“Triggers” to Success

As principals and school leadership teams focus on continuous improvement efforts, they must address the three major indicators of Achievement, Attendance, and Discipline. It is important to track each individual student in each of these areas. Intervention needs to occur at defined times.  Intervention cannot be a choice; it must be a mandate.

Schools cannot rely on teachers to identify students for intervention nor can they rely on students or parents to make that identification.  There must be a defined trigger in each of these areas that mandates that students receive intervention

It is critical that principals and leadership teams define the trigger in each area that leads to intervention.  These triggers may vary from school to school, but they need to be present. Examples of achievement triggers include making a D or F for the grading period, a particular score on a benchmark assessment, reading inventory scores, teacher-made test scores, or failing a SOL or End-of-Course assessment.

Attendance triggers may be based on a defined number of absences or tardies.  These absences/tardies may be related to school attendance or class attendance. Discipline triggers may be based on a specific number of referrals, getting a referral from two or more teachers, number of in-school suspensions, number of detentions, or number of suspensions.

Obviously, there are many other triggers which could be identified for each indicator.  What is important is that each school has defined triggers for each of these three areas that result in mandated intervention.

What are your triggers? Do faculty, students, and parents know these triggers?  Are they effectively implemented and monitored?  Is there a tracking system that is effectively maintained?   If you cannot answer these questions, you have
some work to do.