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Student Self-Directed Challenge and Support Block
Two young boys at school desk studying together

Each student requires individualized supports and opportunities for challenge in order to learn at  high levels. In Farmington, elementary schools have instituted a Challenge and Intervention Block Time in order to meet the needs of all learners. This innovation is integrally connected to our Framework for Teaching and Learning (Individual Responsibility), Theory of Action and our Vision of the Graduate (Self-Direction and Resourcefulness).  Some important features of this intervention model are:

  • Embedded daily challenge and intervention greatly reducing the need for pull out time from classes:  In the past, students who needed small group or individual support were pulled from core academic courses in order to meet with specialists.  Now, by embedding the intervention time during the day, it can be “all hands on deck” during each grade’s/team’s intervention block time and all students have access to the support and challenge they need. The goal is the make “learning the constant and time the variable”.
  • Clear standards and data driven decision-making:  All standards for the week are clearly articulated and the student work from the week provides the body of evidence that demonstrates student progress towards those standards. On Fridays, grade level teams of teachers at each school meet to look at the data and make decisions about which standards need to be addressed. During the meeting, teachers create a calendar of the various offerings for the following week. While many of the offerings are based on academic standards, they are not exclusively so.  Sessions can focus on learner mindset, Vision of the Graduate skills, organization, or any other social/emotional or executive functioning skills that teachers identify as an area of need. Students can also add offerings that personalize opportunities for challenge and support.
  • Student self-reflection, voice and choice:  Students are given tools and feedback to assess their own strengths and needs and are trusted to make wise choices about how to most effectively make use of the time and support they are provided. Students who have met the standards are given the opportunity to exceed the standard by working on the standard at a more advanced level. This model has allowed us to differentiate effectively and support many more students without interruptions to the school day. Teachers have adopted the stance that we own all the students and we have trusted students to lead their own learning by making choices about what they need as learners.  Teachers have identified many successes and plan to enhance and refine this model.

Weekly Calendar

Sample Student Self-Reflection Guide on a Math Assessment

Teacher Reflections on the Intervention Model


Mindset by Carol Dweck

Leaders of Their Own Learning by Ron Berger

Visible Learning Feedback by John Hattie and Shirley Clarke Contact Person,


Veronica Ruzek, Director of Curriculum and Instruction   |   |   (860) 673-8270

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