PL_State Landscape_CO Westminster Case Study

Westminster’s Interventionist Framework 

When 5-year old Mauricio Avila stepped into Sherrelwood Elementary School, he had already been identified with a developmental delay.

Mauricio’s disability made it difficult for him to follow multi-step directions, recall information, and verbally express himself. He also had a speech and language impairment which added complexity to how teachers approached Mauricio’s needs. His strengths were apparent: his teachers described him as kind, friendly, and resilient. Still, his parents wondered whether the education system would see their son’s strengths—or would they separate him from his peers, exposing him to lower expectations and frustrating him?

The Vision: To prepare students to succeed in postsecondary education, careers, and civic life, learning should be measured by a competency-based system (CBS) that enables students to progress upon mastery of distinct knowledge, skills,
and dispositions associated with a standard

The Strategy: Sherrelwood Elementary School has two unique approaches to learning and student support:

  1. A Move Away From Age-Based Grade Placement: Students at Westminster aren’t all in the same age- and grade-based class for all subjects. Younger and older students work together in a classroom based on their level of competency in that subject. A 5-year-old like Mauricio may be working on foundational skills in reading and language while advancing faster with the right supports in his math class.
  2. The Use of Interventionists: Rather than pulling students out of class to give them specialized instruction, the district has interventionists go into classrooms. They work with teachers to design and support instruction for students who might be struggling in a particular area and for those who might be more advanced, helping create educational experiences that meet all students’ different learning needs and interests.

Teachers at Sherrelwood design curricula and facilitate general instruction as well as small group instruction. This allows Mauricio to learn in a small group setting and to master content and develop personal and social competencies essential to his long-term success. Mauricio no longer feels singled out because every student’s instruction is tailored to their unique learning needs, strengths, and interests.


Learn more about Westminsters Interventionist approach and how it helps students like Mauricio:

Download PDF of “Westminster’s Interventionist Framework”

Programs: