You are here

Wisconsin RtI Center: A Focus on Equity

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Webster-Stanley Elementary School and Wedgewood Park International School, a middle school, concentrate on changing adult practices. With a focus on equity throughout their multi-level system of support, students and staff benefit.

Webster-Stanley Elementary School in Oshkosh had been putting Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) into practice for nearly a decade when staff felt like they were not holding to the fidelity of implementation. To give their system the needed boost, the leadership team recommitted to quality data collection and processes.

A deep look at their data uncovered improvement areas. The team recognized they had an unreached student population who received an uneven percentage of referrals. “That’s when we realized how far we still had to go,” Principal Beth Galeazzi said.

Equity work became a strong focus for the staff. The leadership team attended Building Culturally Responsive Systems training from the Wisconsin RtI Center. Professional learning opportunities were provided to all staff around the history of marginalization. The staff began learning how to recognize their own implicit bias and its impact on students.

Webster-Stanley has seen an improvement in their office discipline referrals.

  • In 2019-20, 93% of all students had one or fewer referrals, compared to 86% in the previous year.

  • In 2018-19, 70% of African American students had one or fewer referrals. The following year, 79% of African American students had one or fewer referrals.

The staff members recognize how their role contributes to the success of the entire system at Webster- Stanley.

The leaders of Wedgewood Park International School have a strong belief in creating access for all. “Every student who walks in this building has the opportunity to embrace an International Baccalaureate® education,” Principal Elhadji Ndaw said. Part of the Milwaukee Public School system, Wedgewood Park serves students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.

To ensure access, Wedgewood Park focused on two things, improving attendance and creating relationships with students. Recognizing the value of having students present for instruction, Wedgewood Park launched a campaign to boost attendance. Reflecting on their student and system data, the team recognized the need to improve relationships with students. In response, Wedgewood Park staff increased the use of Check-In Check-Out (CICO). Through this evidence-based practice, student and teacher relationships improved, and staff observed improvements in attendance. In the 2019- 20 school year, Wedgewood saw their truancy rate decline from 27.3% to 16.8%.

The school’s leadership team also challenged staff to think about inequities in their system. Through a book study and ongoing professional development, staff began to be more aware of students with the greatest needs. Principal Ndaw stresses the importance of supporting teachers in their own skill development. “If the leaders have a lot in their toolbox, they can impact change,” he said.

Webster-Stanley Elementary and Wedgewood Park International School are implementing equitable, multi-level systems of supports, a framework that helps districts and schools:

  • Integrate and organize supports for learners, including developmental, academic, behavioral, social, and emotional supports;

  • Provide equitable services, practices, and resources to every learner; and

  • Responsively adjust the intensity and nature of supports to match learner needs based on data.

Webster-Stanley Elementary: Read | Watch

Wedgewood Park International School: Read | Watch

Subscriber Submission: Wisconsin RtI Center