing, [and then] he asks questions to make us think.”

Published: October 1, 2014