Situated in Southwest Rochester, Bamber Valley Elementary serves approximately 840 students in grades K-5. We are also the district base school for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. Our students are grouped in classroom using the Total School Cluster Grouping plan which is a research-based model for grouping students and differentiating instruction to improve teaching, learning and achievement of all students.
Total School Cluster Grouping (TSCG) and Differentiation Model
Dr. Marcia Gentry, Dr. Matt Fugate, and Purdue University were awarded a $3.2 million-dollar Javits grant to implement Total School Cluster Grouping and Differentiation in 100 schools across America. In spring of 2015, the Rochester Public School Board approved Bamber Valley and the Office of Gifted Services to enter into collaboration with Purdue. A parent information and question/answer meeting was held in May of 2015.
Professional development provided by Purdue instructors and online resources began in April of 2016 and will continue throughout the five years of the collaboration and beyond. The Principal and Principal on Special Assignment for Gifted Services, will provide ongoing training at staff meetings throughout the years. Teachers will practice what they learn in their classrooms.
- What is the TSCG and Differentiation model?
- What are the benefits of TSCG and differentiation?
- What are some of the benefits of the training?
- Will all the low achieving students and/or students with behavior concerns be placed in the same room?
- Will all the students who are in special education be placed in the same room?
- If a teacher has several high-needs students in the room, will there be additional support?
- Isn’t this tracking?
- What is the cost to the school/district?
- How will this impact my Parent Input Request for Classroom Placement?
The TSCG and Differentiation model combines two things:
- teacher training from Purdue University in methodology used to differentiate and enrich instruction and
- yearly, heterogeneous (mixed achievement levels) grouping of students into classrooms that contain fewer achievement groups. This practice allows teachers to differentiate more effectively for fewer groups.
All students receive enriched, differentiated instruction that is appropriately challenging.
For twenty-five years, this model has resulted in consistently improving the achievement of students of all achievement levels.
Having three achievement groups per class instead of five allows teachers to differentiate instruction more effectively and consistently.
Most teacher training programs include little or no training in gifted education. Teachers will learn how to enrich and differentiate for all students. Teachers will also learn how to recognize giftedness in students of underrepresented groups such as students on free and reduced priced lunch, minority students, and students who are twice exceptional (are gifted and have a disability).
With this model, teachers are able to differentiate more effectively because they have fewer achievement groups. Parent Requests will be honored as long as they are in line with the groups each particular teacher has in his/her classroom. We are confident that all of our teachers are able to meet the social and academic needs of the students who are placed into their classrooms.