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ORA Teachers are provided with common planning time  focused on professional collaboration, shared goals, data analysis and instructional strategies. Research supports the use of professional learning communities as a means for collaboration, focused planning, and professional growth. Further, monthly lead teacher/department chair meetings are scheduled to discuss grade level concerns and to develop strategic plans to support identified  tier one students.

All Schools have a weekly PLC meeting during their common prep time where each grade level or department meets and collaborates on instructional strategy.  PLC’s are led by the Lead Teacher or the Department Chair.  Formative and Summative findings are reviewed, and curriculum or teaching adjustments are made if necessary. 

All staff attend professional development prior to the start of school regarding all aspects of our Data Driven School and weekly during PLC times. 

gradual release model

The “Gradual Release of Responsibility” model requires the cognitive work to shift at various components of the lesson. It begins with the teacher carrying the cognitive load at the start of the lesson, to more responsibility falling on the students as the lesson carries out. This model provides a structure for teachers to move from assuming “all the responsibility for performing a task,” to a situation in which the students assume all of the responsibility.” (Duke & Pearson, 2004, p. 211).

The goal of the Gradual Release Model is to provide appropriate instruction, moving students toward independence.

The four stages of the Gradual Release model include:

  • Focused Instruction: The purpose (learning target) is established and teacher models thinking and learning expectations

  • Guided Practice: The teacher intentionally incorporates questions, prompts, and cues to facilitate and monitor student understanding.

  • Collaborative Learning: Students work in collaborative groups to produce a finished product. This phase of instruction should provide students with an opportunity to consolidate their understanding before they apply it independently

  • Independent Learning: The last step in the Gradual Release Model includes Students working independently to practice skills and master the learning target. Many independent learning tasks are used as formative assessments, designed to check for understanding and to identify needs for reteaching.