Trenton Board of Education approves addition of reading interventionist for fifth-grade

Trenton R-9 School District
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The Trenton R-9 Board of Education on March 17th approved the addition of a reading interventionist for the fifth-grade level. The vote was taken at a special meeting.

Superintendent Mike Stegman recommended the addition of the position. Trenton Middle School Principal Daniel Gott and Instructional Coach Jill Watkins also spoke.

Stegman reported the fifth-grade reading interventionist would be a temporary position, and it would help with learning loss incurred during the pandemic. Stegman expects the position to last two years. He noted the district will reevaluate after that time.

Gott said there were concerns about the number of third and fourth-grade students who were receiving Title services, which he said was at 26. He noted that with the two grades and special education students, that total is 40. Gott commented that there are usually less than 10 coming over to the middle school Title program.

Watkins reported the numbers did not include students receiving the Barton reading intervention program. She believed there could be an “onslaught” of special education students because some students are two deviations from the grade level. She said a reading intervention should be in place to help them move forward.

Watkins emphasized she was not saying teachers were not doing their jobs, and students are showing growth.

Gott said teachers currently teach one hour of reading a day. About half of the third and fourth-grade students are still learning to read, while the other half is reading to learn.

Stegman noted traditionally kindergarten through second-grade students are learning to read, and third and fourth-grade students are reading to learn.

The board moved into a closed session for personnel.

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