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Fillmore Central implementing Response to Intervention program

Fri, Aug 26th, 2011
Posted in Education

Fillmore Central's Special Education Director Micki Breitsprecher spoke to the school board recently about the Response to Intervention (RtI) program. The program is designed to help kids who are considered "at risk" for math and reading problems. These are students that do not qualify for Special Ed. services.

Breitsprecher explained it has been a long process for them to get this worked out, but they are really excited about it. She and Marsha Dowe, a teacher at the Root River Program, created a brochure to help explain to parents, the board, and the community what the program is all about and how it will benefit the students.

According to Breitsprecher, the program focuses on the successes of the students instead of their weaknesses. It also gives more specific data about where the child is struggling.

The RtI Model has three tiers. Tier 1 represents 80 percent of the students in a classroom, who are making growth and succeeding with the core curriculum. Tier 2 has between 5-10 percent of the students, who need more small group research-based intervention. Tier 3 represents 1-3 percent of the population that need more intense guidance.

The students' progress in monitored more frequently when they are in Tier 2 and Tier 3. When they respond to the intervention and improve their skills, they will move down a tier.

Breitsprecher explained the main focus right now is elementary students, but she is hoping to move it into seventh and eighth grade as well. The hope is that this program will catch those kids that are struggling before they get so far behind that it's difficult to catch up.

Board member Sue Sikkink thanked Breitsprecher for her work on this, as well as Dowe's. "I hope you are able to catch those kids that don't have IEPs, kids that are on the borderline," said Sikkink. "I hope the teachers get excited about it. It benefits the teachers, the kids, everything."

Superintendent Richard Keith agreed that it's good for teachers as well as the kids, as teachers can get very frustrated. He said it helps them to look at teaching methods and curriculum, looking critically at what's being taught in the classroom.

Staffing Changes

Norma Johnson was presented with a plaque in recognition of her retirement. Johnson worked for the district as a paraprofessional for 22 years. The board thanked her for her years of service.

The board approved the resignation of Jade Wangen, a paraprofessional at the high school. They also approved the resignations of Monica Pierce and Nicole Long from Community Ed., and Connie Snitker, who worked in the daycare infant room.

It was approved to hire Connie Lindstrom for a Response to Intervention teacher. This is a .4 FTE position at $4,790. Diane Keith was hired for a Title I teacher at four hours a day. Support staff assignments and custodial assignments were approved, as well as additional assignments for licensed staff. High school math teachers Jane Montgomery and Becky Mueller will be taking on extra for math review, and Aaron Mensink will take on tech assistant duties at the elementary school during second semester.

Shannon Twait was hired as the seventh grade volleyball coach.

Bus Routes

Superintendent Richard Keith said he met with Mark Scheevel, the owner of Harmony Transit, regarding the proposed change in bus routes for the upcoming school year. Scheevel is trying to cut out one bus route to potentially save the district up to $15,000. He is working on saving a route from Wykoff to Fountain.

Board member John Torgrimson said it had been brought up before that they would do an audit on the shuttle that goes from Preston to Harmony. He believes they should pay attention to whether they are all needed.

Board member Deb Ristau asked what that change would mean for the students. Board member Shelly Topness said they need to take a look at which kids are at which stops, to be sure that young kids do not have to walk a long way to their bus stop. She added that a lot of kids in Fountain open enroll to other schools, and they should be careful not to lose any more.

Ristau said she would like verification of how those routes in Fountain will be changing. Keith will be meeting with Scheevel again, as well as the transportation committee, to get more information.


The board approved bringing cheerleading back to Fillmore Central. Sikkink said the athletic committee recommended the board approve it, with certain stipulations. There must be five girls signed up, they must cheer at home games, as well as Parent's Night for each sport, and each girl will pay an extracurricular activity of $35 for each sport.

The advisor, Melissa Kiehne, will be paid a stipend of $250 per season. Sikkink said the activity fees would offset this cost. Kiehne said everyone has a uniform, and nine girls have signed up so far.

Other Business

Kiehne informed the board and the audience that Habitat for Humanity - Winona and Fillmore County has been approved to build a house in Harmony next spring, and they are looking for a future homeowner to partner with. Interested people should contact Megan Grebe at 507-459-4199 or

The board approved having the Truth in Taxation meeting at the beginning of the regular meeting at 6:30 pm on December 20, 2011. The meeting place was changed to the High School Media Center.

The board also accepted the following:

•open enrollment requests for five kids

•the second reading of the new and revised policies

•adding a ROTH option along with the 403b for employees

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