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How Kentwood elementary schools dominate Michigan’s Academic State Champions list


February 10, 2015
Quality and CurriculumState & LocalWorkforce
Monica Scott
Michigan Live

Principal Jenny Love said the school provides a high-quality, multi-tiered instruction system and interventions are matched to each students’ needs. She said they monitor student progress constantly, evaluating data to identify assessment and intervention practices ranging from Tier 1 to 3, with third tier students receiving more intensive instruction in groups of no more than five. That approach and an instructional model designed to help students become thinkers coupled with literacy and math programs, is why the high-poverty school was named an Academic State Champ by Bridge Magazine Tuesday, Feb. 10. The building ranked No. 3 out of 1,208 Michigan elementary schools and one of the top 25 overachieving schools at No. 9. . .

Shannon Ayers, associate research professor for the National Institute for Early Education Research and Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes, said the focus primary education is receiving at the nation and state level will help make sure the foundation is there to provide the support for all children to be successful in elementary and middle and high school. She said several of the approaches to teaching and learning being employed by West Michigan’s champs are proven to be effective strategies. “NIEER is working on a project implementing effective instruction guidelines for schools and teachers in New Jersey to think about including, Response to Intervention frameworks, differentiating instruction, student assessment, cross-content lessons and project-based learning.”