• Overview of Basic Skills Instruction: 

    English Language Arts and Mathematics


    What is Basic Skills Instruction (BSI)?

    Basic Skills Instruction is a supplemental program in either Math or English Language Arts (Reading and Writing) that provides developmental support and reinforcement of concepts and skills being taught in the classroom.  Basic Skills is not the same as special education which is more individually tailored and requires in-depth testing to identify specific learning needs.


    How are students identified?

    Multiple criteria are used to determine a student's placement when entering and exiting Basic Skills.  These include standardized state scores, district assessments, teacher recommendations, report cards and informal assessments.


    When does Basic Skills Instruction begin?

    Basic Skills begins by late September once students have been identified, screened and have their permission letters returned. This gives time for students to acclimate to the new school year in addition to data collection, observations and scheduling.


    What is the duration of the program?  Will it continue when the year ends?

    Basic Skills Instruction can last for the entire school year.  The teachers will be monitoring the students and reassessing three times each year (September, January and June). Students who demonstrate significant improvement and satisfactory progress during the year may be exited from the program. Conversely, if a student does not start the year in Basic Skills, he/she can enter during the year if the classroom teacher feels it is necessary and it has been reviewed by the Intervention and Referral Services (IR&S) committee using the criteria. A student will not automatically be enrolled in Basic Skills Instruction for the following year. Eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis using the criteria.


    What does Basic Skills Instruction look like?

    Students take part in small group instruction with a Basic Skills teacher using a "push-in" model in their classroom setting, or a "pull-out" model in which students leave their classroom.


    What is the Basic Skills Program Curriculum?

    The Basic Skills program curriculum has lessons and instruction that are designed based on the following sources: New Jersey Student Learning Standards, Classroom Teacher Created Lessons, Teacher Made Assessments, District Tests, Standardized State Scores, and District Approved Curriculum Guides.


    What is the schedule for Basic Skills?

    Student enrollment and faculty determine frequency and duration of instruction.  Generally students are serviced 1-3 times per week.


    How will I know how my child is doing in Basic Skills?

    With so many students at various grade levels, it is difficult for the Basic Skills teacher to always attend regular parent/teacher conferences.  However, individual conferences can be scheduled and telephone conversations can be held as the need arises. Progress notes will be provided twice a year from the Basic Skills teacher (2nd marking period and 4th marking period) on the grade level report card in the "comments" section.  In addition to these communications, the Basic Skills teacher will reach out with any additional information.


    Do the Basic Skills teacher and classroom teacher communicate?

    Yes.  The Basic Skills teacher and classroom teacher are in contact often.  They continually discuss student needs, classroom successes, and areas of weakness.


    Will my child miss classwork?

    The Basic Skills teacher and classroom teacher collaborate to find a schedule that works best for the students.  The classroom teachers will determine the best way to address any missed classwork.