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Basic Skills Instruction

What is Basic Skills Instruction (BSI)?
Basic Skills Instruction is supplemental instruction in either Language Arts Literacy or Mathematics. Instruction and support are provided in the basic concepts and skills that students need in order to be successful in their classroom.
Why is my student being identified for basic skills?
Students are identified for possible inclusion into BSI using multiple measures. These measures include scores on the NJSLA, district tests, teacher recommendations, report cards and/or classroom performance.
Why do I have to sign a permission letter?
Once students are identified for possible inclusion into the program, they will be screened using assessments specific to basic skills. If the student qualifies for BSI as a result of the screening scores, a letter is sent home requesting parental permission to allow entrance into the program.
What if I choose not to have my child enrolled in BSI classes?
If you do not want your child in BSI, your child is expected to meet grade level expectations without supplemental support. If you change your mind during the year, you can request that your child be included in the program if space is available.
What is involved in the screening process?
Each subject has a specific assessment. The Math assessment involves questions in the areas of computation, concepts, and problem solving appropriate for the grade level. The Language Arts assessment involves assessments that evaluate sight word vocabulary, oral reading fluency, comprehension, and writing.
What is the schedule for BSI?
Students may be enrolled in BSI for Language Arts Literacy and/or Math. Depending on the academic area, BSI services can be delivered in various settings, either through a push in model or pull out model. Student enrollment determines the frequency and duration of instruction. Generally students are serviced 3 times per week for 30 minutes in a small group setting.
When does BSI begin?
BSI begins once students have been identified, screened and have returned their permission letters early in the school year.
Will my child miss classwork?
The BSI teacher and classroom teachers collaborate to find a schedule that works best for the students. The classroom teachers will determine the best way to address any missed classwork.
Do the BSI and classroom teacher communicate?
Yes. The BSI teacher and the classroom teacher are in contact often. They continuously discuss student needs, classroom successes, and areas of weaknesses.
How will I know how my child is doing?
Basic Skills progress reports will be sent home at the same time as report cards. Of course, if you have any questions or concerns throughout the year, you can contact the Basic Skills Instructor to schedule a conference.
How long does BSI last? Will it continue when the year ends?
BSI typically lasts for the entire school year. If the Basic Skills Instructor and classroom teacher feel that a student no longer needs basic skills instruction they can be exited from the program after consulting with the child’s parent or guardian. Written parental permission is required to exit a student from the program. Classroom teachers and/or BSI teachers may recommend that students continue to receive BSI the following school year. A student will not automatically be enrolled in BSI for the following year. Student eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
What can I do at home to help my child with reading?
It is imperative for you to read to and with your child at home on a daily basis. Please take the time to enjoy the book with your child by discussing it as you are reading. Book discussions can include…. story elements (character, setting, problem, solution), connections you have to your own life or another book, and what you are thinking as you are reading (We call this "thinking aloud".)
Helpful ELA Practice Sites:
What can I do at home to help my child with math?
It is essential that students master their basic facts so they become automatic. This means they know the answer quickly without needing manipulatives or fingers. Addition and subtraction are stressed in 2nd and 3rd grade. Multiplication begins in 2nd grade and is continued in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. Division begins in 3rd grade and is continued in 4th and 5th grade.
Helpful Math Practice Sites:
xtraMath (Teacher will provide log in information)