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What is Reading Support Services (RSS)
It is a supplemental reading program intended to assist at risk readers. The service is for students in kindergarten through grade 8. Assistance may be given individually, in small groups or in the classroom. The Reading Support Service is funded by federal (Title I grant), state (Reading Improvement grant) and district dollars.
A student's overall reading performance within the general curriculum is fundamental in determining eligibility for Reading Support Service. Reading success can be measured using evaluative data and observation. Therefore, both are used to determine eligibility. A student becomes eligible for RSS when his/her daily classroom reading performance is observed to be discrepant from peers and when his/her performance on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) /Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM) and/or Informal Reading Inventory (IRI) substantiate the below average performance.
Reading Support Service is staffed by one full time teacher and two full time aides in each elementary building within District 57. Students found eligible for RSS receive additional reading instruction three to five times per week, for ten to thirty minutes, as a supplement to the daily classroom reading instruction. Kindergarten and first grade instruction occurs within the general classroom setting and can begin as whole group. Eventually small flexible group lessons may be used as a form of early intervention for students below the average range. Second through fifth grade instruction can be delivered either inside or outside the general classroom setting, dependent on the type of instruction and number of students participating. A variety of materials used in RSS instruction utilize methodologies from explicit to implicit. Many layers of instruction are employed. A multitude of strategies are taught to the students in order to achieve the goal of performance within the average range in the classroom core curriculum. Reading Support Service instruction remains ongoing as long as a student's data and observed performance level continue to be below average.
Parental involvement is a key component to Reading Support Service. Parents are asked to play an active role in their child's reading development. In order to maximize each child's level of reading success, it is essential for parents to commit to a daily reading schedule at home. A "Partners in Learning Agreement" strengthens the link between home and school. This agreement outlines the responsibilities of each student, parent, and teacher in working together to promote reading success.
Once eligibility is determined, reading progress is monitored throughout the year using formal and informal assessments. Daily performance, Informal Reading Inventories (IRI), Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM) and Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) are used to measure progress. As part of the monitoring process, the teacher reports back to the parents formally at the end of each trimester using progress reports. Informal reporting is also done throughout the year using notes, telephone calls and conferences.
Exiting the Program
Formal and informal assessments are used to determine when a child is ready to be exited from Reading Support Service. The decision to release a child is a collaborative one between the RSS teacher, the classroom teacher, and each child's parent. Several criteria are used to determine if a child is ready to be exited. It is important that the child can function successfully in the regular classroom without extra support. Throughout the year, Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM) is used to assess and monitor fluency. If a student is reading above the 25th percentile for two consecutive grading periods, that student may be released. At the end of each school year, an Informal Reading Inventory (IRI) is administered to each student in first through fifth grade. If the student understands material at or above grade level and is reading fluently the student is eligible for release.