• Basic Skills Instruction

  • Basic Skills Instruction (BSI) is an academic support program for students in the General Education program. Support is offered in Language Arts and math in grades one through eight.

    Student eligibility is determined through triangulating data from multiple sources, such as classroom observation and performance, coupled with norm-referenced assessments.  Students are identified throughout the school year as needed.


    The program provides targeted instruction to support students’  development. The program reinforces the prerequisite skills needed to be successful in the classroom with an emphasis on teaching strategies that students can use independently. BSI teachers present concepts and skills through methods that complement traditional teaching approaches. Teachers utilize a range of explicit, systematic, and multi-sensory techniques to build students’ skills.

    Students’ progress is monitored closely through the use of a variety of assessment tools.  Parents receive a progress report each marking period in addition to the child’s report card.

  • Program Specifics & Offerings For Grade Level Groups

  • Grades 1-3


    Academic Year

    • Pull-out instruction during English Language Arts and Math instructional blocks; group size typically does not exceed 5 students  

    • In-class support during Writing Workshop (Grades 2-3)

    • Frequency of Instruction:

      • ELA & Math: Daily for 30-40 minutes per subject

      • Writing: twice a week

      • Individualized based on need



    • Brain Camp
      • During the summer, SDOC offers a literacy intervention program for students in kindergarten and first grade. The program meets for 40 hours (2 hour per day) for a consecutive 20-day period.
      • Student-to-teacher ratio is intentionally low. Classes typically do not exceed 12 students and are taught by a teacher and a paraprofessional.
      • Student progress is monitored throughout the program and a written report is uploaded to Genesis at the conclusion of the program.

      • The process for acceptance into the program begins in January with mid-year assessment results. Parents are notified of the initial recommendation in February.  An information session and workshop is offered for parents of students recommended for the program. 

      • Teachers revisit and make final recommendations in March. Parents are notified in April regarding eligibility.

      • In September, BSI teachers follow-up on all students who were recommended to determine whether support is needed moving forward throughout the school year.


    Grades 4-5

    • Students work with the BSI teacher in the classroom  during the student's English Language Arts and Math instruction
    • Frequency:

      • English Language Arts: 4 periods per 6-day cycle

      • Math: 3 periods per 6-day cycle

      • Individualized based on need


    Grades 6-8

    • Basic Skills program is offered as an elective called Excel.

    • Excel class is in addition to students’  English Language Arts and Math classes.

    • Frequency:

      • Approximately every other day; meets on the same schedule as other electives at Chatham Middle School.