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Academic Interventions

Who are we?  

Mrs. Mary Olin and Ms. Kambra Gallagher

Olin Mary photo     Gallagher Kambra photo

We are certified teachers who specialize in working with students who need extra support in math and/or reading.  We have a group of aides that work alongside us to provide small group or one-on-one instruction.


What do we do?  

We work with classroom teachers to gather data from assessments and classroom performance and make decisions about students who need extra support in the areas of reading and/or math.  Once identified, we work to pinpoint the specific needs for each child, and then place them in a small group targeted to meet those needs.  We plan instruction for all small groups and then either we, or our aides facilitate the group time.  Our goal is to close the gap for the student so that he/she can return to regular classroom instruction without the need for additional support.

Support covers the following areas:

Reading - phonics, fluency, and comprehension

Math - numbers in base 10, algebraic thinking, and fluency


How does the child receive support?

We use a model for instruction called a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS).  Typically the child that needs extra support goes to his/her small group during independent work time in the classroom.  This is often a time where students are practicing skills/strategies that have been covered during instruction with the classroom teacher.  For students who need extra support this work time can feel frustrating or overwhelming, and our goal is for each child to feel successful with new learning, so pulling out during this time frame is ideal.  The child will not miss any core instruction (reading or math) to receive support.

Students receive services Monday-Thursday for 30-60 minutes a day, depending on their specific needs.


What exactly is MTSS?

MTSS is a multi-step process of providing instruction and support to promote the academic and behavioral success of all children. Individual children’s progress is monitored and results are used to make decisions about further instruction and intervention. MTSS is most commonly used in addressing reading, math and behavior, but it can also be used in other areas. The MTSS process is flexible and designed by school districts to meet the needs of their students.  (taken from Family Guide to MTSS).  For more information see


What should I do as a parent if my child is identified as needing interventions?

Most importantly, know that there isn’t something “wrong” because your child is receiving intervention services.  Our goal is to help every child succeed and small group instruction on specific skills/strategies is often the best way to make that happen!

If you have questions about what your child is working on or what that time looks like, feel free to reach out to the classroom teacher, or either of us, and we would be happy to give you more specific information.

There are several things you can do at home to support your child’s learning!  Make daily reading a priority.  Even as students get older, reading aloud to/with them is valuable.  Include your child in cooking/baking, grocery shopping, projects around the house.  All of these will help increase math skills and confidence.  Eat dinner together and have a conversation.  Ask about their day and share about yours.  It’s a great way to practice language skills!  

Ask your child’s teacher if you would like ideas on specific skills/strategies you can practice at home.  Short bits of practice (5-10 minutes a day) can really make a great positive impact! 


What is Building-Wide Title I?  

Cottonwood is designated as a building-wide Title I program, which means that we received funding to support additional reading and math services for students.  We use funds to provide high quality, comprehensive reading and math instruction for all students, especially those with the most need.  To learn more about Title I see our Family Handbook (page 51)