Target Time is a program designed to provide Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) to all students within an elementary school setting. Students at both the advanced and at-risk ends of the academic spectrum within a grade level receive an hour each day (4 days/week) of instruction that is specifically targeted to meet their needs. Although this program could effectively be used to target any core content area, we have focused on Language Arts as we implement Target Time at Ladera. During this hour general education teachers, intervention specialists, EL para professionals, and the Learning Center special education teacher are assigned student groups for each of two 30 minute blocks, based on the needs of the students. Following the regular assessment cycle delineated by the District Reporting System, teachers analyze student performance data to identify specific student needs and create leveled Target Time groups. Students are regrouped after each eight to ten week assessment period, flexibly moving in and out of leveled groups based on progress, new determination of student needs, or an agreed upon shifted focus for intervention efforts.
Students requiring remediation, intervention, acceleration, extension, English Language Development (ELD), and/or special education services (Learning Center) receive instruction targeted to meet their unique needs. At-risk students requiring academic interventions are placed in small groups where specific needs can be better met; instruction is focused on strengthening specific skill areas determined by assessment data. GATE and high achieving students are working at an advanced level in one classroom where they have the opportunity to extend their learning and work at an accelerated pace and level. English Learners receive their daily ELD instruction during one of the 30 minute blocks and then work with the appropriate leveled group during the other 30 minute block, whether they need accelerated or on-grade level instruction or targeted intervention. During one or both of the 30 minute blocks (determined by the number of SAI minutes in their IEPs), special education students receive intensive intervention in the Learning Center targeting skills defined by their IEP goals.
All students, including EL and students with specific learning disabilities (SLD), need to participate in the core ELA instruction with their grade-level peers. With this model, all students participate in the core ELA instruction which takes place during the 60-90 minutes of ELA daily outside of Target Time in their home classroom. No students are “pulled-out” of core instruction to receive the targeted intervention they need. Additionally, students that are working on and above grade level receive daily instruction that is very intentionally aimed at enrichment and allowing them to excel beyond the publisher’s ELA curriculum through extensions and above grade level literature studies, research and writing, and explorations through challenge activities. As funding for Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) has taken a backseat to other more urgent financial needs in schools, many high achieving and gifted students’ needs have also received less attention. In the Target Time model, student needs of ALL levels will receive targeted support and attention facilitating greater achievement levels for ALL.
Ladera completed the first year of Target Time in 2015. In 2016 we received a CA Gold Ribbon School Award for our Target Time Program! We have successfully continued with this program, improving our processes and content each year!