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Bullitt Alternative Program earns honors

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 The Bullitt Alternative Center has been recognized for Best Practice Strategy for Academic RTI: Student Progress Auto Graphing System (SPAGS) by the Kentucky Educational Collaborative for State Agency Children (KECSAC).

     According to BAC Principal Brenda Pirtle, students entering the program are administered three reading and three math probes by teaching partners.

     “Students who score 100 or above on all three reading probes are considered on grade level and do not need Tier II interventions,” she explained. “Students who score a 20 or above on all three math probes are considered on grade level and do not need academic interventions.”

     However, if a student does not score as described, that person is considered in need of academic support.

     “These students are given weekly probes in the content area of need by the teaching partner,” Pirtle said. “The goal is to increase the student’s score by one to two points every week. The content teacher uses reading or math interventions either provided by administration or developed based upon their own formative data from classroom instruction.”

     The SPAGS spreadsheet includes the median baseline data, the written goal, the percentage goal, the weekly date and probe score along with the anticipated score to be achieved weekly. From this data, a chart outlines the student’s growth or lack of growth over time.

     “If growth is achieved, the interventions are continued,” Pirtle said. “If growth is not achieved, new interventions must be developed and monitored over time to determine success rate.”

     Professional Learning Communities/Data Teams, MAP Data and Data Walls assist in monitoring the progress of all students but academic RTI students in particular.

     BAC was reorganized two years ago after a full understanding of how the program previously operated.

     “It was determined that a drastic approach must be taken to meet the academic needs of our students,” Pirtle said. “Research indicates that behavior related issues often occur out of academic frustration and the lack of instruction based on the student’s individual learning style.”

     The Kentucky Department of Education, in partnership with KECSAC, has identified best practice strategies for alternative education in an effort to provide emerging alternative programs with a road map for improving student outcomes, both academic and social.

     The strategies are aligned with the Kentucky AdvancED Standards for Schools. These include: Standard 1 - Purpose and Direction; Standard 2 – Governance and Leadership; Standard 3 – Teaching and Assessing for Learning; Standard 4 – Resources and Support Systems; Standard 5 – Using Results for Continuous Improvement.

     Bullitt County Public Schools has over 13,200 students in grades kindergarten through 12. There are 25 school facilities, a certified staff of over 850 and a classified staff of over 850 working every school day to make the district the leader in educational excellence.