The Highlander Institute's Work with Fort Barton School

Via Julia Steiny and

The Highlander Institute has developed a process that helps all students – whether their struggling, academically gifted, or in between – get whatever they specially need.

This process was tested at Fort Barton School in Tiverton, RI. In 2008, the school was struggling with state assessment scores and contacted the Highlander Institute for help. Highlander then invited the school to be part of their new grant-funded literacy project.

The grant-funded literacy project begins with teaching teachers how to collect and use data. With most schools, there is very little data to begin with, so Fort Barton School committed to assessing each child’s learning 3 times a year.

The tests showed that 35 percent of Fort Barton’s 200 students were at risk of not passing the state tests. After the second test period the results were
worse. This realization was the drive the teachers needed in order to start using the collected data to make necessary changes.

The Highlander Institute showed the teachers at Fort Barton how to use the collected data to divide their classes into four groups based on their individual learning needs. Each day the teachers collect data on how the students are performing and can tell that same day if a child is starting to fall behind and act upon it.

After working together for 4 years, Highlander considers Fort Barton to be a well-oiled machine. Through hard work, dedication, and a willingness to change strategies the Highlander Institute was able to get Fort Barton focused on student needs.


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