Sioux City, IA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/14/2012 -- Dr. Rich McGrath (http://www.drrichmcgrath.com) is an expert in all phases of education Intervention. According to Dr. McGrath, particularly versed in school-wide reform of inner city schools; with experience leading a school of students with over 90% poverty and over 60% English Language Learners. Dr. McGrath insists that, “Each classroom needs an intervention when the classroom teacher, reading specialists, and special education teachers meet with a small group of struggling readers to accelerate student performance. Teachers routinely observe, demonstrate, and collaborate with one another to acquire practices that reflect research-based skills.” Another essential area of best practice is the collection of formative performance data. These student data serve as a “dip-stick” approach to inform the teacher of the needs of the child and provide valuable feedback to the teacher.
There are critical screenings, assessments, and progress monitoring systems. Ongoing assessments are part of progress monitoring and include running record data, a fluency prosody rubric, a retelling rubric, and evaluation of expository writing. The study of students’ work gives teachers an authentic view of the strengths of the student and skill areas that need to be addressed. Assessment data for all interventions must be recorded. Collaborative progress-monitoring meetings with grade-level teachers must use data to make decisions about adjustments to interventions. The organization, analysis and utility of the data are critical because it provides timely feedback to the student and teacher.
McGrath insists, “No two children are the same and responsive and differentiated teaching is essential. Classroom teachers must have the tools to offer responsive and differentiated teaching through with a specially trained teacher.”
Grade-level team meetings must be held monthly and include classroom teachers, reading specialists, special education teachers, English Language Development teachers, and the principal. Each teacher must share data. When a student does not show progress, the team must work together to generate approaches that are proven effective. The team approach exemplifies the expectation that all involved are responsible for the progress of each child.
Dr. McGrath has served as principal since 2004. Before his career as a principal, he was a reading consultant for Northwest Area Education Agency for five years; a classroom teacher for fifteen years for Sioux City Community Schools, Iowa and Aurora Public Schools, Colorado.
A graduate of University of Denver, Colorado, Dr. McGrath studied education under Ellin Oliver Keene, noted education author. Dr. McGrath received his Master’s in School Administration from University of Northern Iowa and then earned his doctorate from The University of South Dakota in Curriculum and Instruction.
School Administrators of Iowa recognized Dr. Richard McGrath as one of the leading elementary school principals in Iowa in 2011. Dr. McGrath’s passion is to ensure that all children are reading at grade level or better. McGrath has served as principal in a diverse school district in Iowa for nearly a decade.
Dr. McGrath can be followed on Twitter at @drrichmcgrath
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