ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF SPL - Curriculum and Instruction
Curriculum and Instruction
SPL is a system of support designed to meet the needs of ALL students ranging from those exceeding State-approved grade-level standards to those not meeting grade-level standards. Curriculum based on the State standards and high quality instruction is essential for maximizing student success. SPL is a framework for suggested best practice and supports collaborative decision making as a process for meeting individual student’s needs by providing a full configuration of support: CORE, TARGETED, INTENSIVE and SPECIAL EDUCATION. This guidance document defines the kinds of support that can be configured to meet the needs of individual students.
High quality CORE instruction is the foundation of SPL. It is characterized by high expectations for all students and takes place in an academic environment that is safe, challenging, engaging and allows students to take academic risks without fear of failure. All students need access to high quality CORE instruction. Quality instruction at the CORE level requires a focus of personnel and resources as indicated by students’ needs. Due to the fluctuating nature of needs across and within districts, schools and classrooms, it is essential that the individuals who are most aware of the needs participate in decisions made to allocate personnel and material resources. SPL affirms the premise that high-quality CORE instruction averts the need for unnecessary intervention and supports, and meets the needs of at least 80% of the students. Quality instruction at the CORE level incorporates relevant formative assessment, differentiation and scaffolding as basic practices in all lessons, as well as provides significant opportunities for authentic application of content and skills in and across all disciplines. It requires responsive teaching, teacher modeling, guided instruction, productive group work and independent learning. Content goals in the CORE come directly from the West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives.
Students need to know why they are doing what they are doing. The effective teacher makes learning relevant and meaningful through focus on a topic of study and/or text that is educationally meaningful and relevant to the students’ cultures, interests and overall educational goals. Teachers will accomplish this best when they organize around inquiry. Students explore one or more essential question(s) relevant to their lives, which engage and motivate them to want to learn. These are the essential components of short-term and lifelong learning.
TARGETED instruction and more intense scaffolding are triggered when a student’s progress in the regular classroom environment, despite strong commitment and high quality instruction at the CORE level, slows to below State-approved grade-level standards or exceeds those grade-level standards. It differs from quality CORE instruction because of increased scaffolding, time, assessment and expertise. In the TARGETED level, students receive instruction on the currently-adopted content standards and objectives. TARGETED instruction in English Language Arts includes significant opportunities for authentic reading, writing, language, speaking, listening and problem solving. As with CORE instruction, all TARGETED lessons incorporate the principles of differentiated instruction. TARGETED instruction typically occurs within the regular classroom environment. SPL supports the assumption that TARGETED instruction and scaffolding occur using relevant content, including science, mathematics, ELA, social studies and electives, including CTE and arts courses. SPL supports the occurrence of TARGETED instruction before, during and after school and the need for ongoing consideration of how resources are used to support extended school day and year. It is not considered appropriate for supplemental instruction to take place during lunch, recess, extracurricular activities or replace other courses such as art, music, science, social studies or any other curricular offerings. Collaboration is a key component to making TARGETED instruction effective and meaningful.
INTENSIVE INSTRUCTIONINTENSIVE support is triggered when a student’s progress in the regular educational environment, despite rich and meaningful instruction at the CORE and TARGETED levels, slows to below State-approved grade-level standards, or significantly exceeds State-approved grade- level standards. INTENSIVE support is distinguished from TARGETED support by intensification of scaffolding, time, expertise and assessment. Additionally, INTENSIVE instruction is typically provided to smaller groups of similarly-skilled and needs-alike students or one-to-one. INTENSIVE instruction usually occurs three to five times per week for 30 to 60 minutes (over a minimum of nine weeks) and is more likely to occur outside the general classroom than the TARGETED level of support. Like TARGETED level support, INTENSIVE support incorporates the currently-adopted content standards and objectives and utilizes the principles of scaffolding, accelerating, enriching and differentiating to provide instruction that is relevant and engaging to the student and is meaningfully aligned to what is happening in the regular education environment. Collaboration continues to be a key component to making this level of support effective and meaningful. SPL endorses four factors as significantly contributing to highly effective INTENSIVE support as follows: 1) the teacher plays a critical role in assessment and instruction; 2) the teacher uses a different method of delivery than the student has previously received; 3) the instruction is engaging and developmentally appropriate; 4) the instruction includes significant opportunities for authentic, integrated reading, writing, language, speaking, listening and problem solving. SPL does not promote isolated skill drill requiring students to independently make connections and generalizations to the CORE content. INTENSIVE support is most effective when provided by expert teachers to include, but not necessarily limited to, interventionists, special educators, instructional coaches, Title 1 teachers and specialists.
Curriculum and Instruction Resources