LDA Minnesota's Learning Connections program provides intensive intervention instruction to students in grades Kindergarten through 12 in reading, math, writing, and English language learning during the school day at urban schools and community sites in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Students are identified to participate in the program using their school achievement data and referral by classroom teachers. Typically, Learning Connections works with students who are furthest behind their grade level peers and need to make the greatest gains in order to reverse the widening gap to reach grade level proficiency. Our students are not just below grade level; they are very far below, often with significant, multiple gaps in their skills.
For this reason, LDA employs licensed teachers who have experience working with struggling students in diverse urban schools. Our teachers work with students in small groups, 4 days per week. Evidence-based curriculum is used and instruction differentiated to meet each students needs. Each student's progress is formally assessed every two weeks to help LDA's teachers track the rate of academic growth and to modify instruction when needed. This data is also used to "graduate" students who have made sufficient gains.
LDA's Learning Connections interventions can be used to identify students under Response to Intervention (RTI) programs who may warrant further assessment for special education services. Schools or school districts may consider LDA's Learning Connections when implementing RTI as an alternative to the traditional discrepency model of identifying special education services.
During the 2011-2012 school year, the Learning Connections program served 455 students. Of these, our students made progress toward closing their achievement gaps:
72% in Reading
73% in Writing
83% in Math
These are impressive results considering that most of our students would be on an ever-widening trajectory, rather than narrowing of their own academic achievement compared to grade level peers.
LDA Minnesota's 2012-2013 partners include:
- Anishinabe School (math)
- Bryn Mawr Community School (reading)
- Christ’s Household of Faith (reading & math)
- The High School of Recording Arts (writing)
- Jenny Lind Community School (reading)
- LEAP High School (writing)
- Lucy Craft Laney Community School (readnig)
- Risen Christ School (reading, math & English language learning)
- GGAL Program at LEAP High School, St. Paul Midway & Roseville Area High School (writing)