New interventionist positions were created to better support all students

New interventionist positions were created to better support all students
Posted on 09/29/2021
Social-emotional learning interventionist Morgan MuellerMehlville School District added two new interventionists at each school for the 2021-2022 school year to ensure better support for our students. These positions are being paid for by federal COVID-19 relief funds. 

Principals evaluated their school’s needs and hired interventionists that would be most beneficial for their students. Some schools, like Beasley Elementary, hired academic interventionists. These educators help support students and fellow teachers in learning core subjects, such as reading and math. 

“In reading, we are gathering a lot of data,” said Sarah Kelce, Beasley Elementary reading interventionist. “We’re working to determine their reading level and break down how the student might need more help, and then pulling small strategy groups based on what they need.” 
Beasley Elementary interventionist Julie Werton
Image: Beasley Elementary math interventionist Julie Werton works in a small group with students on addition skills. 

In addition to teaching specific skills to small groups of students, our academic interventionists will also be pushing into classrooms to help classroom teachers with instruction. 

“When I go into the classroom, it’s a universal learning approach where the teacher and I are teaching all students before breaking into small groups,” said Julie Werton, Beasley Elementary math interventionist. “During that small group time, we’re able to communicate and dialogue who really understands the strategies and challenge students to take it to the next level.” 

Pushing into the classroom allows the interventionist and teacher to work together to help students who need more support and to provide more opportunities for students who have already mastered a skill to continue their learning.

“Students know that we are a team with their teacher and that we’re working as a team to help every student,” said Kelce.

Schools also had the option to hire social-emotional learning interventionists. The role of a social-emotional interventionist is to help students develop skills to prevent their emotions from getting in the way of their learning. 
Trautwein Elementary School interventionist

Photo: Trautwein Elementary social-emotional learning interventionist Morgan Mueller speaks with a student.

“Since we’re still at the beginning of the year, my job right now is pushing into the classrooms and serving as an emotional coach and talking through the big feelings and problems we may be seeing in classrooms, “said Morgan Mueller, Trautwein Elementary social-emotional learning interventionist. “I think it’s super important for social-emotional interventionists to push into the classroom because it models for students who are struggling what it needs to look like, while allowing them to still be with their peers. If their classmates have just seen them have a tough moment, they also get to see the resolution.” 

Social-emotional interventionists will also pull students from the classroom at times to provide a neutral space to learn how to manage their emotions, talk through their feelings, and develop strategies to better handle challenging situations in the future. 

“This position gives us the ability to identify students who are struggling and pour resources and interventions into them and see what progress we can make,” Mueller said. 

Additionally, our SEL interventionists are working with all elementary school students on the zones of regulation to better learn to control their emotions and how they react to difficult situations.
Blades Elementary Zones of Regulation

Image: Social-emotional learning interventionists are working with all students on learning about their emotions. This Zones of Regulation bulletin board is at Blades Elementary.  

While the federal funds supporting these positions are only allotted for three years, this level of student and teacher support is something the district hopes to continue.

“We believe in this investment in supporting our students,” said Dr. Laurie Tretter-Larkin, director of fine arts and federal programs. “We’re going to be tracking how the addition of interventionists impacts our students and hope to provide this level of support for our students into the future.” 

What will learning recovery be like in Mehlville Schools?
A group of dedicated teachers and administrators met in the spring to determine what learning recovery supports we would put in place for students with the estimated $13 million we will receive throughout the next three school years. In addition to academic and social-emotional learning interventions, they also developed plans to increase student activities and academic support after school. These programs are designed to help us continue to meet each student where they are in their learning and build a greater connection to school and feeling of belonging among our students. Learn more.

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