Griffin School Board Discusses Hybrid Learning Model and New Tier Support Pyramid


Griffin School District’s Board met for a work session last night. Topics of conversation included discussion around an announcement of a hybrid learning model and a multi-tiered support system still in the works.

Hybrid Learning

As of right now, the only sure fact about hybrid learning in Griffin Schools is that students will be broken into two cohorts, with in-person learning available on separate days for each cohort. Each cohort will be in the building for two full days of direct instruction from their classroom teacher and will spend two days learning virtually. Wednesdays will be a remote learning day for both cohorts. Families will also be able to choose all-online engagement with the school, according to Doug Anderson, Middle School Principal.

Elementary Principal Rebekah Keiser spoke in regard to the hybrid learning plan for the younger students, explaining that “things are going to look differently in Kindergarten than they will in fifth grade. I suggest we put together some sort of ‘Hybrid Handbook’ to show students and staff what it should look like to have kids wash their hands before and after they go out to recess, what it should look like to have students walk down the halls, etc.”

Anderson spoke about his hybrid learning research and conversations with students and staff, “I have called around to different schools and colleagues to see what the best plan for middle school hybrid learning would look like.”

“All of our teachers have created wonderful distance learning models and relationships with students via Zoom and we hope to keep that up in the hybrid learning model. We plan to have a more accurate plan for middle school hybrid learning by next week, keeping in mind how we can best serve in-school students and students who have chosen to remain 100% virtual at the same time and the same level,” said Anderson.

Even with Gov. Jay Inslee’s new guidelines for reintegrating students back to in-person learning, Superintendent Greg Woods encouraged future discussion of the hybrid learning model to take place after the Thurston County Department of Health’s planned announcement on January 20th.“That recommendation, whatever it will be, should be heavily weighted in our decision. We also have a social-emotional issue with our students that we need to think about.” said Woods.

School Board Director Dan Teuteberg suggested that the Board consider scheduling a special meeting to discuss the Thurston County Department of Health’s latest guidance and further their plans for hybrid learning. The Board agreed and scheduled this meeting for Thu., Jan. 21 at 6:00 p.m.

Griffin Tier Support Model

Also discussed was The Griffin Tier Support system (pictured)--a multi-tiered system of support for students by staff. This plan was modeled after systems shown in professional development training, something teachers have had a lot more time for given the circumstances with distance learning this year.

Keiser, one of the leaders of the project, explained a bit about what tier support means: “The multi-tiered support system puts everything in one place in a pyramid to get students what they need, whether that be intervention services, additional tutoring, or support, etc. Each of these pieces of the pyramid is being worked on by separate teams of teachers during professional development [time]. Each piece fits together to work toward the same end goal.”

Anderson, another leader of the project, described the tier support system as a flow chart: “This is essentially a behavior support team: a clarified behavior program or structure, like a flow chart, to guide certain behaviors that we would see in the classroom or at lunch, etc. to implement in elementary and middle school.”

Superintendent Woods said that the Tier Support Model is his number one goal for the district in the upcoming year: getting students whatever interventions and supports they need. It would also drive future professional development training for teachers and help make sure all students are taken care of in a way that is personalized to them.

Currently, each of the tiers in the plan is being tackled by different teams of staff members. Teams meet Wednesdays after students are dismissed for early release; team leads meet Thursday mornings to discuss overlapping work on current projects. The tier support plan is still in its first stages of implementation.


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