MAILED: July 22, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- Area public school students and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students are learning together this summer in the Learning Enhancement and Progression clinic at Lakeshore Elementary School in Eau Claire.
LEAP, which is in its 13th year, helps children from kindergarten to 12th-grade sharpen skills during the six-week program, said Dr. Greg Conderman, associate professor of special education. Students are referred to the LEAP clinic either by parents or teachers who think the child will benefit from additional review, Conderman said.
The clinic does more than just assist students with academic need - it offers opportunities for the teachers to complete their field experiences for their degrees at UW-Eau Claire, Conderman said.
Teachers received one week of training before teaching for six weeks. Prior to instruction, each child was informally assessed through various measures to determine the greatest areas of need. During the last week of the clinic, the teachers complete post-assessment on the children so parents and teachers know how much the child has gained during the summer, he said.
There are 12 teachers, all but one of whom are graduate students, Conderman said. The teachers use a special curriculum called "Direct Instruction" to teach reading, writing, study, social and math skills, he said.
"It gives teachers a chance to sharpen their skills," he said. "It also is a chance for them to learn a different method of teaching."
The groups are relatively small, with a four to one teacher-student ratio, he said. There are some cases in which there is individual instruction.
With the "Direct Instruction," teachers pretest the children prior to the clinic to determine what level they are at, he said. The children are grouped with students on similar levels and with similar needs, he said.
There also are special instructional techniques that promote mastery learning and a high amount of student engagement, he said.
"'Direct Instruction' is teacher directed but very student focused," Conderman said.
The majority of the students involved with LEAP are from the Eau Claire school system but some are from surrounding rural areas. The clinic is a collaborative partnership between the Eau Claire Public School District, the department of special education at UW-Eau Claire, and the new school Crestview Academy. Crestview Academy has teachers assisting in LEAP to gain experience with the curriculum.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 22, 1997