Recovery Act Impact: Education in MA
With stimulus, Sugita saw an opportunity to reverse that trend. Her school system received nearly $20K in stimulus wards for preschool grants for children with disabilities
Sugita along with Lisa White, the school system's English language arts coordinator, purchased the Level Literacy Intervention (LLI) as well as assessment kits to monitor their students' progress. LLI provides intervention at kindergarten and first grade. "Putting these interventions at a lower level is really helpful," said Sugita. "We have to get to these kids really early and then we can lower the number of kids being referred for special education services."
The assessment tools provide teachers with the ability to identify the students who require the intervention. "We wanted to have real data," said White. "We wanted to help classroom teachers have a better way of knowing their students."
The stimulus funds were also used to train all teachers - Title 1, special needs and regular education - to use the curriculum, and, said White, there was an unexpected benefit to the training. "We started to see a dialogue between all the teachers," she said. "Its been nice working collaboratively."
LaCroix-White agrees. "The kids are now in an environment with a teacher who is accustomed to meeting their needs," she said.