Academic Support for Students
Loma Linda School uses Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) as a framework to help create a safe, caring environment conducive to student achievement and success by selecting and implementing best evidence-based academic and behavioral practices. At Loma Linda this model is used to support students both academically and behaviorally.
Our school-wide expectations for everyone include; Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be Kind. These expectations are reinforced for our students through our Bee Ticket recognition program. All staff hand out “Bee Tickets” to students who are caught “beeing” safe, respectful, responsible or kind. Students then can redeem their bee tickets for merchandise from our “Bee Hive” or Bee Store, which carries much needed school supplies along with fun little prizes and our much coveted “dress down” coupons, allowing students to dress out of uniform for a day. Along with receiving the tickets, students are given specific verbal praise for the expectation that they are exhibiting when given a ticket by the staff member. Each week there is a special focus for a particular behavior that staff recognizes and reminders about how to practice this skill are read on the morning announcements and encouraged by all staff.
Response to Intervention
Our Response To Intervention (RTI) system ensures that all of our students, regardless of academic ability, have the opportunity to get the support they need to be an Upward Bound student. At the beginning of the year, every child in the school is screened by our RTI team using a diagnostic screener for reading and math.
We do a lot of things with the data we collect from the screeners. The most important is that we share the information with the classroom teachers so they are fully aware of where their students are academically as a baseline. Second, we use the data to determine which kids could benefit from targeted small group instruction with one of our interventionists.
Our intervention classes allow groups of 4-12 children to receive specialized attention on skills they need more support with. We monitor students' progress throughout the year through biweekly assessments as well through our RTI team meetings. During meetings, classroom teachers, interventionists and administrators collaborate to analyze students' progress, problem solve and strategize. Through RTI, we can meet the unique needs of every one of our students.
Varied Exceptionalities (VE)
At Loma Linda we have two VE classrooms, VE1 and VE2. These classrooms are for our special education students that have disabilities that require a self-contained setting in order to access their educational needs. These classrooms have a lower number of students and are highly structured. Our VE1 classroom has students that range from kindergarten to second grade. Our VE2 classroom has students that range from third grade to fifth grade.
Loma Linda is a Thinking Maps school! Thinking Maps are 8 specific graphic organizers that students use in their learning to help them visually display, organize, and see their thinking as they process information. Thinking maps are used across all grade levels and in all subjects. Students can create Thinking Maps to display facts about a specific topic, to show a sequence of events, to compare and contrast, or to brainstorm their thoughts for writing. The uses of Thinking Maps are endless and are a critical part of Loma Linda.
Write From the Beginning
Write From the Beginning is a comprehensive writing program that builds student confidence in writing. Students are able to work at their current ability level regardless of what grade they are in to ensure success in writing. This program is school-wide and utilizes Thinking Maps as a foundation and structure for students in the writing process.
As a commitment to improving student achievement, the Creighton District has provided Instructional Coaches at each school site. Grade level teams meet weekly with the Instructional Coach to plan reading and math lessons. Together they incorporate research-based strategies into their plans that support student success. The Instructional Coach also models/monitors instruction in the classroom to ensure implementation of the strategies. This model creates collegiality and support for teachers that are facing the vast changing face of education.
Student Achievement Teacher
Loma Linda students receive common formative assessments of essential performance objectives on a continuing basis throughout the school year. Following each of these CFA’s, specific grade level teams meet to review this testing data and analyze student achievement and identify any possible learning centered problems or misconceptions with our Student Achievement Teacher. At these data review meetings, teachers plan new lessons to provide both re-teaching (for students who did not master the standards) and enrichment (to extend the level of rigor for students who did master the standards).
Students are then regrouped for this new instruction to meet their divergent learning needs. Following this teaching cycle students are re-tested to determine learning mastery or the need for further instruction. All of the data gained from the CFA’s and subsequent Quarterly Benchmark Assessments are used to create action plans to prepare students for the state assessment in the spring and transition to their next grade level.
Since 2011, Loma Linda’s students have engaged in a program called Rocket Math; a daily activity that allows students to practice their math fluency to quickly master the four basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Since its adoption, all students in grades one through eight have participated in this program ensuring that math fact fluency doesn’t keep them from mastering the math standards. In 2013, our Title 1 Facilitator, Ms. Lozano created our Rocket Math RockStars for students who have tested fluent on the four basic operations. This fifth level of rocket math provides students who are fluent in the four basic operations to practice their fluency of decimal conversion, square roots, perfect squares, and much more.
Students in grades four through eight have access to a computer-based math intervention program called ALEKS where they engage in problem-solving at their instructional level. Because of our investment in this program, over one hundred students are provided with differentiated math practice five days a week for thirty to forty-five minutes each day.