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Sunich Explains RTI Week

Andrew Flury, Staff

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The week of Jan. 9-12 features an assembly, a half day and a Love Week lesson–but it is also PHS’s first attempt at a Response To Intervention (RTI) Week. Principal Dave Sunich explains the thought process behind RTI.

“RTI is based on the understanding that not every kid in the school is going to learn what the teacher teaches at the same time [or] the first time it is taught,” Sunich said. “Regardless of how good the teacher is or how hard the kids are working, we have kids at different levels with different speeds of learning. As a school it is our responsibility to make sure every kid has an opportunity to learn the essentials for each of the courses they are in.”

The RTI program will extend each class by 30 minutes on a particular day, in order to help support students who are struggling in their classes. Tuesday will have an extended first period, Wednesday will have an extended second period and Thursday will have an extended fourth, fifth and sixth.

“This [schedule] morphed from one extended period each day, so Tuesday through Thursday, periods one through three would be extended. Then the next week periods four through six would be extended,” Sunich said. “Every two weeks a teacher would have a 30-minute period. But right now we are just at the initial stages, trying it out to see what it would even look like logistically–a trial run.”

As a school it is our responsibility to make sure every kid has an opportunity to learn the essentials for each of the courses they are in.”

— Dave Sunich, Principal

The week takes place near the end of first semester but Sunich claims the program is less about grades and more about learning. In the future, the whole school year would be composed of an RTI schedule.

“[Though] it can certainly be viewed that way, ideally this would not be a scramble to get kids’ grades up before the end of semester. This is about making sure they are learning important things,” Sunich said. “We know they cannot learn in one shot at the end of semester; eventually it needs to be ongoing. There really is an obligation on our part to be providing extra time and support to kids. Whether it looks like this or something different, we do not know yet.”

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Sunich Explains RTI Week