Tomah High School, in Tomah Area School District in Wisconsin, took the OECD Test for Schools during the 2013-2014 school year. In general, students scored well when compared to other schools with similar socioeconomic backgrounds. However, despite these positive results, the OECD Test for Schools indicated that Tomah needed to implement shifts in its instructional practices.
In response, the school has had crucial conversations with its staff regarding grading policies, homework policies, and academic/behavioral interventions. Tomah has focused on developing procedures for the implementation of Response to Intervention (RtI) practices, a system that provides students with high-quality instruction to support high-level learning, for next school year. Additionally, the school has developed a new daily schedule that includes daily resource time to provide academic/behavioral interventions, academic make-ups, and college and career readiness curriculum.
Tomah is contemplating additional practice shifts, including providing professional development around the idea of strong universal instruction centered on differentiation for learning abilities and levels, using the educator effectiveness evaluation process (Danielson model) to demonstrate high-quality instruction to assist teachers in becoming better educators, and providing staff with time to observe staff members who are modeling high-quality instructional methods and then collaborate with these staff members. With these changes, Tomah hopes to strengthen overall instruction and realize even greater student achievement.